Ten games, 23 at-bats and inconsistent work behind the plate was enough. The Mets didn’t need to see any more of Travis d’Arnaud to deduce he wasn’t the answer as the backup to Wilson Ramos.
Sunday morning, shortly after the team’s third straight loss included d’Arnaud committing a passed ball and getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double down four runs, the veteran was designated for assignment.
“As I think we will continue to do here, we’re not going to make short-term decisions for short-term dollars,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said before the Mets looked to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Brewers at Citi Field.
D’Arnaud, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year and missed almost the entire season, was replaced on the roster by Tomas Nido, a superior defensive player who has yet to hit in the big leagues. The Mets took a risk by staying with d’Arnaud, opting to tender him a contract as he rehabbed from major surgery, and they could have saved money by moving on late in spring training. Now if they can’t find a trade for him, they would owe him $2.955 million of his $3.52 million deal, The Post’s Joel Sherman reported.
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“This move wasn’t about economics, obviously,” Van Wagenen said. “I think this team is built to win, we have every expectation to win, and we expect to go forward with a new mindset that we’re going to put the best team on the field, and right now that’s putting Nido in the clubhouse and giving him a chance to go forward.”
The Mets signed Ramos to a two-year, $19 million deal in the offseason and had options other than d’Arnaud for his backup. But they traded Kevin Plawecki to the Indians in early January for a pair of minor leaguers and opted for d’Arnaud over Devin Mesoraco, who hit 10 home runs in 66 games last year with the Mets after coming to Queens in a trade with the Reds. Mesoraco refused to go to Triple-A Syracuse and remains on the restricted list.
The 30-year-old d’Arnaud came to the Mets, along with Noah Syndergaard, from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade in 2012. A highly rated prospect who was considered the big piece in that trade, he battled injuries throughout his Mets tenure, never playing in more than 112 games in a single season. He had just two hits in 23 at-bats this year in backup duty and heard boos Saturday night.
“What we’ve seen from Travis, it’s been tough,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “We have tough decisions to make, and obviously this is a tough one.”
Added Van Wagenen: “He showed that he’s a player that is talented, but not the right fit for us right now.”
Over his seven-year career, he has posted a .242/.303/.401 slash line with 42 home runs and a .704 OPS. He was at his best in the 2015 run to the World Series, producing an .825 OPS in 67 games, with 12 homers and 41 RBIs. D’Arnaud, however, couldn’t build off that finish, and with the Mets’ pitching struggling mightily — their 5.45 ERA is the worst in the National League — Van Wagenen and Callaway both said it was imperative to improve their defense behind the plate.
“We obviously know how good of a defender he is,” Callaway said of the 25-year-old Nido. “He does a great job of receiving, especially the low ball. He’s one of the best receivers in our organization, and we feel at this point, that’s what we need.”
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