The Rays have signed catcher J.P. Arencibia to a Minor League contract, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The veteran Arencibia, a client of CAA Sports, will head to the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in Durham, per Topkin.
The 29-year-old Arencibia was outrighted by the Rangers last winter and elected free agency rather than accepting an assignment to the Minors. He originally inked a Minors pact with the Orioles, but Baltimore cut him loose last week when he had previously been expected to join their Triple-A affiliate. Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Arencibia preferred not to head to Triple-A with Baltimore, as the O’s have a significant amount of catching depth already in their organization.
The same cannot necessarily be said of the Rays, who are currently relying on a tandem of Rene Rivera and Bobby Wilson behind the plate, with Curt Casali as the top option at the Triple-A level. Arencibia has more big league service time than any of those catching options, even Rivera, and will give Tampa a depth option with significant power but difficulty managing his strikeouts and getting on base.
Arencibia, once considered one of baseball’s top prospects, was the Blue Jays’ regular catcher from 2011-13, averaging 21 homers per season and 28 per 162 games played. However, his OBP dropped regularly in that stretch, bottoming out at an alarming .227 in 2013. Arencibia also saw his strikeout rate climb from 27.4 percent to 29 percent to 29.8 percent over that three-year stretch. He joined the Rangers last season and saw some time at first base but did little to pick up his offensive game.
From a defensive standpoint, Arencibia has been just a tick below average in controlling the running game (26 percent caught-stealing rate) and steadily improved his pitch framing. He graded above average in that latter skill in 2013 and average in 2014.
How on earth does a “catcher starved organization” like the Dbacks not make a move on this guy…
Arencibia is pretty catcher starved himself
His catching days are over. He’d be better off putting all his focus into just hitting. Maybe make his way back as permanent dh.
because hes hardly better than anyone else they already have.
He had a lot of passed balls this spring.
I didn’t realize that was an issue for him.
Still, I thought he was pretty good at one time, but apparently that was some sort of mirage or something.
Buck likes defense as we know. J.P. just did not represent adequate work behind the plate compared to other guys. The O’s initially were going to send him to Norfolk, but then released him instead. Guess: attitude problem over the assignment?
Passed balls have always been a huge problem with JP.
Trying to be the next Kelly Johnson making his way around the entire AL East…except doing it one AAA club at a time.
That is really pretty funny!
Ahh, I just made a similar comment. Those guys love hitting against the Jays. Remember Johnson had a .800SLG against the Jays a few years back lol?
I don’t mind this move. I like the veteran depth
jeez i remember when he lit up James Shields on his debut, i like this deal
You won’t soon as he comes up and strikes out all the time. He’s only good games was against Shields.
I can only remember him killing Rays so thought it was a good pickup too. At least as good as Jaso.
Jaso is WAY better than Arancibia. Not even close really….
But Jaso is not a catcher anymore, is he? You get that right?
Just because two people don’t play the same position, doesn’t mean you can’t compare them.
As long as he’s not taking away at-bats or defensive innings from Curt Casali I’m fine with this. I think Casali needs a full year at AAA Durham (at least until September call ups).
Yep. He’s good behind the plate and can call a game, he just cant even make contact with the ball’s shadow
Well he’s actually not great behind the plate defensively, lots of passed balls in recent seasons. He’s actually a pretty good pitch framer (which is probably the only reason the Rays targeted him), he just can’t keep the ball in front of him. I think that’s the big reason Showalter and the Orioles released him. He can probably call an ok game. His power makes him at least somewhat of a threat. Just like the move so Casali can stay in AAA all year and get better, and in case Rivera or Bobby get hurt with the Rays.
I was talking that Casali can field
Next up, Yankees and then the Red Sox!