Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud celebrates two-year, $16M extension with two-run homer

Travis d'Arnaud, Jorge Soler lead the Braves to a 3-0 victory against the Orioles at Camden Yards. (0:28).
Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud celebrated the extension of his $16 million, two-year contract with Atlanta. He hit a 2-run homer in Friday's 3-0 win over Baltimore Orioles.

After missing three months due to a thumb injury, D'Arnaud has recently returned to the Braves' first-place team. This extension also includes an $8 million club option in 2024 without buyout.

The extension was completed by the streaking Braves before the start to a weekend series at Baltimore. To build a four-game lead within the National League East, they have won 14 of 16 games, including a season-best seven game winning streak.

D'Arnaud stated that he never wanted to test his worth on the free-agent marketplace. After a single by Dansby Swinson, the Braves wanted to keep d'Arnaud with them as well and he instantly rewarded them by crushing a second-inning pitch by Keegan Akin (0-8).

Brian Snitker, Braves manager, said, "I told him after that game, dude, you're worth every dollar." "He did a great job with Max Fried, too."

D'Arnaud enjoyed being on Fried's receiving end of his masterful throws in his first nine-inning complete game. It was a joyous day that included a home run.

"It blew me away a little," d'Arnaud stated. It put us up by 2-0, and that was all we needed. It was great fun.

This was his second homer in five consecutive games since he returned from injury. d'Arnaud also scored an infield hit, and drew a walking.

In 2020's first season in Atlanta, d'Arnaud slugged.321 with nine homers. He also had 34 RBIs. This earned him an NL Silver Slugger award for the best hitter at his position, and helped the Braves win their third consecutive NL East title.

Alex Anthopoulos, general manager, stated that "he wanted to be here and we wanted him stay." It's a great fit.

After sustaining a torn ligament in his left thumb while making a tag against the Toronto Blue Jays, D'Arnaud required surgery.

The Braves had to go through five catchers while d'Arnaud was gone. William Contreras was the first to fill in for d'Arnaud. However, the 23-year old struggled throughout his extended stint as the starter.

Contreras was returned to Triple-A Gwinnett before d’Arnaud had fully recovered from his injury. This left the job in the hands a revolving door, which included Stephen Vogt as well as the now-released KevanSmith.

Anthopoulos stated that signing d'Arnaud will give prospects like Contreras or Shea Langeliers -- No. 9th overall pick in 2019, currently at Double-A Mississippi, allowing him to continue his development without being rushed to get to the big leagues.

"Contreras as well as Langeliers are extremely talented. Anthopoulos stated that both are going to be All-Stars one day. But there is more to this position than just throwing guys out. It's all about preparation and having men on the mound who believe in you. Reps and experience are crucial in this position.

D'Arnaud stated that he would be happy to mentor catchers who might replace him one day.

He said, "Both of them will be studs for a long while in this league." "I hope they both know that they can contact me at any time with any questions."

The Braves were just one game away from reaching the World Series, but lost a 3-1 lead to Los Angeles Dodgers in NL Championship Series. D'Arnaud hit two homers, and had 10 RBIs in 12 postseason contests.

After reviving his Tampa Bay career, he signed a $16 million contract for the Braves in 2020.

D'Arnaud was relieved by the New York Mets in the first half of the 2019 season. He went to Tampa Bay following a brief stint with Los Angeles Dodgers. D'Arnaud suddenly flourished with Rays, hitting at.263 with 16 homers. He also had 67 RBIs in 92 matches.

In accordance with his new agreement, d'Arnaud will donate 1% to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Anthopoulos stated that other Braves players have a similar clause, but it was not publicized. Anthopoulos decided that it was time for his players to be recognized for their contributions to the improvement of the community.

"We live here. Anthopoulos stated that they care about the environment. "The more awareness that we can bring about, and knowing that the players are doing their bit, I believe, is a really important thing."

This report was contributed by The Associated Press.