The New York Mets have officially released Travis d’Arnaud, bringing an end to his seven-year stint as their catcher. The news comes after the club designated d’Arnaud for assignment on April 28. The Mets are now on the hook for the entirety of his $3.515 million salary.
The 30-year-old catcher was the centerpiece of the R.A. Dickey trade that also netted veteran catcher John Buck and prospects Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra following the 2012 season. At the time, d’Arnaud was one of, if not, the top catching prospect in the game and came with lofty expectations, and he debuted for the club on August 17, 2013. He finished seventh in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2014.
Injuries hindered d’Arnaud from realizing his full potential. Over his seven seasons with the team, he only appeared in 100 or more games just twice (2014 and 2017). In 1,360 at-bats , d’Arnaud posted a .242/.303/.401 slash line with 47 home runs, a 94 wRC+, and an 8.9 fWAR. He appeared in just four games last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April.
Even with the prospect of d’Arnaud missing time following the surgery, the club opted to tender him a contract and trade Kevin Plawecki to the Cleveland Indians over the offseason. The Mets had the option of releasing d’Arnaud in spring training and only being on the hook for 30 days’ termination pay or 45 days’ termination pay, but they opted to keep him.
He missed the first week of the season and eventually made his debut on April 7, but he never got it going. In 25 plate appearances in 2019, he picked up two hits and drove in two runs. Defensively, he posted a -1 DRS and allowed four stolen bases in six attempts. The club will proceed with Tomas Nido as their primary backup, with Rene Rivera in Triple-A Syracuse as a veteran option.