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December 02, 2013

Rangers, needing a catcher, could ask about Toronto's J.P. Arencibia

The Rangers need a catcher, and one they have considered adding could be made available by the end of business Monday.

According to reports, Toronto plans to either trade J.P. Arencibia or not tender him a contract ahead of the 10:59 p.m. Monday non-tender deadline. The Rangers, according to a source, have discussed Arencibia as a possible target to pair with Geovany Soto in 2014.

Arencibia is available after the Blue Jays signed Dioner Navarro to a two-year contract. Arencibia is coming off a horrendous season at the plate, where he batted only .194 and struck out 148 times in 474 at-bats. He also took only 18 walks in 497 plate appearances.

Arencibia's defense also has been brought into question, though his throwing has hovered around the league average.

But Arencibia does have power, and the Rangers are still hoping to add some thump to their lineup. He hit 21 homers last season, 18 during an injury-marred 2012 season, and 23 in 2011.

A trade for Arencibia likely wouldn't be terribly costly to the Rangers, who have a deep farm system. And the Blue Jays have been studying the Rangers this off-season.

Early in November the Blue Jays looked into left-hander Derek Holland and second baseman Ian Kinsler for a possible trade for outfielder Jose Bautista, according to a source. Kinsler has since been dealt to Detroit for first baseman Prince Fielder, and the Rangers can't trade away Holland unless they have interest in re-signing Matt Garza.

If the Rangers pass today on Arencibia, or if he becomes a free agent and signs elsewhere, they could look at a trade for Cincinnati's Ryan Hanigan, one of the game's top defensive catchers.

The Rangers are expected to tender contracts to their five players who are eligible for salary arbitration: first baseman Mitch Moreland, outfielder Craig Gentry and pitchers Neftali Feliz, Neal Cotts and Alexi Ogando.

-- Jeff Wilson




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