The tenure of J.P. Arencibia as the starting catcher of the Toronto Blue Jays is likely over. According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays are likely to non-tender their incumbent backstop if they are unable to find a trade partner to take him prior to today’s tender deadline.
After previously acknowledging that the team was looking for an upgrade behind the plate, the Blue Jays today signed free agent catcher Dioner Navarro to a two-year, $8 million deal, essentially signaling an end to the Arencibia era in Toronto. Presumably, Navarro will become the starting catcher with Josh Thole picking up additional starts in a support role.
That leaves the Blue Jays with three choices to make; non-tender Arencibia and get nothing for him, trade him and try to salvage something for him, or tender him, then trade him after tendering. However, if Davidi’s sources are spot on, then the Blue Jays are leaning toward either swapping him or non-tendering Arencibia, which would indicate that the team just wants to be done with the drama around him.
The 27-year-old Arencibia will undoubtedly draw interest from teams hoping that a change of scenery will do him good. After three years in Toronto, Arencibia owns a lifetime batting average of .212 with .258 on-base percentage. However, he has power which is rare for the position, having averaged 20+ home runs and 63 RBI over the last three seasons, which will make him appealing to a team looking for upside in that department. Steamer sees an improvement on his 2013 campaign, albeit to a still mediocre .216/.265/.405 slash line.
That all said, not all folks on Twitter are sold on the move.
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) December 2, 2013
@JaysJournal Hopefully AA is not dumb enough to non tender JPA.
— liz (@biggles14) December 2, 2013
Dioner Navarro is the perfect face for the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays slogan: It Can't Be Any More Disappointing.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) December 2, 2013