Rays Acquire Arcia
Even before the depth chart became a MASH unit, the lack of another left-handed bat with some upside was missing. It got so bad that there were rumblings of the team looking at bringing back Carl Crawford, whom the Dodgers jettisoned two weeks back at age 35 looking nothing like the player that left Tampa Bay after 2011. Instead, the team acquired someone much younger that has as much upside as he does flaws.
The acquisition of Oswaldo Arcia should be framed within the following context: an organization that is looking to rebuild and develop cut a player that had recently turned 25 years old. In a matter of 46 months, Arcia went from the organization’s Minor League Hitter of the Year to designated for assignment. He was added to the 40-man roster after the 2012 season where he hit .320/.388/.539 across two levels of the Minnesota system. A 101 wRC+ rookie season was followed up with a 109 wRC+ season before injuries and ineffectiveness got us to where we are now with Arcia.
Despite spending parts of four seasons at the major league level, Arcia has yet to reach the 1000 plate appearance plateau for his career. He as a 101 wRC+ and a .319 wOBA for his career, but that comes with a lot of swing and miss to his game as he has a 32% strikeout rate. If you would like to envision what the team has acquired in Arcia, at least at the plate, he lines up very well with Souza Jr:
|Steven Souza Jr.||684||10%||34%||0.183||0.318||103|
Defensively, the two players are miles apart as Arcia is a well below-average defender that is best situated in the DH role against righties. Ideally, Arcia and Brandon Guyer become attached at the hip in a lineup platoon situation but what happens with Arcia as the outfield depth chart heals us is anyone’s guess.
The Rays have shown they’re willing to overlook defensive issues and contact problems with Dickerson this season and have another opportunity to do so with Arcia whereas the Twins clearly decided that it was not worth waiting for Arcia to tap into his potential. Not to say that this will become a situation for the Rays where they get a windfall such as the one the Tigers got when they similarly picked up J.D. Martinez from the Astros, but acquiring Arcia is the move this team should be making right now. He is still young and has more offensive upside than at least half of the outfield depth chart.
The bad health and bad performance of the team this year should have them looking at the three-year plan rather than looking at their extremely slim and fading playoff chances. Arcia is out of options so he has to remain on the 25 man roster or be exposed to waivers. Hopefully the team doesn’t repeat the mistake they made in cutting loose Jhan Marinez for inferior talent in the coming weeks.