Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud shares the real reason he came to Atlanta in 2020

Travis d'Arnaud has found a home in Atlanta, but how did we get so lucky to have Travis come to the Braves in the first place? Atlanta's catcher revealed the answer last night.
Texas Rangers v Atlanta Braves
Texas Rangers v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The beloved veteran catcher of the Atlanta Braves has put together a stellar week on the baseball diamond. Travis d'Arnaud may be playing in his age 35 season, but he has shown no signs of slowing down.

Travis has been a fan favorite since arriving in Atlanta before the 2020 season. Right now he is showing baseball fans why him and Sean Murphy make up the best 1-2 punch at catcher in the league. However, after last night's 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers, d'Arnaud revealed something he hasn't shared in his four-plus years in Atlanta.

Braves catcher shares the real reason he came to Atlanta

During the 2019-2020 offseason, Travis d'Arnaud was looking to cash in what had been a season that revitalized his big league career. Early in 2019 he was DFA'd twice by the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, but he put together a solid season once he landed in Tampa Bay.

That year with the Rays, d'Arnaud slashed .263/.323/.459 and tied a then career high of 16 homers in just 92 games played. That led to d'Arnaud cashing in on a two-year deal with the Braves worth $16 million. But it wasn't the money that motivated d'Arnaud to come to Atlanta. Instead one of the main reasons we are blessed to have Travis in Atlanta is the Braves catching coach Sal Fasano.

d'Arnaud says he has a lot of reasons as to why he signed with the Braves back in November of 2019, but his previous relationship with Sal Fasano certainly helped bring him to Atlanta. d'Arnaud said him and Fasano were together in Double-A when they won a championship with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. That 2011 championship season saw Manager Sal Fasano named the top skipper in the Eastern League, and then prospect catcher Travis d'Arnaud was named the league's MVP.

In his postgame interview, d'Arnaud continued to rave about Fasano saying, "I knew he was brilliant, and I could learn a lot from him. So, learning from him has been a big part of everything going on."

The Braves catcher has always been transparent about how the organization welcomed him with open arms, and now Travis has captured the hearts of Braves fans. He was behind the plate for every inning of the 2021 World Series run, and now he's continuing to produce in the back-half of his career.

Travis currently ranks in the 95th percentile in xwOBA, 96th percentile in xSLG, 92nd percentile in barrel%, and 89th percentile in average exit velocity according to his baseball savant page. He is currently tied for fifth among catchers in fWAR (0.7), and his 157 wRC+ is fifth among catchers with at least 11 games played.

Whether it the previous relationship with Sal Fasano or Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos, or perhaps the contract offered back in 2019 to a player who had struggled to stay on the field. Whatever the reason is for Travis d'Arnaud ending up in Atlanta, we are all just very happy he's here.

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