New York Mets News

Mets make an odd move to keep Travis d’Arnaud but not Wilmer Flores

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Wilmer Flores #4 of the New York Mets celebrates a fourth-inning home run with teammate Travis d'Arnaud #7 during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 24, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Wilmer Flores #4 of the New York Mets celebrates a fourth-inning home run with teammate Travis d'Arnaud #7 during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 24, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /
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In an unexpected twist, the New York Mets have decided to tender Travis d’Arnaud a contract but not offer one to Wilmer Flores.

On Friday, MLB teams had a chance to cut some dead weight by non-tendering arbitration eligible players. The New York Mets had two candidates who could be non-tendered: catcher Travis d’Arnaud and infielder Wilmer Flores.

Personal opinions aside, it made sense for them to part ways with both. More so, releasing d’Arnaud was logical.

However, at the end of a week with plenty of shocking Mets news and transactions, Brodie Van Wagenen had one final move up his sleeve. d’Arnaud will get a new contract and Flores will not.

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For the Flores part of this, it’s heartbreaking for many yet understandable. His bad knees may have hindered his production in 2019. By getting rid of him now, the Mets may save themselves from wasting another roster spot as they did with Jose Reyes this past season.

The d’Arnaud decision is the more curious one. d’Arnaud missed most of 2018 following Tommy John Surgery. In the years prior to this, he wasn’t exactly Mike Piazza or Gary Carter. At his best, d’Arnaud was a below average overall catcher.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to move on, but for some reason, he’ll stay around. This could eventually cure itself with a trade, but how many teams are out there begging to land him?

The Mets currently have three catching options for 2019 on the roster. Kevin Plawecki is the other who could start while Tomas Nido could serve as a backup. Even that’s a stretch when considering his poor offensive numbers in 2018. I have to believe something is up Van Wagenen’s sleeve. Unfortunately, all signs point toward d’Arnaud sticking around.

Lifetime, d’Arnaud is hitting .245/.306/.406 with a poor reputation on defense. He has thrown out an average of 21% of base runners in his career when the league has done it as a rate of 28%. Only twice in his career has he even reached the 100-game mark. d’Arnaud accomplished this in 2014 and again in 2017. Each time, he slashed near his career averages.

Many would agree that Flores would be far more valuable to the Mets with his ability to play multiple positions. Although he never became a star or someone we wanted to see start 162 games, he had his place with the Mets. Last year, he was the primary first baseman.

Wherever they need him on defense, he played. Most memorable, whenever they needed a big hit, he knocked one.

Next. Under the radar free agent options for the Mets

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Seeing a fan-favorite go and an underachiever stay is hard to comprehend. Let’s hope there’s a better plan behind the plate for the coming year.

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