The Atlanta Braves signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a one-year, $8 million extension, the team announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The contract includes an $8 million club option through the 2025 season with no buyout.
- Through 136 at-bats this season, d’Arnaud is slashing .265/.338/.478 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.
- The 34-year-old signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the club during the 2019-20 offseason. He re-upped that deal halfway through the 2021 season for another two years.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 18, 2023
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Why Atlanta made this move
The Braves have created a culture under catching coach Sal Fasano, who has sought each year to have two quality catchers rather than the conventional frontline starter and strong-defense, weak-bat backup. After the trade last winter for Oakland A’s Gold Glove winner Sean Murphy, many assumed that the Braves would trade the 2022 All-Star d’Arnaud before Opening Day, or certainly by the trade deadline. But president of baseball operations/general manager Alex Anthopoulos insisted at the time of the Murphy acquisition that the Braves weren’t going to trade d’Arnaud, and in fact hoped to keep him in the organization as long as he wanted to play.
On Tuesday, Anthopoulos reiterated that after signing d’Arnaud to a new $8 million deal that again includes a club option at that same salary for 2025 with no buyout. Murphy is having a career-best season and was voted to start in last week’s All-Star Game, and the 28-year-old is signed to a six-year, $73 million deal that he agreed to just two weeks after being traded to Atlanta. Murphy starts roughly two out of every three games during the hot summer months, and Braves catchers lead the majors in home runs (25), on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. — O’Brien
The Braves traded for and extended the former Oakland catcher Murphy in 2022, pushing d’Arnaud to a reserve role. Since joining the Braves in 2020, d’Arnaud has hit 42 home runs with 143 RBIs while slashing .266/.326/.465.
(Photo: Jason Miller / Getty Images)