Atlanta, Ga – While most folks are gearing up for a few days off around Thanksgiving, there’s no such thing when you work in baseball. For Alex Anthopoulos, he stayed busy on Sunday, signing 30 year old catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a two year, $16 million dollar deal to help fill another major area of need for the 2020 Braves. d’Arnaud split time between the Mets, Dodgers and Rays last season, combining to hit .251 with 16 homers, 69 RBI and a .745 OPS in 103 games. 92 of those 103 games came in Tampa where he hit .263 with all 16 of his long balls coming in a Rays uniform.
On Sunday evening, Alex Anthopoulos held a conference call where he praised d’Arnaud’s ability to show power to all fields, along with being a great leader off the field. In addition, d’Arnaud has a reputation of calling a good game behind the plate, having worked extensively with two time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom during his seven seasons as a member of the New York Mets.
As I alluded to a couple weeks back when Will Smith was signed, I fully expect Alex and company to be extremely aggressive when it comes to making this club better this offseason. The improvements to the bullpen are a sign that this team is poised to do big things over the coming months to once again help this team defend the NL East. Now that the bullpen has been sured up and both catchers are in place, expect to see the Braves heavily involved in the starting pitching market. I’d be shocked if Madison Bumgarner or Zack Wheeler aren’t in an Atlanta uniform when the team oepsn camp in less than three months.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and @BravesRadioNet