Toronto Blue Jays v Atlanta Braves

Remember at the end of the last post, when I quipped something about this day just getting better?

Um… yeah. Further to that:

Multiple teams have expressed interest in Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, prompting the Jays to explore the free-agent catching market for a possible replacement, sources say.

The Jays have contacted all of the free-agent catchers but have yet to make an offer, one source said. The team’s top priority is upgrading its rotation, but the Jays ideally would like to get something for Arencibia and sign someone else.

Arencibia, who turns 28 on Jan. 5, batted .194 with a .592 OPS last season, albeit with 21 homers. He is projected to earn $2.8 million in arbitration next season according to Matt Swartz of


And, as you’ll know if you read the title of this post, that’s not just any old Howard Eskin talking– HEYO! TOPICAL!– it’s Kenny effing Ken Ken Rosenthal in his piece this morning over at Fox Sports. And… uh… let’s do that first line one more time, just for fun:

“Multiple teams have expressed interest in Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia.”

Ahhhhh. Well that’s just super. I mean, I don’t think that the Jays could possibly get much for Arencibia– again, I’m reminded of Dan Szymborski’s riffing on the idea of Arencibia “trade talks”– but I actually do entirely buy that somebody would take a flyer on him.

I know Jays fans who’ve endured this year probably think that’s crazy, but durability and big power behind the plate are not commodities that come available frequently or cheaply. And it’s actually not impossible to believe that a player who has gone so far south could still come around in a big way.

Look, for example, at just how incredibly abysmal Aaron Hill was before the Jays shipped him out of town for Kelly Johnson, who at the time was either going to turn into a draft pick, or– as he ultimately did– an actual, shit-you-not, almost half-decent second baseman for the following season.

Arencibia drew just 18 walks in 497 plate appearances this year– note: PUKE IN MY FUCKING MOUTH– but Hill was, you may have forgotten, nearly as terrible, having drawn just 23 in 429 PA before he was traded. At the time of the deal his slash line was a disgusting .225/.270/.313, and his wOBA and wRC+ were almost identical to what Arencibia did this season: .259 wOBA and 56 wRC+ for Hill, .259 wOBA and 57 wRC+ for Arencibia.

The .290 wOBA and 77 wRC+ that Hill had posted the year before weren’t a whole lot better, either.

Yet we all know how the story goes from there. So… is it surprising that clubs might see Arencibia– who, granted, has never had near the MLB success that Hill did during his best years with the Jays– as a reclamation project worth something slightly more valuable than nothing? Might they think the could turn a similar trick as the Diamondbacks did with Hill? Might they think they can improve his defence while they’re at it?

Sure. Why not? And they might not even be wrong.

Should we maybe not be thrilled about the supposed interest in him, then? Uh… holy shit, no!

The Jays simply cannot carry on with Arencibia behind the plate. I honestly do hope he figures it out and has a long and productive career, but we cannot run the risk of having to watch this fucking interminable movie again. It’s better for both sides that he gets a fresh start in a new environment, and that the Jays get a catcher who is a little more reliable, especially on the defensive side of the ball, even if he doesn’t necessarily have the same kind of offensive upside.

And if he does? Even fucking better. (And it’s not like it will be all that difficult to be a big improvement.)

And as with Hill, whatever happens with Arencibia next season, as long as it’s happening elsewhere, we can have no regrets.

So… there’s that.

Comments (31)

  1. As much as I try to never overreact to any of the rumors passed around this time of year… please, PLEASE let this be true.

    • +1

      I had pretty much given up on the Ceeb by the middle of the 2012 season. Of course, the 2013 season didn’t do anything to budge that needle in a positive way.

  2. Yup
    Totally agree
    Would the phillies want a “run producer” like JP?

  3. I’ll take a PTBNL.

  4. It would be perfect if Josh Thole was the Josh Thole we thought we were getting avec le Dickster.

  5. Multiple teams interested, sure. But can we really expect that they’re going to offer – anything – of value for him? I’d love someone else behind the plate as much as every other jays fan, but doesn’t the possibility of shipping him out for essentially nothing leave a bad taste in anyone else’s mouth?

    • Who cares. I’ll take nothing. Addition by subtraction.

    • The thought of shipping JP of for practically nothing is still more appealing than the thought of dealing with his bs for another season. It’s not ideal but it’s certainly the lesser of two evils.

      If multiple teams are interested in a catcher with potential to improve without a high price tag it may end up working out into something decent in the end. Maybe he can be wrapped into a trade to beef up the Jays’ contribution for something better? Who knows.

      As long as the guy isn’t in a Jays uniform in 2014, I’m happy.

  6. I’m really interested to see what other teams are actually willing to give up for this guy. While it’d feel great to get something for him, depending on the return, I might rather just straight shed his contract via a non-tender than take back a piece of junk with a contract that we don’t need.

  7. Ahmen brother! Perfect first move of the offseason I would be smiling all week haha!

  8. JPA and Romero and 2M…. for handshake and a piece of burnt toast.

  9. Quick rundown of possible suitors…

    Atlanta (backup/split with Gattis), Phillies, Marlins (hometown boy), Cubs, Dodgers?, Rays (could see him haunting us there, but unlikely AA would trade to a div rival after being burned a few times), Twins, Chisox, Astros, Mariners? Rangers?

  10. I could see JP having a decent career in a hitters park, as part of a platoon.

  11. I think more people would be inclined to see the JPA experiment through if he weren’t such a wad. When a guy is playing like shit and decides that he’s actually awesome and doesn’t need to do a thing differently, and that the only people that think he’s shit are non-athlete virgins living in their parent’s basements, no one wants him around long enough to turn it around. He brought it on himself.

  12. Just remember. Top ten in the AL for RBIs by a catcher.

    That’s a category right on par with “RBIs by a leadoff hitter on a Tuesday”.

  13. 15 teams x 9 battling slots = 135 available every day batting slots.

    In the AL last year, 2 guys hit 40+ HR, another 9 hit 30-39 and another 26 hit 20-29.
    That’s 37 guys out of 135 slots (27%) who managed 20+ dingers.

    So no, its not surprising that teams have some interest.
    How much interest remains to be seen.

  14. Are there really 30 guys out there better than him? Even 20?

  15. Tired of him, tired of his lack of skills to do anything but “swing away Merrel” and even more tired of listening to people bitch about him. There is no buts about it folks, the question isnt if, its when for JPA to get traded the fuck out.

  16. We will be leaderless.
    Bereft of direction, wandering like the Jews in the desert without the firm but gentle hand of JPA on the tiller of this team.

    Yes, I have way too much time on my hands at work today.

  17. At least Hill had the excuse of having gotten his brain scrambled…

  18. I could picture Arencibia turning it around and becoming a decent player but after all the stuff that happened last year, I doubt it will happen in Toronto. Hope we can get something useful for him and call it a day.

  19. got drunk the other night, was starving too eh, so i ate a bag of rubberr bands. what a crazy shit i had…. sweet mother fucker, had to put on my sunglasses and inspect it..GO JAYS!!!

  20. DJF doing a spectacular job! Keep it up boys. Loving the analysis.

  21. Aw crap…if JP leaves does that mean we aren’t going to see these girls anymore?

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