Rays sign Arencibia to Minor League contract

Rays sign Arencibia to Minor League contract

TORONTO -- The Rays have signed veteran catcher J.P. Arencibia to a Minor League contract.

Arencibia, 29, is expected to join Triple-A Durham, where he will likely be used primarily at DH and first base.

"We tried to get him this offseason," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I talked to him on the phone. I actually was with J.P. when he was in Toronto. So a little bit of a history there. Veteran. Has played for a while. He's got some pop.

"He's going to go down to Durham, get going. Play a lot of first base, occasionally catch. But we like what he does offensively and any added insurance he can provide. We'll see how it goes."

Arencibia has played in parts of five Major League seasons, primarily with the Blue Jays before going to the Rangers in 2014. He has a .207 average with 74 home runs and 228 RBIs in 443 Major League games.

Of his 373 Major League starts, 352 were at catcher. His most productive Major League season was with the Blue Jays in 2011 when he hit .219 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs. He's hit 10 or more home runs in each of his last four seasons.

Rays fans will remember his Major League debut when he hit two home runs against Tampa Bay on Aug. 7, 2010.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.