This decision figures to conclude what has largely been a disappointing New York tenure for d’Arnaud, a Met since they acquired him in a 2013 blockbuster with the Blue Jays. Then among baseball’s elite prospects, d’Arnaud was one of the key pieces of the Mets’ return for knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who also netted them right-hander Noah Syndergaard. Unlike Syndergaard, though, d’Arnaud hasn’t blossomed into a high-end major leaguer.
While d’Arnaud impressed early as a Met, combining for 6.1 fWAR and a .252/.317/.442 line with 25 home runs in 689 plate appearances from 2014-15, his numbers have fallen off since then. Dating back to 2016, d’Arnaud has slashed .239/.292/.381 with 21 HRs and 2.6 fWAR in 693 PA, thanks in part to a slew of injuries. The 30-year-old has missed at least 50 games in each of his seasons, including all but four contests in a 2018 campaign that was ruined by Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
On the heels of that procedure, the Mets and rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen turned elsewhere for a starting catcher this past offseason. The club signed Wilson Ramos to a two-year, $19MM contract, which could have made d’Arnaud expendable on a team that also had Nido and the since-traded Kevin Plawecki at the time. The Mets kept d’Arnaud around at a now-guaranteed $3.515MM salary in his final year of arbitration eligibility, though, but decided to cut him after he opened the season with just two hits (both singles) in 25 plate appearances.
The Mets will owe d’Arnaud approximately $2.955MM if someone doesn’t take him off their hands, Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, though it’s possible a trade will come together if his potential tantalizes a club. After all, d’Arnaud was reasonably productive during his previous season, 2017, and has earned solid marks behind the plate during his career.