Baltimore has five catchers on its 40-man roster, however the club was seeking major league experienced backstops this offseason. According to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have signed J.P. Arencibia to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Arencibia, 29, was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 2007 draft. In 2014 with Texas, he posted a .177/.239/.369 batting line to complement 10 home runs and 35 RBIs in 63 games. Arencibia has not been able to hit for average consistently throughout the course of his major league career, however he has shown he can be a power threat, most notably in 2013 when he posted 21 homers with Toronto.
Connolly also notes that Arencibia will be reunited with Scott Coolbaugh when Spring Training begins. He opened 2014 batting just .133 and was sent to Triple-A in May. Coolbaugh was Texas' minor league hitting coordinator who was hired to be Baltimore's major league hitting coach this offseason.
Although he was unable to produce consistently with the Rangers at the beginning of the season, Arencibia had offensive success after being sent down. In 49 games, he hit .279 with 14 home runs before he was recalled in July. His second half numbers with the Rangers only slightly improved, as he batted .196 with nine homers.
Arencibia is a versatile option who has experience playing first base. He also served as the Rangers' designated hitter at times last season, and was around the league average (26 percent) in success rate throwing out runners.
In addition to Arencibia, the Orioles have Matt Wieters, Caleb Joseph, Ryan Lavarnway, Steve Clevenger, and Michael Ohlman on their 40-man roster. With the exception of Wieters, Arencibia has more major league experience than any of the Baltimore catchers. Lavarnway is expected to be designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Delmon Young, and Arencibia could be the favorite to win a roster spot this spring.