Why the Rays signed Arencibia


The Tampa Bay Rays signed veteran catcher J.P. Arencibia to a minor league contract on Thursday, which seemed to suggest that the Rays wanted to add some depth behind the plate. As it turns out, that isn't the case.

Though the 29-year-old will still likely play at catcher on occasion at Triple-A Durham, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday that the plan is for Arencibia to play mostly at first base and designated hitter.

What the Rays saw in him was an experienced player who can hit the ball out of the park.

"He's got some pop," Rays GM Kevin Cash told the newspaper. "We like what he does offensively. Any added insurance he can provide, we'll kind of see how it goes, but we're excited."

Currently, the Rays have Rene Rivera and Bobby Wilson as their two catchers, while Allen Dykstra and Logan Forsythe are splitting the first base duties and David DeJesus serves as the primary DH.