The Mets have released catcher Travis d’Arnaud, according to the MLB.com transactions page. He had been designated for assignment recently.
This goes down as one of the stranger transactional approaches in recent memory. The Mets somewhat surprisingly tendered d’Arnaud a contract, agreeing to a $3.515MM salary. Then the team elected to hang onto him and fully guarantee that amount after watching him in camp. Now, just over a month into the season, d’Arnaud is out the door. He’ll be paid in full by the Mets, though that amount would be offset by any MLB earnings (at the league-minimum rate) with another organization.
Injuries have thrown off a once-promising career path for the 30-year-old. Most recently, he worked back from Tommy John surgery that wiped out most of his 2018 season. He has had his share of success — in particular, a .268/.340/.485 stretch of hitting over 268 plate appearances in 2015 — but just hasn’t been consistent or consistently available.
The Mets had hopes that d’Arnaud would be able to rebound and at least discover the solid form he showed in 2017. But the club changed its assessment after watching ten games and 25 plate appearances of action over which the backstop recorded two singles and two walks while striking out five times.
To an extent, the move represents a vote of confidence in Tomas Nido, who has come up to become the primary backup to Wilson Ramos. Nido has yet to show that he’s capable of even palatable hitting in the big leagues, though he’s regarded as a quality defender.
It’s a bit of a risk given Ramos’s health issues and the uncertainty that comes with Nido, though there are some alternatives. Veteran Rene Rivera is on hand at Triple-A, which is a nice insurance policy. The Mets still control the rights to Devin Mesoraco, though he’s not active after he and the club failed to see eye to eye over the unwritten terms of their minor-league deal.