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Brewers acquire catcher Omar Narváez from the Mariners

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Milwaukee Brewers are close to acquiring catcher Omar Narváez from the Mariners in a trade. The deal is not yet done, but Rosenthal says that Seattle will receive at least one minor leaguer in exchange.

Narváez, who will turn 28 just before pitchers and catchers report, would fill the hole left by the departure of Yasmani Grandal. At least on offense, that is, as Narváez hit a pretty sweet .278/.353/.460 (120 OPS+) with 22 homers in 132 games last season. The year before, in 97 games, he posted an OPS+ of 119 and he has been an above average offensive catcher for his entire four-season big league career.

He is a pretty dang limited defensive catcher, however, and that may be putting it kindly. He’s below average in throwing out baserunners, allows a lot of passed balls and wild pitches — which, despite being charged to the pitcher are quite often the fault of the catcher as well — and he has poor pitch-blocking and pitch-framing numbers. There’s a reason he appeared as a DH in 22 games last year.

Still, given that the Brewers’ current catching depth chart is 1. Manny Piña; and 2. No one, it’s a pretty decent pickup for Milwaukee.

 

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.