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Tampa Bay Rays News: JP Arencibia Close to a Minor League Deal

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The veteran catcher spent last September with the Rays, impressing with his stellar performance

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last September, the Rays called up one of the former top prospects in all of baseball, J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Durham and he proceeded to light the world on fire to the tune of six home runs in just 73 plate appearances while sporting a line of .310/.315/.606 over that span. This was after an exceptional year in Durham where he teamed up with Richie Shaffer to decimate the poor pitchers of the International League who dared to oppose the Bulls.

Following the season, many thought the Rays would invite Arencibia back thanks to his large contributions, however, it would not come to fruition as the Rays eventually landed Hank Conger, while Arencibia signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately for Arencibia, his time with the Phillies organization had gone poorly as he slashed .167/.167/.271 over 48 plate appearances and with his opt-out date closing in, Arencebia decided to exercise the option and become a free agent.

When the release became official on Monday, there was speculation that a reunion may be in the cards as the Rays are currently short on catching depth as Curt Casali and Hank Conger hold the major league spots with the unappetizing options of Luke Maile and Carlos Corporan stashed in Durham. Now in Friday's morning column, Topkin states that the Rays may be nearing a deal with Arencibia.

"J. P. Arencibia appears to be nearing a return to the Rays, at least on a minor-league deal that would send him to Triple-A Durham."

Arencibia doesn't offer much behind the plate, other than a warm body that may possibly block a ball from time to time, but could provide plenty of power behind the dish which has been the Rays M.O. this year. Arencibia currently has 80 home runs over his major league career and is averaging a long ball about once every 22 plate appearances.