SF Giants considered All-Star catcher in offseason where they quietly looked for upgrades behind the plate

Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers
Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

The SF Giants just added veteran catcher Roberto Pérez on a minor league deal, but they were involved with another catcher this offseason as well. Actually, they were involved with a few catchers including Sean Murphy and Gary Sánchez. Will Sammon of The Athletic (subscription required) detailed Omar Narváez's trip through free agency and confirmed that the Giants strongly considered the left-handed-hitting catcher.

SF Giants considered All-Star catcher in offseason where they quietly looked for upgrades behind the plate

The Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and the Cincinnati Reds had interest in Narváez as well. Former top pick Joey Bart is penciled in as the team's starting catcher, but it is interesting how quietly active San Francisco was on the catcher market.

Bart's 2022 campaign was a mixed bag as he slashed .215/.296/.364 (86 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 25 RBI, and 34 runs in 291 plate appearances. There were moments where it looked like things were beginning to click at the plate, but he struggled with consistency.

On the defensive end, Bart's graded out as a below-average receiver according to Baseball Prospectus as he was worth -3.2 Catcher Defensive Adjustment (CDA). Framing was his biggest issue.

The addition of Pérez gives the Giants a two-time Gold Glove winner at catcher, but it is fair to wonder how the front office views Bart at this point. He was drafted by the previous regime and it is hard to ignore the fact that the Giants have been involved with several quality backstops like Narváez.

The 30-year-old catcher registered a .206/.292/.305 line (71 OPS+) with four homers, 23 RBI, and 21 runs in 296 plate appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers. However, he is one year removed from posting a 101 OPS+ with 11 home runs in 445 plate appearances while earning his first All-Star selection.

Narváez has a track record as a hitter and has shown improvement defensively as well. He fits what the Giants like in a hitter in that he has a solid 10.7 percent walk rate against a 19.0 percent strikeout rate in seven major league seasons. He has a patient approach and good contact skills.

Of course, the left-handed bat did not end up with the Giants as he signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the New York Mets. This includes a $7 million player option for 2024.

Nevertheless, the Giants want to see what Bart can do but they have quietly pursued upgrades as well behind the plate. The addition of Narváez would have given the Giants a natural platoon complement to Bart, but Bart is expected to receive the majority of the playing time behind the dish in 2023.