Yankees add promising catcher to 40-man roster

carlos narvaez, yankees
Feb 21, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Carlos Narvaez (94) prepares to take batting practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have made public their latest roster adjustments, which included the release of several players who opted for free agency over accepting an outright assignment.

Catcher Prospects on the Rise

In a strategic move, the team has elevated catcher Carlos Narvaez to the 40-man roster. The 24-year-old Venezuelan, who has been with the Yankees’ minor-league system for seven seasons, boasts a career batting average of .249, with 36 home runs and 179 RBIs over 400 games.

Narvaez’s Minor-League Performance

Narvaez’s recent performance has shown promise, with his last season split between Double-A and Triple-A levels. In Somerset, he achieved a .235 batting average and a .350 on-base percentage. His time in Scranton was notable for a .240 average, a .373 OBP, and a wRC+ of 97.

Strategic Protection and Veteran Trades

The Yankees’ decision to protect Narvaez suggests they see him as a viable younger option for a backup role. With this move, it seems the Yankees are preparing to trade veteran Kyle Higashioka, who is approaching free agency after another year of arbitration eligibility. Despite Higashioka’s solid performance, the team’s readiness to promote 24-year-old prospect Austin Wells indicates a shift in their catching strategy.

carlos narvaez, yankees
Mar 10, 2023; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees catcher Carlos Narvaez (94) bats during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Wells as a Promising Addition

Austin Wells showed his potential in the final games of the 2023 season, with a batting average of .289 and an on-base percentage of .304, alongside impressive defensive skills praised by the team’s leading pitchers.

Catching Duo for 2024

Looking ahead, the Yankees might find a successful formula in pairing Wells with José Treviño. Wells offers a powerful left-handed bat, while Treviño could continue to serve as the personal catcher for ace Gerrit Cole, capitalizing on his defensive excellence.

With these developments, observers should watch for Narvaez potentially becoming a significant depth piece for the Yankees as they refine their catcher positions.

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