Mets Cut Ties with Controversial Reliever, Ex-All-Star Catcher

Mets shake up roster, release two veteran players.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Mets Cut Ties with Controversial Reliever, Ex-All-Star Catcher
© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The New York Mets have officially parted ways with veteran catcher Omar Narvaez and right-handed pitcher Jorge Lopez, both of whom were recently designated for assignment. In corresponding moves, the Mets have promoted catcher Joe Hudson from Triple-A Syracuse and placed right-hander Shintaro Fujinami on the 60-day injured list to clear a roster spot.

Hudson is expected to join the team as an extra player for their upcoming London Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Narvaez, 32, was in the second year of a two-year, $15 million contract he signed prior to the 2023 season.

Despite a lacklustre performance with the Mets, where he hit just .154/.191/.185 in 69 plate appearances this year, Narvaez had a commendable history with previous teams. Between 2018 and 2022, he maintained a .254/.337/.397 batting line across stints with the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Milwaukee Brewers, even earning an All-Star selection in 2021 with Milwaukee.

Despite his recent struggles, teams in need of catching depth like the Miami Marlins or Chicago Cubs, might see value in his prior achievements and veteran experience.

Lopez's Controversial Exit

On the other hand, Jorge Lopez's tenure with the Mets concluded amid controversy.

Following a frustrating performance, Lopez dramatically threw his glove into the stands, a move that sparked widespread discussion. Post-game, Lopez, who hails from Puerto Rico, expressed no regret for his actions, which he attributed to being "the worst teammate." His remarks were clouded by a language barrier, as he spoke without an interpreter, leading to some confusion over whether he referred to himself or called the Mets the "worst team." Lopez's situation was further complicated by personal challenges, including his young son's critical health condition and his own battles with anxiety, which previously necessitated a stint on the injured list.

Despite these troubles, Lopez showed potential on the mound, posting a 3.76 ERA over 26 1/3 innings this season, although his strikeout and walk rates suggested room for improvement. Both Narvaez and Lopez are now free agents and can be signed for just the prorated league minimum, with the Mets responsible for the remainder of their salaries.

While their departures mark the end of challenging chapters with the Mets, their availability may offer other teams an opportunity to tap into their experience under new circumstances.