Earlier this week Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia spoke out about what he believed was unfair treatment by the Toronto media back when he was with the Blue Jays, suggesting that “the media made me out to be a monster” and that played a part in his being let go.
He might have to come up with a similar theory for the Texas media now, because today the Rangers demoted Arencibia to Triple-A less than two months into a one-year, $1.8 million contract.
Arencibia earned the demotion by hitting .133 in 20 games for the Rangers, just as he earned being let go by the Blue Jays by hitting .194 in 138 games last season. He’ll be back in the majors because catchers with 20-homer power are always hard to find, but Arencibia is a career .208 hitter with perhaps MLB’s worst plate discipline. If anything the media has been kind when describing his performance as a big leaguer.
Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.
While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?
Either way: big year ahead for Harper.