Last season, the Atlanta Braves platooned Brian McCann and Tyler Flowers behind the plate. Neither player was great, but the pair produced more than three wins, which put them in the top 10 for team catching totals. Atlanta had already re-upped Flowers with a one-year deal, but with McCann’s retirement, the club needed a replacement for his half of the duo. Enter Travis d’Arnaud, who agreed to a two-year deal worth $16 million, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The McCann/Flowers combo worked well because the lefty McCann and the righty Flowers could platoon. That won’t be the case next year, as d’Arnaud bats right-handed as well. It should, however, provide more flexibility regarding rest and pitching matchups. Both players hit lefties well and are usable against righties, which means that manager Brian Snitker can decide who plays based on the best matchup with his own pitchers.
Flowers is one of the best framing catchers in baseball. Since 2015, his 77 runs above average are second only to Yasmani Grandal’s 100, though Flowers has 1,300 fewer innings.
But Flowers isn’t necessarily a guy you want to play 140 times. He’ll be 34 years old next year,…