It’s common knowledge the Mets are dangling their back-up catchers in an effort to shore up other areas of their roster, the bullpen and outfield at the top of their holiday wish list.
Travis D’Arnaud, though, may find himself out of the rumor mill.
The catcher avoided arbitration on Saturday, signing a new one-year deal with the Mets worth $3.515M, the Daily News confirmed. It’s a slight pay increase from the $3.475 million D’Arnaud made last season.
Once considered the premiere piece headed back to the Mets in the 2012 R.A. Dickey trade, D’Arnaud, 29, will serve as back-up to recent free agent signing Wilson Ramos this coming season.
The club signed Ramos to a two-year deal worth $19 million last week as the two-time all-star and former Mets killer will be counted on to boost the club’s putrid offensive numbers from behind the plate.
Last season, Mets catchers — d’Arnaud, Kevin Plawecki, Tomas Nido, Jose Lobaton and Devin Mesoraco — were the third-worst offensive catching unit in the National League, hitting a combined .208 with 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 162 games.
The injury-prone D’Arnaud didn’t shoulder much of the blame as he missed all but four games following Tommy John surgery. In 2017, D’Arnaud slashed 244/2.93/.443/.735 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI in 112 games.
The 29-year-old also offers versatility, as general manager Brodie Van Wagenen made mention of during Ramos’ introductory press conference last week, having logged innings in the infield during his time with the Mets.
While Van Wagenen said he was open to the idea of going with three catchers, Plawecki could find himself to be the odd man out as the agent-turned-GM continues his roster makeover.
Van Wagenen, of course, has already brought in Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia in addition to Ramos this offseason, among other moves, and has more work to do to fulfil his prophecy that the Mets are the team to beat in the NL East next season.
Plawecki, 27, slashed .210/.315/.370/.685 in 79 games last season and is also eligible for arbitration.
Though it might not get that far.