The Rangers nearly traded for J.P. Arencibia before he was non-tendered by the Blue Jays. Now they have him anyway, signing him to a one-year deal, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
It’s worth $1.8 million and includes $300,000 in incentives, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
Arencibia, who turns 28 next month, will battle Geovany Soto for playing time in Texas. He spent the last three years as the Blue Jays’ starting catcher, hitting 62 homers. However, his OBP during that time was a pathetic .260, the second worst mark among all players with 1,000 plate appearances the last three seasons (Yuniesky Betancourt was worst, at .257). He had 389 strikeouts versus just 72 walks in 1,264 at-bats.
Last season, Arencibia bottomed out to a .227 OBP.
Soto projects better offensively and is the superior defensive catcher, so he should get most of the starts in Texas.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.