ST. PETERSBURG — Catcher J.P. Arencibia thought he showed enough during his late-season stint to stay with the Rays. But after being formally released Wednesday, he found satisfaction in proving he could play somewhere in the majors.
"I'm thankful for the chance they gave me and thought I did enough to have a chance to be a part of 2016," said Arencibia, 29. "Never know how things work out in this game. I know I'm back as an established major-league player. And I proved that last year. I'll be back as a visitor again and (you) never know, maybe even on the home side."
In addition to releasing Arencibia, the Rays also parted ways with reliever Kirby Yates— traded to Cleveland for undisclosed "cash considerations" — and reliever Brandon Gomes and outfielder Daniel Nava, who both became free agents after refusing outright assignments to Triple A.
Gomes, who spent parts of five seasons with the Rays and pitched in 63 games in 2015, said he knew it was possible but was still disappointed to get the call. He said he will seek a big-league job elsewhere. "At this point, I would have to say I will take full advantage of being a free agent and explore all my opportunities prior to making my decision," he said.
Arencibia, a former Toronto starter who spent part of 2014 and a good chunk of 2015 at Triple A, is also a free agent as the Rays opted to keep Rene Rivera as the apparent backup to Curt Casali.
All four players were designated for assignment last week as Tampa Bay cleared space on the 40-man roster to add prospects.