A pair of former major leaguers recently signed with teams in the American Association, according to the league’s transactions log. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia has signed with the Cleburne Railroaders, while infielder Darnell Sweeney returned to the Kansas City Monarchs.
Arcia, the older brother of Braves utilityman Orlando Arcia, appeared in the big leagues between 2013-16. Included among Baseball America’s top 50 overall prospects heading into 2013, the now-30-year-old Arcia looked as though he could emerge as a middle-of-the-order power bat during his time in the Twins system. The left-handed hitter flashed some power potential over his first couple seasons, popping 34 home runs with a .201 ISO (slugging minus batting average) over 788 plate appearances between 2013-14.
Along with that power came big strikeout totals and below-average walk rates, however. That led to Arcia struggling from an on-base perspective, and his overall offensive output checked in around the league average. He’s limited to the corner outfield or designated hitter, and public metrics have pegged him as a below-average defender even in the corners. Without the high-end offensive output to compensate for that lack of value with the glove, Arcia bounced between four different clubs in 2016.
The Venezuela native spent the 2017 campaign in Triple-A with the Diamondbacks. He caught on with the Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan the following year, hitting .222/.315/.405 over 324 plate appearances. Arcia spent the 2019 season in the Mexican League and will try to work his way back into the affiliated ranks with a strong showing in his first year with the Railroaders.
Sweeney, on the other hand, has suited up for the Monarchs in two of the past three seasons, with a one-year stop as a member of the Winnipeg Goldeyes (also a member of the American Association) in 2020. The switch-hitting utilityman came up in the Dodgers’ system and was traded to the Phillies in 2015 as part of the deal that sent Chase Utley to Los Angeles. He played in 37 games for the Phils down the stretch but didn’t return to the big leagues until 2018, when he made a pair of appearances with the Blue Jays. The 31-year-old is a .252/.320/.394 hitter in parts of five Triple-A seasons.
I voraciously read the Blue Jays box scores every day. For the life of me I do not remember Sweeney suiting up for the Blue Jays. Two games is a mere blip on the radar, but I remember David Carpenter pitching in all of 3 games for the Jays back in 2012.
How do you not remember a player with a .500 OBP? LOL.
Good point Big Fred. As a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays since 1985, I have paid close attention to the team during the over 35 years since then. I can’t explain why I remember David Carpenter but not Darnell Sweeney, although their careers with the Jays were about equally as brief, but I do.
Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a while
Should be fun to watch some of those players, this year. I might pay more attention to these independent leagues now that MLB is out of commission.
I feel like American Association is making a push to be the more prominent independent league over the Atlantic League. I feel like a lot more former big leaguers and former prospects are signing with them than the Atlantic league
Yes, they’ve been doing a decent job of marketing themselves as best alternative. They even have some decent teams and owners. I try and attend a few games during the year. Either way, it is much better quality baseball than it used to be.
Yeah but the Atlantic league pays more money I believe
I remember it like it was yesterday… oswaldo was being spoken of by the statistical Guru on the Twins web site board.. exclaiming Waldo was the Future twins corner outfielder for the next 10 years.. My Take was he was a bust.. a one dimensional non defensive player.. I wonder how the Bawler is doing now????
Dumpster Divin Theo
Would be great if the Cleburne Railroaders took a flyer on journeyman nice guy Shin Soo Choo