LA Angels: Trading for Omar Narvaez Could Make Offense Elite
While free agency news remains quiet on the LA Angels front, a report over the weekend stating Mariners’ catcher Omar Narvaez is available via trade should warrant the Halos’ interest.
Last season, the LA Angels saw a revolving door at the catcher position. No one was able to earn a full-time role on the team. Going into 2020, the in-house options are Max Stassi and Kevan Smith. Smith is a near-zero on defense, while the same can be said for Stassi in the batter’s box. Outside of starting pitching, catcher is the one true need this Halo team has, and Omar Narvaez could be the answer Billy Eppler is looking for.
For nearly two decades, the Angels have preferred defensive-minded catchers over solid bats. While that philosophy has it’s advantages, a truly elite hitter as a team’s catcher is one of the best advantages in sports. And for the past three seasons, Narvaez has posted a 115 wRC+.
More from Halo Hangout
- New York Post columnist has LA Angels bringing veteran starter back to LA
- Dodgers make wild mistake signing failed LA Angels starter
- Why LA Angels’ Qualifying Offer to Raisel Iglesias could become historical
- Both Gold Glove finalists for LA Angels getting snubbed is a complete joke
- Marcus Stroman definitely appears to be interested in the LA Angels
That number is second best in the entire MLB over that span of time. The only man in front of him is Yasmani Grandal, who just inked a 4-year, $73 million contract. While Grandal is an elite defensive catcher as well as a great hitter, it still goes to show how valuable an exceptional offensive catcher is.
And while the White Sox are paying Grandal big money, Narvaez won’t hit free agency for three years. Should the Angels trade for him, it’d be a team-friendly wage that Narvaez is playing under. That only adds to his trade value, as Seattle seems to be getting closer and closer to dealing the career .276 hitter.
Adding Narvaez would give the Angels great hitting throughout their lineup. Sure, he’s a reliability when it comes to throwing out runners, but the value in his bat far outweighs his poor performance behind the plate.
His fit is practically seamless. Smith and Stassi would have to compete for a roster spot, but no matter who wins, Narvaez fits alongside them. If the Angels want a defense/offense combo, Stassi and Narvaez are ideal options. Want two great hitters playing catcher? Smith is a career .304 hitter against lefties, while Narvaez sports a career .287 mark against right-handed pitchers. He would fit in perfectly, no matter who the Halos keep alongside him.
The cost for Narvaez will be interesting to figure out. Even though he’s an elite hitting catcher, he is still one sided. However, the three years of control only add more to his value. It’s an interesting case, but the Angels won’t have to part ways with one of their top prospects in order to land Narvaez.
A deal focused around Jaime Barria could get the deal done, as Seattle needs young, cost-controlled arms as they continue their rebuild. This trade would take the Angels’ offense into the upper-tier of American League lineups, and some big splashes in free agency could make them a legit contender.