Narvaez went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a walk in Thursday's spring game against the Reds. Narvaez has seen steady playing time this spring and has reached base five times in 15 plate appearances over six games. He is set to open the season as the Brewers' primary catcher, but he will cede at least some starts and at-bats to Manny Pina when the Brewers face left-handed starters and/or manager Craig Counsell wants Pina's superior defense behind the plate.
Narvaez signed a one-year, $2.725 million deal with the Brewers on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. The 27-year-old was acquired by the Brewers from the Mariners in early December and is now officially under contract with his new team. Narvaez should serve as the team's primary catcher in 2020, though his heavy career splits (.836 OPS vs. RHP and .699 OPS vs. LHP) will likely allow Manny Pina to earn regular starts against southpaws.
Narvaez was traded to the Brewers from the Mariners on Thursday in exchange for right-hander Adam Hill and a competitive balance draft pick, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The Brewers appear to have found their new primary catcher after losing Yasmani Grandal to free agency this offseason. Narvaez saw an increased role in his first season with the Mariners last year. He performed well at the plate, hitting .278/.353/.460 with 22 home runs over 132 games. While the 27-year-old showed that he is able to handle a heavy workload and is a quality offensive option at the position, he does not grade out well defensively, so he should see a modest downturn in playing time now that he is on a team with playoff aspirations. The left-handed hitter has stark career splits (99 wRC+ against LHP, 116 wRC+ against RHP), so Manny Pina, who is a superior defender, should start against most southpaws.
Narvaez is not in the lineup Friday against Oakland. Narvaez has gone hitless in his last four starts. Tom Murphy gets the call behind the plate Friday.
Narvaez is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Orioles. Narvaez went 12-for-29 (.414) with three homers over his last eight games, but manager Scott Servais decided to hold him out of the lineup Sunday for the second day in a row. Austin Nola will handle the catching duties after Tom Murphy was behind the plate Saturday.