ARLINGTON (AP) – J.P. Arencibia will likely be the No. 2 catcher in Texas. No matter. He’s right where he wants to be.
Arencibia and the Rangers finalized a $1.8 million, one-year contract Tuesday.
“I’m looking forward to this opportunity,” Arencibia said in a conference call. “From playing against the Rangers and knowing the way they go about their business on the field. I know they got a winning team out there for quite some time so that was a big deal to me.”
Arencibia hit .194 with 21 homers, 18 doubles and 55 RBIs in a career-high 138 games this year for Toronto. The Blue Jays didn’t offer him a contract by the Dec. 2 deadline and allowed him to become a free agent.
He turns 28 next month and figures to be a backup to Geovany Soto.
“We wanted to make sure we have two guys that were capable, durable guys that could, in case of an injury, go out there and carry the load. We were very impressed with J.P. His goal is to win and to be a tandem with Geo,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. “We got two selfless guys who want to put the pitching staff first, also both have some offensive ability.”
In four seasons, Arencibia is hitting .212 with 64 homers and 193 RBIs. He is fourth among catchers in home runs over the past three seasons with 62. Two of Arencibia’s seven multihomer games have come in Arlington. The other five were in Toronto.
He has seven home runs 10 RBIs in 43 at-bats at the Ballpark in Arlington.
“I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is I’d like to bottle it up,” Arencibia said. “I’ve enjoyed the park. One thing I enjoy is the heat. I really do like playing in the hot weather. That’s what I grew up doing in Miami. I enjoy that part of it and the atmosphere. The stadium always has a large amount of fans and that also makes playing more enjoyable.”
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