BALTIMORE -- Seeking to add another catcher before Spring Training, the Orioles have agreed to a Minor League deal with J.P. Arencibia, a baseball source told MLB.com on Thursday. The contract isn't finalized, but it is expected to include an invite to Major League Spring Training. The club did not confirm that an agreement is in place.
The addition of Arencibia, which was first reported by the Baltimore Sun, reunites him with new O's hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, who was previously with the Texas Rangers. Arencibia, who turned 29 on Monday, hit .177/.239/.369 in 62 games with the Rangers last season. He posted a .279/.320/.542 line in 48 games with Texas' Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.
A former first-round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Arencibia is a power threat, but he has struggled to keep his strikeouts in check and remain consistent in the Majors. In 2013, he hit 21 homers for Toronto, batting .194 with 148 strikeouts in 138 games.
The addition of Arencibia, who can also play first base, is interesting given that Baltimore already has five catchers on its 40-man roster. It's possible the Orioles may remove one of them to clear a spot for another player down the road given that the team now has catching depth, even with the uncertainty around starter Matt Wieters' ability to be ready for Opening Day due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.