We all knew it was going to happen.
Delaying the arbitration clock of Travis d’Arnaud allows the Mets to stall his eligibility for arbitration by one more year and allows the Mets to control him for one more season before free agency.
From a player’s standpoint – it doesn’t seem fair. He’s being demoted solely for the reason so they can pay him less and delay his chance to cash in. We’ve seen it happen before. Most top prospects don’t make the team out of spring for this very reason and get called up midseason. It happened with Matt Harvey last season. It’s also going to happen with Zach Wheeler. It happened with David Wright. It’s not isolated to the Mets. It’s how baseball front offices are run today.
The reality is, if d’Arnaud is what he projects to be – it doesn’t matter. He’s going to be paid. He’s going to be paid more money than he’ll ever be able to spend if he’s smart. Nobody’s crying for David Wright because the arbitration clock was delayed. No one is going to cry for d’Arnaud at the end of the day, either. Let’s also not forget that if he turns out to be the real thing, his agent will likely negotiate a contract to buy out his arbitration years and a year or two of his eventual free agency and he’ll get paid. Just like David Wright. Just like Jose Reyes. Just like other stars in the game on other teams.
If he’s the real deal, it simply won’t matter.
By sending him down, the Mets will save money now and pay him if he’s worth it later. If they were on the verge of contention, there would be and should be a lot more outrage. But they’re not. Travis d’Arnaud has had a great spring training and he’s certainly earned his way onto the roster, but John Buck and Anthony Recker have also played well, so the argument can be made that both of them earned their way onto the team, too. Buck was certain. Recker is just a guy looking for a shot.
So instead of being pissed that d’Arnaud didn’t make the team, why not feel good for Recker. D’Arnaud will get his shot. Let Recker get his. It’s not like giving the guy a chance is going to cost us the World Series.