This Date In Transactions History: Joaquin Arias

39602275_Mariners_v_Rangers The "player to be named later" is one of baseball's many transactions  quirks. They must be named within six months of the trade, but are often agreed upon by the two teams long before that. Sometimes the November 40-man roster freeze gets in the way, sometimes it's because a player just signed his first professional contract and isn't eligible to be traded yet (a player can not officially be traded until a year after he signs his first contract). Sometimes it's just a placeholder, a piece of the puzzle the two clubs will figure out later.

Currently part of the Royals organization, Joaquin Arias knows what being a PTBNL is like. The Yankees signed him out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old back in 2001, giving him a $300K signing bonus. They then watched him hit a respectable .300/.338/.394 with 12 walks and just 16 strikeouts in 218 plate appearances with their rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate the following year. He impressed the Yankees enough that they bumped him up to their Low-A affiliate in 2003, when he was still just 18. Arias hit just .266/.306/.343 in 520 plate appearances that year, but he dazzled scouts with "plus-plus range and speed" to go along with "outstanding bat speed and raw power" according to Baseball America.

Unfortunately for Arias, he would never advance further in the Yankees' system. Seven years ago today, the Rangers officially acquired him from New York as the player to be named in the Alex Rodriguez trade. Texas chose Arias from a pool of five prospects that included Robinson Cano and current Astros' reliever Jose Valdez. At the time, Arias was ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Yankees' system by Baseball America while Cano ranked sixth and Valdez placed 21st.

Arias climbed the minor league ladder steadily after the trade, making his Major League debut in 2006. He bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the minors for the next few seasons, not sticking in the big leagues for good until he was out-of-options in 2010. Overall, he hit just .286/.322/.279 in 242 career plate appearances for the Rangers before being traded to the Mets for Jeff Francoeur last summer. Although his career has been unremarkable thus far, Arias will always be able to say that he was traded for one of the greatest players in baseball history, even if he had to wait a few weeks to be included.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

15 Responses to This Date In Transactions History: Joaquin Arias Leave a Reply

  1. Really sucks to be Joaquin Arias. He shall be forever remembered as “that other guy” in the Alex Rodriguez trade.

    • woadude 4 years ago

      Exactly. At the end of the article he goes on to say that as if he should be proud of that, like Steve Bartman should be proud that his hand is forever a part of the Cub’s curse.

  2. nathanalext 4 years ago

    I don’t think saying he’s had a forgettable MLB career to this point is a fair assesment. Granted, I don’t know a whole lot about him or his play, but, by the way the article sums his career up to this point, it’s not been too shabby.

  3. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    If the Rangers picked Cano instead, both the Yankees and Rangers would look very different. Kinsler may not be in their system, or maybe moved to 3rd? And who knows who would be the Yankees’ 2nd baseman – I can’t remember anyone memorable in recent free agency they could have signed.

    Oh well, just glad it worked out the way it did!

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Yankees would have just traded Nova, Gardner, and a PTBNL for Chase Utley in his prime. They are the Yankees, so they can do that.

      • tacko 4 years ago

        That package wouldn’t have even come close enough to pry Utley away from the Phillies. Why would they trade an all-star second baseman with a friendly contract for a bunch of unrated minor leaguers?

        • John McFadin 4 years ago

          I’m pretty sure you missed sarcasm in his response.

        • woadude 4 years ago

          Hello…..YANKEES, they would of done it and the Phillies would of been honored to receive such a haul of prospects and to watch their pride go to the Yankees. (See Hernandez,Felix next year)

    • dodgers33dodgers 4 years ago

      im sure having kinsler in the system and young on the team was a big part of not picking cano…arias was mainly a short stop…now they have andrus who beat him out…im pretty sure the Rangers are just fine with what they have…even tho any one of those guys or cano could of made good trade bait for a pitcher or something if they had that ability!!

  4. MadmanTX 4 years ago

    There is a good chance if Cano had been taken, he’d be on the same boat as Arias. Arias was under a lot of pressure in Texas to excel at his limited major league opportunities instead of being given a look from training camp onward.

    Still, Arias did have a golden opportunity when Kinsler was shelved for a long DL stay and he didn’t exactly give the Rangers a hard choice.

    • TapDancingTeddy 4 years ago

      That’s a sad statement if you mean that Cano would’ve never developed in Texas.

      Granted Cano stayed two more years in the Yankees minor league system, but he had a 106 OPS+ his first year up. I can’t see the Rangers not getting anything out of him.

  5. Eh I feel bad that he never developed, but still at 16 he had 300k in his pocket, not to mention whatever he got from his salary. I would say thats not too bad plus whatever contract hes gotten. I mean yea if he had been a fulltime major leaguer he obviously would have made more, but dang even to just be a minor leaguer and be able to get that kind of money for just playing baseball thats not too shabby at all.

  6. bobbybaseball 4 years ago

    “One of the greatest players in baseball history”? You are completely ignoring the fact that his accomplishments were ‘roid-enhanced. Who knows how good he would have been without the stuff. Certainly not nearly as great as he turned out.

    • Nor does anyone know how much it actually enhanced him. The guy has great talent though and that cannot be argued.

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