The Braves struck early on the catcher market, snagging a talented former top prospect in Travis d’Arnaud. The 30-year-old is expected to occupy the primary catcher spot in the lineup in 2020, and should be a suitable player to pair with Tyler Flowers this season.
While d’Arnaud is quite clearly a secondary prize for the offseason as compared to Yasmani Grandal, who signed with the White Sox last week, the Braves clearly targeted the veteran receiver as a potential impact player at a barren position. d’Arnaud is a solid hitter, a solid catcher, and as Chris Haft of MLB.com writes, a “perfect fit” in Atlanta.
With so much emphasis being placed on the Braves’ needs at third base and in the starting rotation, the decision to quickly diagnose less dire issues may be a worthy bargaining chip for GM Alex Anthopoulos for the remainder of the offseason. Having a concise list of needs may not necessarily portend a wild finish by the Braves, but it does give them the peace of mind that other needs have been addressed. Let’s hope that signing d’Arnaud proves to be a boon for the franchise, both in productivity and flexibility.
Another catcher is removed from the list of potential free agent options.
A very solid infielder is now on waivers after being designated for assignment on Monday.
Rich Hill is battling yet again as he looks to continue what has been an unexpectedly solid career.
These are a work of art.