Yesterday, Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves worked their magic again, signing yet another key piece of the team to a team friendly extension. Travis d’Arnaud isn’t going anywhere, despite speculation, agreeing to a deal worth $8 million in 2024 with an $8 million club option for 2025.
When the Braves originally traded for Sean Murphy, some thought the writing was on the wall for d’Arnaud. He was already a valuable player on a team-friendly deal. Over half the league would have been interested in trading for him, but Anthopoulos nixed that idea for a couple of reasons.
It wasn’t that long ago that Braves fans were in hell when it came to the catcher position. Travis d’Arnaud was the team’s starter, and after he went down, the Braves were reliant on a combination of William Contreras, who wasn’t close to major-league ready, Kevan Smith, Stephen Vogt, and Jeff Mathis. It was a disaster, but thankfully, d’Arnaud was able to return for the postseason run and help the Braves to a World Series.
It didn’t end up coming back to haunt the Braves, but they came very close to missing the playoffs and a chance at a World Series because of it. Alex Anthopoulos didn’t want to make that mistake twice, which is why he’s placed an emphasis on the position ever since. Every team needs two quality backstops, and it helps when they are both All-Stars.
But perhaps most importantly, Travis d’Arnaud is an invaluable leader in the clubhouse, which Alex Anthopoulos talked about following the announcement of his extension.
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 18, 2023
The Braves place an incredible amount of value on team chemistry. I talk about it relentlessly, because it is true.
There’s a reason why these guys perform so well over the grind that is a 162-game season. They are never too high or too low, and they always show up to the ballpark excited to play. These guys want to be in Atlanta. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what Travis d’Arnaud had to say following yesterday’s game and the announcement of his new extension.
"I wanted to stay."
Travis d'Arnaud will be staying in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/lzWr7hoeoU
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 19, 2023
It sounds simple, but it’s not always the case. d’Arnaud is a critical piece to the Braves organization, both on the field and in the clubhouse, and it’s exciting to know he will be around for at least one more season.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire