J.P. Arencibia hit 62 home runs over a three-season stretch with the Toronto Blue Jays, but hasn't come close to matching those numbers since. The veteran catcher has spent much of the past two seasons going up-and-down between the majors and Triple-A, looking to return to form. Arencibia, 29, agreed to a one-year minor league deal with the Phillies that will give the team insurance should something happen to either Carlos Ruiz or Cameron Rupp.
While Arencibia has struggled to find his groove in the majors, he did hit 22 home runs for Triple-A Durham last season, although he batted just .227/.259/.443 with the Bulls. In 24 games at the major league level, Arencibia produced another six home runs, hitting .310/.315/.606 for Tampa Bay.
The Phillies have also invited Arencibia to spring training, where he would conceivably compete with Ruiz and Rupp. Rumors have swirled that the Phillies may attempt to trade Ruiz, which would likely require them to eat much of the $9-million remaining on his contract for 2016 and a buyout from an option year.
In addition to signing Arencibia, the Phillies announced the signing of right-hander Gregory Infante and infielder Angelys Nina to minor league deals, also with invites to spring training. Infante, 28, has pitched in five major league games, all coming with the White Sox in 2010, throwing 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Infante split last season between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo in the Blue Jays organization, but has also pitched in the Orioles, White Sox and Dodgers organizations since 2006. In 300 minor league games - 45 starts - Infante has a career minor league mark of 25-30, 3.58.
The 27-year old Nina has never played in the majors and has a career line of 41-374-.285/.329/.395 in 3,241 minor league games. Prior to signing with the Phillies, Nina had played exclusively in the Rockies organization, playing at the Triple-A level in each of the past two seasons. Defensively, he has played second, short and third and added some experience in left field last season with Albuquerque.