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Dodgers Sign Catcher Travis d’Arnaud

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 21: Travis d'Arnaud #18 of the New York Mets throws the ball against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 21, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Dodgers have signed veteran catcher Travis D’Arnaud to a one-year major league contract, and he has joined the team in San Diego. Jorge Castillo of the LA Times first reported d’Arnaud was in the Dodgers clubhouse.

d’Arnaud, a 30-year-old, right-handed hitter from Long Beach, was designated for assignment by the New York Mets on April 28 and then released on May 3. Joel Sherman reported the Dodgers talked to the Mets about a deal for d’Arnaud in the off-season.

To make room on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned Matt Beaty back to AAA Oklahoma City. Before the signing, the Dodgers had 38 players on their 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is needed to add him.

The versatility of Austin Barnes and Russell Martin will allow them to carry three catchers on the active roster but the Dodgers also plan on using d’Arnaud in the infield and outfield, according to Castill0.

d’Arnaud, mostly known for his strong defense, is a career .242/.303/.401 hitter with 47 home runs and a 94 wRC+ in 1,494 plate appearances. He also has 8.9 career wins above replacement. This season, he was hitting .087/.160/.087 in 25 plate appearances to go along with a -0.3 WAR.

He missed most of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery after four games. In 2017, he was nearly a two-win player while hitting .244/.293/.443. He was ninth in framing during that season with 11.2.

While he likely won’t break out and become their starter, the Dodgers likely see d’Arnaud as a cheap upgrade on the 40-man roster over Rocky Gale. Small improvements, whenever possible, can go a long way and the depth comes in handy during a long season.

Welcome to the team, Travis!

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Written by Blake Williams

I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles Pierce College and now I'm working towards my Bachelor's at Cal State University, Northridge. I'm currently the managing editor for the Roundup News and a writer for Dodgers Nation. Around the age of 12, I fell in love with baseball and in high school, I realized my best path to working in baseball was as a writer, so that's the path I followed. I also like to bring an analytics viewpoint to my work and I'm always willing to help someone understand them since so many people have done the same for me. Thanks for reading!

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  1. This guy was 2 for 23 with the Mets. Matt Beaty, whom they sent down to make room for him, was 2 for 3 while he was here. They say he is a cheap upgrade to Rocky Gale….I will give them that.

    • It’s very simple here, Dodgers wanted a RH bat on the active roster. Even though right now Bellinger, Verdugo and to a point, Muncy are doing well enough against LHP, the Dodgers, as was pointed out were and maybe still are vulnerable in the later innings with being able to combat the opposing team’s moves. When a lefty starts against the Dodgers it appears all the RH bats available are starting, and if that leaves only lefty bats on the bench, it’s obvious that teams will load up with lefty relievers and Dodgers thus have no real answer at this point. Things can change, however.

      • Getting a right handed bat that is has a hole in it isn’t much of an upgrade. 2 for 23 so far and the injury matter maybe means the Dodgers tried to get this guy in a trade and just stuck with that thinking irrespective of where the guy is this year. I don’t share enthusiasm for this move and regret that Beatty was the player who moved down to make room. Don’t get it, don’t like it, but hope to be proved wrong.

        Now, shifting gears, what’s up with Kelly?

        • Skoon……I am with you……….what good is a right handed bat that does not hit?………Beatty was contributing……..he did not get many opportunities, he had not been here much more than a week……..but he had two hits already, one of them in a crucial situation. He hits……that is why they called him up…….that much was obvious.

          • Concur here, either a RH or LH bat that can hit of course would be preferable. Teams do play the percentages often times but in any event, it was really Bob Garren the bench coach that has pushed to get Dodgers to bring Travis on board.

  2. Just what we need, a third catcher who can’t hit his weight. We are really trying to cement the worst catching in mlb. I posted at the start of the season we had the worst hitting catchers in the league. Some guys said no, look at Pechora. I said I’m looking at the players, not speculation. Now we have maybe gotten even worse.

  3. Before Gary Granade made a post I was going to ask Dodger fans how they feel or if they even care about the D’arnaud signing. Like Gary stated, Beaty who was 2 for3 when he was with the Dodgers. Roberts stated he “wanted another right-handed bat, but will use D’arnaud in the outfield and infield.” Is it asking too much to stop getting players with health issues e.g. Pollack(elbow infection), D’arnaud(tommy-john surgery), the pitchers on the Dodgers?? Seager is Not Seager-like since coming back from tommy-john and hip surgeries.

      • It is an upgrade over the dreaded Rocky Gale, who is also a light hitting RH batting catcher. But as long as Martin is healthy he is not needed. I wanted to see more of Beaty.

  4. Stupid move he’s no better than Martin and certainly not Barnes. Looks like these guys will be getting shafted with the AB’s now that this unnecessary 3rd catcher will be here at some point

  5. Oh and not to mention Beatty gets sent down for this non sense after actually earning his way up. Must be maddening to be in this organization unless you’re a prospect like Pederson Seager Bellinger and Verdugo were.

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