The offseason for the New York Mets has been somewhat quiet, but it looks like it will become active this January in both the trade and free agency markets. In this sense, Mike Puma of the NY Post reported that the Mets would be interested in moving Omar Narvaez, who exercised an option for this 2024 season worth $7 million.
During the 2023 season, Narvaez saw action in just 49 games with the Mets, seeing his playing time limited due to the figure of Francisco Alvarez on the team. The catcher has expressed his interest in playing somewhere else where he could be guaranteed more playing time.
The best fit for Narvaez and the Mets is the Tampa Bay Rays
Within the current 40-man roster of the Tampa Bay Rays for next season, they only have one player in the catcher position, Rene Pinto, who does not have a lot of experience in MLB. Due to this, the team sees the need to acquire a catcher, especially a veteran, who has defensive skills and helps a young rotation depleted by multiple injuries.
Omar Narvaez fits this need due to his high capacity for framing pitches, something necessary in today's baseball that the Rays rotation would benefit from, due to the profile of pitchers that the team has such as Taj Bradley, Shane Baz, or the recently acquired Ryan Pepiot. Additionally, free agency does not have reliable options with this description, and its financial situation would limit the ability to acquire a value catcher in the trade market.
Because of these reasons and the Mets' ability to take on a large portion of Narvaez's contract for 2024, the fit between these two teams is clear. In this sense, the Mets have two courses of action. First, assume a large part of the contract to get a young and controllable reliever or take less financial risk and acquire a middle veteran reliever.
In the first option, the Mets could look at MLB-ready talent reliever Yoniel Curet, the number 22 prospect in the Rays organization. Curet, just 21 years old, has an electric fastball that touches 98 mph and a slider that has generated an elite amount of swing and miss in his time in the minors but has a weakness in his control, generating a high percentage of walks.
In the hypothetical case that the Mets only want to take a part of Narvaez's contract, the return value would decrease, and they could instead get veteran and less controllable relief options such as Tyler Alexander or Chris Devenski. In both cases, the Mets would be getting middle relievers with the ability to generate outs and a reasonable swing-and-miss percentage.