Midway through the 2019 season, had the suggestion of signing a twice-released and recently injured Travis d’Arnaud come up, it might have seemed like an idea that was a little too outside the box, even for the Tigers. Since then, d’Arnaud went on to have a tremendous season with the Tampa Bay Rays, including an appearance in the postseason, which unfortunately now means he might be too in demand to be accessible to the Tigers.
That said, the Tigers are in need of a veteran catching presence, and unlike last year, it seems that general manager Al Avila is ready to start looking for one.
The 30-year-old d’Arnaud spent the bulk of his early career with the New York Mets. He missed almost the entire 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL. After returning in 2019 he was quickly released by the Mets following some early season struggles. He was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers — a strange move given their glut of catchers at the time — and five days later was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations.