Travis d’Arnaud provided an enormous boost in the Rays’ run to the ALDS last season, and though d’Arnaud is a free agent, the relationship between the catcher and his former team may not yet be a thing of the past. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that d’Arnaud and the Rays “remain in talks” about a potential new contract.
After being cast off by both the Mets and Dodgers last May, d’Arnaud got his career back on track over 92 games and 365 plate appearances in Tampa. D’Arnaud hit .263/.323/.459 with 16 homers in a Rays uniform and also managed to stay healthy, which is no small feat considering his injury-plagued history. It was enough for MLBTR to rank d’Arnaud as the second-best catcher available in this year’s free agent market (and 26th overall on our list of the top 50 free agents), with a projected contract of two years and $14MM.
Now that Yasmani Grandal has made an unexpectedly early exit from the market, however, d’Arnaud’s stock could very well rise. Grandal signed a four-year, $73MM deal with the White Sox, a team that wasn’t seen as one of the prime candidates to pursue catching since James McCann was already on the roster. That leaves the most catcher-needy teams (such as the Brewers, Rangers, Angels, Astros, Reds, Nationals, Braves, and Rays) all still looking for help behind the plate.
It doesn’t necessarily bode well for the Rays if the d’Arnaud market turns into a bidding war, though it’s probably a stretch to imagine his price getting unusually high given his age (31 on Opening Day) and the long list of injuries on his resume. If the Rays truly feel that d’Arnaud just needed a change of scenery away from New York and can now enjoy a fairly stable playing career, they might feel inclined to go slightly beyond their usual financial comfort zone in the name of finally solidifying their longstanding issues at catcher, and because Tampa Bay is intent on making a deeper postseason run in 2020. Until d’Arnaud is actually signed to another team, it certainly makes sense for the Rays to keep the lines of communication open between the two sides to see if an acceptable price point can be found.
The Rays do have in-house catching options in Mike Zunino and Michael Perez, though Zunino’s struggles in 2019 paved the way for d’Arnaud to assume everyday duties. Zunino is also projected to earn $4.9MM in arbitration this winter, and he has often been mentioned as a non-tender candidate unless the Rays were to decide they didn’t have any better options. As Topkin notes, a decision one way or the other from d’Arnaud prior to the December 2 non-tender deadline would at least give Tampa a bit more time to decide whether to stick with Zunino or look elsewhere at catcher (or, the team could non-tender Zunino and try to re-sign him at a lower price).
I like it. Get it done.
3/36 at best. If hebwants more then TB move on.
3/36 would be a coup for D’arnaud. I wouldn’t go that high. 2/22 would be my max on a 31 year old catcher who has been anything but consistent.
that’s like, what league average guys SHOULD be getting, if profits were evenly spread among the players compared to the massive profits raked in by billionaire owners, but his production wasn’t that good and players who put up numbers like he had last year usually get 1/6 or thereabouts.
Blah Blah Blah Billionaire owners Blah Blah Blah
Love average schmoes who admire billionaires, guys who would cut your pay, fire you, and strip your assets if given half a chance. They’re not job creators, they’re job killers. I worked with wealthy people all my life as an executive. I know. They don’t earn it, they take it. Go ahead and admire them, sucker!
so your saying guys like Bill Gates and Mark Cuban didnt earn their money? Came from nothing, had an idea and worked it and made their money and still working it.
The ones that are old money and had money their entire lives are not the ones I admire.
@Mo: Wow. Who pee’d in your cornflakes?
dynamite drop in monty
Dynamite drop in
Travis D’arnaud is going to create a lot of jobs if you give him 36 million instead of 16 isn’t he?
Did you say anything at all? No. Neither did S4. Which is typical. Just generic complaining about billionaire comments.
Bill Gates got his money by making it illegal to not turn your computer on without paying him a tax. He killed off free software. He took a thing with the highest ceiling possible (software design) and stuck one on it.
Every billionaire represents a policy failure by a politician. There is zero good from having a billion dollars. We need to make it illegal to have that much money.
