X-Ray Travis d’Arnaud

Word at the end of the season was that the Rays wanted to re-sign catcher d’Arnaud.  It was understandable too, as he played well in his partial season as a Ray.  He hit 16 homers and slashed .263/.323/.459 in 92 games, good for a 117 OPS+.  He came cheap, too, and the Rays like that. He had started the season inauspiciously for the Mets, got released, got picked up by the Dodgers, only got in one game, and then got sent to the Rays for $100K.

As stated above, the Rays wanted to keep him…but apparently not for $16M over the next two years…to which the Braves signed him today. That, too, is understandable.  That OPS+ of 117 with the Rays I mentioned compares to a career OPS+ at 96.  The last time he hit as well as he did in his time with the Rays was in 2015, and thus some regression is likely. He has also been in MLB since 2013 and unfortunately played over 100 games in a season only 3 times due to multiple injuries.

Still, it left the Rays in a quandary about the catcher position.  They addressed part of it today—they had until Dec 2 to decide whether to sign or nontender  Mike Zunino, who’s been good behind the plate but is not a good hitter.  They signed him for one year at $4.5M with an option. It remains to be seen if they will sign a free agent, trade for a veteran, or promote Michael Perez.  Perez is on the 40 man roster currently, hit .259/.347/.497 with 13 homers in the minors.

The Braves, in signing d’Arnaud, have replaced the now retired Brian McCann.

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