The benefits of keeping around the obvious Mets trade candidate they never sold

We hope to see him as little as possible regardless of those benefits.
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets - Game One
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets - Game One / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Once the plan for the New York Mets became clear for the 2024 season, those big blockbuster trade ideas seemed to fade out. The Mets weren’t going to deal Pete Alonso. They weren’t even going to subtract Jose Quintana. They locked themselves into a short-term goal of competing in 2024 without much thought into everything they’ll need to add for 2025.

An obvious trade candidate on the roster remained throughout the offseason and still should be on the trade block. Catcher Omar Narvaez and the perplexing player option the Mets agreed to hand him for the 2024 season keeps him around for another year. Although now the backup to Francisco Alvarez, having Narvaez around has its benefits.

Omar Narvaez is a much better catcher safety net than Tomas Nido could be

Debating over who calls a better game or plays the better defense at catcher between Narvaez and Tomas Nido is like getting into a fight over what shade of blue the sky is. Neither have particularly high expectations for the coming year.

Nido is a prototypical backup catcher while Narvaez profiled more as a platoon player before joining the Mets. After last season, there is no shared time. Alvarez should play five or six times a week. We’ll see Narvaez only when Alvarez needs to rest his legs or worse—gets hurt.

Alvarez managed to stay as healthy as a catcher can be last year. Though battered, he didn’t hit the IL. We can consider ourselves lucky if he’s able to fight off the same consequences of handling such a brutal position again in 2024. This time, he’ll be there from start to finish on the major league roster.

In the past, we’ve witnessed how bad it can be when the Mets lose their starting catchers. Not an uncommon problem, the reason it matters is how important their catcher is to the success of the offense. Other teams will punt offensive production from the position. Not these Mets.

Over the long haul of a season and with the way the Mets are built relying on a big year from Alvarez, his absence is not something they can necessarily afford. Losing his bat in the lineup is detrimental. The potential to be the solution behind Pete Alonso in the lineup this year is something they cannot afford to lose.

Narvaez’s ceiling will have you ducking. Nido’s will have you in a crawl.

Given the choice between the two, Narvaez is far more likely to be a satisfactory answer as the everyday catcher in case of an emergency. Even as a part-timer, there is a chance for him to be more than an automatic out. The same cannot be said of Nido.