Travis d’Arnaud will likely spend most of the month of April in the sunshine of Las Vegas rather than potentially snowy New York. But given the state of the rest of the team, is there a chance that d’Arnaud goes North with the big club?
There are several factors weighing in his favor. First of all, d’Arnaud has shown that he is ready. Thus far this spring he is hitting .345. Pitchers are impressed with his game-calling and defensive abilities, and his surgically-repaired knee is healthy.
Then there are the injuries to David Wright, Johan Santana and Daniel Murphy. It is conceivable that they all start the season on the disabled list. Without them, the lineup is severely lacking. But perhaps most important, with the exception of Ike Davis, there is no one the fans care about and for whom they would want to root. Travis d’Arnaud would instantly be a fan favorite and give people a reason to come to the ballpark and watch games on television.
Then there is the statement that Sandy Alderson said last year, along the lines that if he trades R.A. Dickey, it would be for a player who would have an immediate impact. If Alderson doesn’t want to add this to his list of lies, he would allow d’Arnaud to make that impact when the season begins,
Of course, money is always the deciding factor with these Mets, so the idea of delaying his free agency for a year by bringing Travis d’Arnaud up in late April will probably win out. I don’t think they will be able to wait until mid season, which would also delay his arbitration.
In addition, the Mets could justify if by saying that John Buck is also hitting well — .333, two home runs and seven RBIs. But does anyone really believe he will keep that up when the real games begin?
In any case, it seems like the correct baseball move and the right thing to do for the fans would be to let Travis d’Arnaud begin the season with the Mets. But when do the Mets actually do the right thing?