Since Travis d'Arnaud was acquired by the Mets in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, it has been assumed that the top catching prospect would being the year in Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets made that all but official today, as d'Arnaud was sent to minor league camp.
John Buck will be the Mets' catcher on Opening Day, though Sandy Alderson indicated d'Arnaud would be first in line in the event that Buck gets injured. By sending d'Arnaud to the minors to begin the year, the Mets will gain a year of control on him. If they keep him in the minors until mid-June, they'll stand to save a significant amount of money because of baseball's Super Two rules.
In addition to d'Arnaud, the Mets sent a few other players down. Brandon Hicks was outrighted, while Andrew Brown, Jamie Hoffman, Brian Bixler, and Aaron Laffey were reassigned to minor league camp.