Travis d’Arnaud, the stud catching prospect the Mets acquired from the Blue Jays as part of the R.A. Dickey trade, has been assigned to Triple-A after an impressive spring in big league camp.
d’Arnaud is considered the best catching prospect in baseball and hit .333 with 16 homers and a .975 OPS in 67 games at Triple-A last season, so he figures to destroy Pacific Coast League pitching again and perhaps force his way into the Mets’ plans.
For now John Buck is the Mets’s starter behind the plate, but he won’t present much of a roadblock for d’Arnaud once they decide he’s ready (and/or his service time has been sufficiently delayed).
The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.
This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.
Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.