Travis d’Arnaud: The Regular
After starting the season with the New York Mets, Travis d’Arnaud was released early on in the 2019 campaign. He eventually found his way to the Rays, and d’Arnaud went on to have a career year at the plate.
After slashing .263/.323/.459 during his time with the Rays, the 30-year old looked the part of a full-time starting catcher for a club in need. He showed once again that when he stays healthy, d’Arnaud can be one of the better, most consistent all-around catchers in the big leagues.
While he is only a so-so defender, d’Arnaud’s bat is going to earn him a nice payday this offseason. While he won’t be any team’s headliner signing in free agency, d’Arnaud is the type of player who, a year from now, media and fans alike will be pointing at and asking ourselves, “How’d he sign for so little?”.
Francisco Cervelli: The Comeback
The story of Francisco Cervelli has been well documented. He has suffered a flurry of head injuries during his time as a catcher in the MLB. The number of concussions he’s gone through even threatened his career last season.
Overall, 2019 looked like a forgettable season for Cervelli. However, after moving from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Atlanta Braves, Cervelli seemed to have found new life. In a limited sample size Cervelli hit .281 with the Braves in the regular season.
So while his overall numbers look poor, he showed late signs of light at the plate. With Albert Pujols slotted to move back to the designated hitter spot next season as Shohei Ohtani returns to the mound, Cervelli could be plugged into the Angels’ plans flawlessly, splitting time between first base and catcher depending on where he’s needed.
Once again, the Angels are going to be uber-focused on acquiring enough starting pitching to make a push towards the Wild Card Game next season. However, they can’t sign every pitcher, and these three catchers could provide a significant boost to the current catching group in Anaheim.