Less than a week after being non-tendered by the Toronto Blue Jays, former top prospect J.P. Arencibia has reportedly found a new home.
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) December 6, 2013
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is reporting a 1-year pact between the Texas Rangers and the former Toronto catcher, and this makes some sense to me. Arencibia will be just 28 years old when the 2014 season opens, and he has displayed some serious power numbers (62 home runs in 3 seasons with catcher at-bats) with the Blue Jays.
However, there is a small problem with Arencibia, in that his on-base percentage was .227 last season in 497 plate appearances. Yes, you read correctly, a .227 on-base percentage.
It is pretty obvious that no player can sustain any real value with an OBP that low (as his -0.6 fWAR indicates), but he also slugged nearly .450 in 2012 with the Blue Jays, and in a hitter-friendly ballpark in Texas, that could be repeatable. Arencibia will presumably battle with Geovany Soto for playing time (and he’ll likely lose), but if the “ceilings” of both players are reached, he could see a lot of time behind the plate.
It certainly didn’t take long for a 20+-homer bat as a catcher to find work.