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Rangers expect deal with free-agent catcher Arencibia

Rangers expect deal with free-agent catcher Arencibia

Rangers expect deal with free-agent catcher Arencibia

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, seeking a backup catcher for Geovany Soto, expected to complete a deal Friday with free agent J.P. Arencibia, according to a baseball source.

Arencibia, 27, became a free agent earlier this week when the Blue Jays opted not to tender him a contract for 2014.

The deal will be for one year at approximately $2 million, the source said.

Arencibia, a first-round Draft pick in 2007, is coming off a disappointing season in which he batted .194 in 138 games. But he has shown power through his brief career, hitting 62 home runs over the past three years, his first three full seasons in the Major Leagues.

The Rangers tried to trade for him prior to Monday's non-tender deadline, but an agreement could not be reached. The team also reached out to free agent Kurt Suzuki, but the seven-year veteran, once a starting catcher for Oakland, said he wanted to continue seeking a job as a first-string backstop.

Arencibia, a right-handed hitter, has had fairly good success in throwing out would-be basestealers, catching 25 percent of them this past season and 29 percent in 2012. But he has not hit for average, never batting higher than .233, and has put up very low walk totals, drawing 18 free passes in each of the past two seasons. His career slash line in 1,392 plate appearances is .212/.258/.408.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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