When the Texas Rangers made a handful of roster moves earlier this week, two of the casualties were veterans J.P. Arencibia and Kevin Kouzmanoff. Both players were optioned to the Triple-A roster with invites to major-league spring training, but due to service time both had the opportunity to opt for free agency.
Not surprisingly, both players did just that and are now free agents, which really isn't much skin off the Rangers' backs.
Arencibia, especially, is a case of good riddance. The veteran was brought on board last winter to serve as a backup catcher to Geovany Soto and provide some much-needed pop at the plate, even if that was his one bright spot as a hitter. He couldn't even really do that outside of one stretch in July when he actually led MLB in homers and RBIs for a few weeks coming out of the all-star break. He still managed to somehow put up a .177 batting average and a .239 on-base percentage on the season.
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Kouzmanoff was an odd story. He was red-hot in spring training but was blocked at third base by Adrian Beltre and began the season at Triple-A Round Rock. When Beltre hit the DL for 14 days in April, Kouzmanoff stepped up in a huge way, batting .362 with two homers and 10 RBIs to earn AL Player of the Week honors. He played just 13 games with Texas before missing the rest of the year after having back surgery.