A little different than Gott and Bickford, we should be a bit concerned about the front office forcing Omar Narvaez into the starting lineup a little too much. The Mets catcher had such a miserable 2023 season that his option for 2024 will be impossible for him to turn down. It’s for $7 million after a year where he hit .211/.283/.297.
Add in the fact that he has a David Stearns connection with his time as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers and there are enough reasons why management could look on him favorably. Francisco Alvarez was good in 2023 but some of those shortcomings could lead to a few more starts from Narvaez in 2024.
The excuse of giving Alvarez “more rest” or saying he could benefit from the extra time off seems like something Eppler would have pulled from his back pocket. The Mets didn’t overuse Narvaez in 2023, fortunately. A part of this may have been due to his own healing process. And by the end of 2023, Alvarez was surely beaten up. Fortunately, with Eppler gone, the attachment to Narvaez shouldn’t be there.
Narvaez is every kind of candidate for the Mets in 2023. Bounceback. Salary dump. A guy forced into the starting lineup. His bat will need to be a whole lot more for the fans to believe more of him is the right call.