The Blue Jays are now working on potential trades for catcher J.P. Arencibia, according to Jon Heyman. Now that they have locked up Dioner Navarro for two years and $8 million, they don't have much room on the roster for Arencibia. The 27-year-old catcher was originally drafted by the Blue Jays back in 2007 and has spent his entire career in the Jays' system, but he is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and the Jays appear reluctant to invest in both him and Navarro.
Arencibia has shown good power in his young major league career, if nothing else. He has socked 23, 18 and 21 home runs the past three seasons for the Jays, but has a cumulative batting average of just .214 over that span -- he hasn't made up for it with walks, either, as his three-year on-base percentage is all of .260. The Jays have been counting on him to develop into their catcher of the future, even trading fellow catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud last winter in exchange for R.A. Dickey. But he only seemed to regress with more playing time, with that promising future never coming to pass, and now with Navarro in the fold, it looks like Arencibia's days in Canada are numbered.
The market for catchers has been brisk so far this offseason, as Navarro, Jose Molina, Brayan Pena, and of course Brian McCann have signed multi-year deals. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is still available on the free agent market and will certainly sign a multi-year deal as well, and now Arencibia joins the likes of Ryan Hanigan on the list of catchers available via trade.