It has been a busy couple of days for MLB. The first domino to fall was Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees. Not as big of a splash, but a notable signing was closer Brian Wilson signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Then the big deal came though. Robinson Cano signed a monster 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. Oh yeah, and Curtis Granderson loves New York so much that he decided to stay there, but switch to orange and blue as he became a member of the New York Mets on a four-year deal worth $60 million.
How did the Texas Rangers respond to this? Well, they signed a couple of players to minor league contracts. Most notable was 42-year old Jose Contreras. He has played for 11 seasons. It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by, but you forget players after they leave the media circus in New York.
On Friday, the rangers agreed to terms with former Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia. He will most likely back up Geovany Soto behind the plate this season.
Arencibia is an interesting signing. As a prospect, he was once ranked in Baseball America’s top 100 (43), and was as high as no. 2 in the Blue Jays organization. J.P. has struck out 400 times in 380 major league games, but does have a heavy bat. He has 64 homers in four seasons with the Blue Jays.
He will be a good fit to give Soto a breather and also has the ability to come in a pinch-hit in a close game. The Rangers were rumored to have interest in Arencibia and were exploring a possible trade with the Blue Jays until he was non-tendered. Texas was also interested in Kurt Suzuki but decided that Arencibia was a better fit.
With all of the other signings going on and rumored trades, I would be surprised if the Rangers were a sleeper for some of the more high-profile free agents remaining. The Winter Meetings are right around the corner, so stay tuned.