New York Mets: Is Travis d’Arnaud the Answer Behind the Plate?

Feb 23, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A view of the ball bag during spring training at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A view of the ball bag during spring training at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports /

The answer to that question is actually pretty easy. Travis d’Arnaud better be the answer because the New York Mets haven’t done anything about replacing him if he isn’t…..

This could easily turn into another one of my New York Mets front office bashing pieces that write themselves because there’s so much fodder to feed on. But, let’s not go there. Because while it’s apparent that they feel Travis d’Arnaud is their guy, we should maybe take a look at the reasons why they feel that way. And after all, they have to get this one right with all that’s at stake in their upcoming season.

 The Saga Of The Mets And d’Arnaud

So, let’s start at the beginning. Travis d’Arnaud was a first round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007. In December of 2009, he was involved in the trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies and making him a Blue Jay.

It’s not clear when d’Arnaud first appeared on the Mets radar, but we do know that he was a Double-A All Star in 2012 and a Triple-A All Star at Las Vegas in 2012. We also know that in spite of those accomplishments d’Arnaud never had an at bat with the major league club while with Toronto.

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In any event, the Mets swung a deal with the Blue Jays in December 2012 in which d’Arnaud was one of the centerpieces in the deal – the other being the just crowned Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey . A sleeper in the trade was Noah Syndergaard who also came over to the Mets.

Since then, d’Arnaud’s career with the Mets can only be described as one false start after another. True to their belief in his ability, they’ve given him the equivalent of two full seasons in the majors comprising almost 1,000 at bats. Over that span, he has managed a batting average of .245, but more alarmingly has not produced the power numbers the Mets were banking on (30 HR 130 RBI).

And perhaps worst of all, he has not been able to stay on the field for any consistent length of time. In fact, he’s been on the DL four times. And none of the injuries have been knockout punches, making it even more frustrating for everyone.

So it is with that background that the Mets and d’Arnaud come face to face with the 2017 season. For their part, they are counting on him heavily having only journeyman catcher Rene Rivera and untested unproven Kevin Plawecki as backups.

The Mets Appear To Be All In On d’Arnaud

Whether or not the Mets toyed with the idea of adding either free agent Matt Wieters or Brian McCann , who might have been available in a trade with the Yankees, is unknown. But the fact is that they’ve done nothing significant to upgrade the position.

Even more interesting is that the Mets are mum on the whole matter and you can “Google” d’Arnaud for pages and not find one reference to him from the team regarding the upcoming season.

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So is this just another example of the New York Mets procrastination while teams like the Cleveland Indians pass them by , or does the team believe that they’re sitting there with a pat hand, wondering what all the excitement is about. It’d better be the latter because a good portion of their season may be riding on it.