Travis d'Arnaud's Biggest Liability Was His Unavailability
New York Mets: Brodie Van Wagenen DFA's Once Prized Minor League Acquisition Travis d'Arnaud.
One thing the Mets can never be accused of is treating Travis d'Arnaud unfairly. His spot behind the plate after each and every one of his ongoing injuries was always there awaiting his return. In fact, I believe the Mets have been exceedingly patient with their once prized acquisition. Considering they've been at this since 2013, I'll even go so far as saying the Mets went above and beyond in their efforts at placing him in a position to succeed.
But the time had ultimately come to part ways, and not just because BVW signed free agent Wilson Ramos. Unfortunately, d'Arnaud's body continues to fail him. Fluke injuries are one thing but his chronic string of bad luck is something more ponderous. In the end his inability to stay on the field due to an unfortunate propensity for injury just proved too problematic for both him and the Mets - this year included.
When healthy he demonstrated much promise with a bat throughout his career. Although going 2 for 23 in ten games this season perhaps helped seal his fate. Travis d'Arnaud defenders will also point out his ability to frame pitches - something of which I believe is wholly inconsequential when pitchers would just rather not pitch to him. Truth be told, he was already a defensive liability. More so if his throwing ability hasn't been satisfactorily restored after Tommy John surgery.
Devin Mesoraco last season earned his way into the staff's graces through his receiving skills, not for an ability to influence umpires with snapshots. Pitchers need confidence in their catchers. They want supreme receivers - someone they can trust with a purposeful pitch in the dirt. None of which accurately describe d'Arnaud. His lazy backhand stabs at errant pitches absolutely infuriate me. Moreover, all one had to do was count how many times pitchers shook him off to know he lacked sync with a majority of the starting staff.
Both media and a large pocket of fans have long lobbied for his release. Yet, the club to their credit afforded him one last opportunity, and he failed the test - key word being, afforded. They signed him for $3.52 million this past off-season, and fans nor the media understand why. For a team with more money problems than the MTA, they essentially set fire to $3.52 million dollars that could have otherwise been better spent. Their mishandling of Devin Mesoraco (IMO) only exasperates the matter.
Yeah, they blew it ...
But let's also keep things in context. This is a low kiloton event, comparatively speaking. After all, we're haranguing over a backup catcher. I do not believe Travis d'Arnaud is being scapegoated like some in the media are portraying. The Mets are merely eliminating a liability from behind the plate, and in doing so improving the Mets 25-man roster and their pitching staff's level of comfort.
I have no qualms moving forward with Tomas Nido, or even welcoming back Rene Rivera. Both are quality receivers, something I prioritize over hitting where it concerns backstops.