With Travis d’Arnaud inking a two-year, $16 million extension with a club option for a third year, there are some obvious questions being raised about the future of William Contreras and Shea Langeliers:
Now that TDA is under contract through 2023 and possibly 2024 I think Contreras or Langeliers are going to be moved in the offseason. With the DH you can definitely platoon one of them with TDA, but there’s no room for both
— Braves Moves and Rumors (@Braves_Rumors) August 20, 2021
While @Braves_Rumors is correct that this is a very real possibility, I disagree.
Thankfully, you need at least two catchers, which makes the potential logjam a little easier to clear up. Langeliers is playing very well in Mississippi — I wrote an article a while back saying that he deserves to move up to Gwinnett. However, catcher is a difficult position to develop because you have to work on the offensive side along with all of the intricacies of managing a staff and locking down a run game.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Langeliers finished 2021 in Mississippi and started 2022 in Gwinnett. If Contreras plays well in Atlanta (assuming that he starts there in 2022), you have more time to continue to let Langeliers develop his incredible offensive gifts. Langeliers has been red hot over the past two months, and Contreras has been playing pretty well since his demotion to AAA. He currently boasts a .951 OPS along with a .313 batting average in Gwinnett. My only concern is he hasn’t nailed a single baserunner yet, allowing 12 steals on 12 attempts.
Contreras has a great arm, so I’m not that worried. I do think Anthopoulos has a plan in place, and at least in my opinion, it involves d’Arnaud, Contreras, and most importantly — Langeliers.