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.
Changes afoot. Travis d’Arnaud being fitted for #Dodgers cap in clubhouse now. Released by Mets earlier this week.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 5, 2019
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.
Dave Roberts said they wanted another right-handed bat and will also use d’Arnaud in the infield and outfield.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 5, 2019
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.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) May 5, 2019
Welcome to the team, Travis!
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) May 5, 2019
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