With one move, Atlanta Braves take big step to solidifying near future

Atlanta Braves, Travis d'Arnaud #16 (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Atlanta Braves, Travis d'Arnaud #16 (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

When the Atlanta Braves announced on Friday that the team had inked Travis d’Arnaud to a two-year contract, it was a move that will extend near-term consistency for the Braves while also building a bridge to the future.

d’Arnaud has signed a two-year deal worth $16 million with a club option for 2024 for $8 million as well. The move solidifies Atlanta’s backstop while also making sure that Shea Langeliers, rated as Atlanta’s second-highest prospect in MLB.com’s latest rankings and currently playing at Double-A Mississippi, has time to develop into the catcher of the future for the franchise.

This Atlanta Braves deal with Travis d’Arnaud is the perfect combination of taking care of the present while prepping for the future

Langeliers will now have the time to develop and get plenty of at-bats in Triple-A. While Braves fans are anxious to see what he can do at the Major League level, having the 23-year-old prospect properly prepared and ready to succeed is a key ingredient to his success.

In his first season with the Braves during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, d’Arnaud earned the Silver Slugger award with a .321/.386/.533 with a .919 OPS and 137 OPS+. He also had 10 RBI in 12 postseason games as the Braves advanced to the National League Championship Series.

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While d’Arnaud battled through injuries early this season (being placed on the 60-day injured list in early May after undergoing surgery to repair a ligament injury to his left thumb), he returned to the Atlanta lineup on August 11 and has gone 5-for-21 in five games since his return.

d’Arnaud’s numbers are down this season (.223/.277/.369), but there’s no question that his veteran leadership at the plate and behind it as well is valued by the Braves, a team that is 9-1 in their last 10 games and has surged to the top of the National League East standings.

With d’Arnaud in the fold, the Braves can now turn even more of their attention toward a very pressing matter: focusing on what a Freddie Freeman contract extension might look like and how it can happen.

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Another interesting note about d’Arnaud’s contract is that the catcher has agreed to donate 1 percent of his earnings in each year of the deal to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.