MLB

Braves sign catcher Travis d’Arnaud to two-year, $16 million contract extension

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The Atlanta Braves announced Friday that they’ve agreed to a two-year, $16 million extension with catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Interestingly, this was the same deal d’Arnaud had for the 2020-21 seasons with the Braves that was set to expire after this season. Instead of him hitting free agency, the two sides are going to run it back with a new contract on exactly the same terms.

d’Arnaud, 32, started his career with the Mets and looked like their catcher of the future during the 2015 run to the NL pennant, but things didn’t quite work out after that. After playing for three teams in 2019, d’Arnaud seemed to find a home with the Braves in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He hit .321/.386/.533 (137 OPS+) with nine homers and 34 RBI, winning a Silver Slugger. 

In early May of this season, d’Arnaud went down with a torn ligament in his thumb. He worked his way back to a return to the lineup a bit over a week ago. On the season, d’Arnaud is hitting just .223/.277/.369 (66 OPS+) with three homers and 15 RBI. He has gone 5 for 21 with two doubles and a home run since his return, though, so perhaps he’s set for a strong close to the season. 

With d’Arnaud down, the Braves used six different catchers, ranging from youngster William Contreras to veterans Jeff Mathis and Jonathan Lucroy

The Braves have had quite the season. They started 0-4, didn’t top .500 until earlier this month, once trailed in the NL East by 7 1/2 games and now lead the division by four games. They’ve won 13 of their last 15. They start a three-game series in Baltimore Friday night. 



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