Mo4ever please never stop posting
Guys who complain with no figures to back anything up. Are just that. Whiny clueless individuals. It was pretty clear your pal Mo made a comment about creating jobs. And Please don’t refer to others as morons. You’ve said enough moronic stuff on here to write a book.
If the players want more money, they need to negotiate a better CBA.
I don’t care about Millionaires or Billionaires. I just want to watch some baseball. Please leave the politics and wealth tax and socialism out of it.
Yes, but given the price per WAR, his 1.0 in 2018, & a 3rd deal it configured to be around value. Also, put into play hes now the best cather on the market.
Good call on him being the only FA C who can be a regular guy and not kill you.
Gotta wonder if this situation raises Pedro Severino’s trade value, he’s almost exactly the same player as D’Arnaud but cheaper and younger, and the Orioles have plenty of in house options along with Adley on the way.
MLBTR has him getting a 2 year at $7M AAV and they are usually pretty bullish when it comes to what these guys make. I think they have Cole on a $256 million contract which I doubt he will get. I think darnaud gets much closer to 2 years at $7m per than 3 years at $12m per. I hope the Braves sign him on a 2 year deal now that Grandal is off the market. Otherwise they will have to go after Castro or some other trade target. I don’t want a super long term deal because they have Williams Contreras and Shea Langoliers in the minors. Maybe the Cubs would consider trading Wilson Contreras for his younger, cheaper brother and another prospect? What do y’all think. Williams Contreras is considered to be a good catching prospect and most likely the next impactful one the Braves bring up.
Oh wow. As soon as I finished that comment I got the news that the Braves just signed darnaud to a 2 year $16 million contract. Good choice. So much for the trade swapping the Contreras brothers. Who is the best free agent catcher now? I keep hearing Castro’s name. Is he a free agent? If so, why does MLBTR have him ranked behind darnaud.
Guess you were just a bit off.
D’arnaud wasn;t very good when he was with the Mets, and was only good for a short period with the Rays. He could be a flash in the pan I wouldn’t give him the money especially the Rays who can’t afford for him to be bad.
Yeah there is definitely a lot of risk. The problem for the Rays is Zunino was terrible so they may need to take some risk to have a catcher that isn’t an automatic out.
Said every mets fan of D’arnauld for what 5 year 6 years? Its the reason the mets had a carousel of catchers when D was here for pretty much his whole stay. I dont expect him to play even half a season playing at catcher (either by injury or the amount or rest he will need). He has only played more than 80 games 3 out of 6 full season. I think his first year he was a late callup but wouldnt surprised if he was on DL to begin that season as well.
2/$12M plus a $6M option with a $2M buyout.
Completely forgot about Zunino. What a brutal year.
The Rays would be best served to let d’Arnaund go elsewhere. I highly doubt he repeats his performance and it is very likely he reverts back to the player he was with the Mets.
dynamite drop in monty
D’Arnaud for a 2yr/$14-18mil deal + option would not he a bad contract for either side. Castro is definitely option #1 if D’Arnaud is not resigned or his price tag goes above that mentioned arc. Zunino is definitely a high non tender if either moves happens.
if you are saying 14-18 total i agree thats about right considering the risk reward. But because he is catcher you know some team will blow that away.
Yet another situation that just screams BLAKE SWIHART……
Lol DArnaud is better than Swihart
Chris the Great
Braves get him for 2 yrs $16m. A little higher than projected, but they had to to pay to land a C to go with Flowers.
Zunino had a terrible season and he is projected to get a
$700,000 raise!!?? There is something terribly wrong with the arbitration system! Have
pay cuts been outlawed!!??
I’m 3 for 7 right now … rip
Rays will sign Austin Romine (Yankees back up catcher and free agent).
News flash, talks have stopped
Lol well they might be talking still, but it isn’t about being a Ray lol
Love that comment. Hope d’Arnaud has finally figured it out. How to stay healthy and how to stay productive. Good luck to him. And Romine to the Rays, maybe.
Thought TB would resign Travis.. so much for that lol