The Braves have signed veteran catcher Travis d’Arnaud on a 2-year deal worth $16M, the club announced on Sunday afternoon. He will presumably form a platoon with Tyler Flowers behind the plate.
d’Arnaud, 30, began 2019 with the Mets, then spent a few weeks with the Dodgers and then found his groove with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .263/.323/.459 with a 107 wRC+, 16 homers and 1.8 WAR across 92 games and 365 plate appearances.
Defensively, he is regarded as pretty average defensively and in terms of pitch framing (ranked 70th out of 113 eligible catchers last season).
It’s a low-risk, low-ceiling move for the Braves, who have surprisingly been very active on the free agent market this month. That said, once Yasmani Grandal signed with the White Sox this past week, there were just a handful of decent catchers available. The money ($8M AAV) seems a tad high, but it’s probably nothing to lose sleep over.
The Braves’ payroll likely sits around $115M or so after today’s signing. They still need to find a third baseman, at least one starting pitcher and perhaps more.
More to come.