The Arizona Diamondbacks continued to make roster moves yesterday when they announced the release of veteran utility infielder Joaquin Arias per the team’s official twitter account.
The move was officially announced by Diamondbacks Sr. Vice President and General Manager Dave Stewart. Arias had been in Arizona’s camp on a minor league contract after being signed on December 11 during the Winter Meetings in Nashville.
Originally seen as move to acquire infield depth, there is simply no room for Arias on this club. It would be nice to have his veteran presence in the clubhouse, but the D-backs already have Nick Ahmed, Jean Segura, Chris Owings, Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury, and Phil Gosselin all playing well.
Arias did see time this spring at first base either coming into the game as a replacement for Goldschmidt or as the starter, but Goldschmidt rarely sits out games.
Arias could have made the club as a pinch hitter and a backup first basemen but this opens the door for Peter O’Brien and Chris Herrmann, guys with positional versatility, to make the club filling similar roles.
The 31-year-old was signed as an amateur free agent in 2001 by the New York Yankees out of the Dominican Republic. He is perhaps best known as the player to be named later in the blockbuster trade that sent 28-year-old Alex Rodriguez, who was in the middle of his prime, to the New York Yankees for Alfonso Soriano. The Rangers selected Arias out of a pool of five prospects that included Robinson Cano.
Unlike Cano, who became an All-Star, Arias played only sparingly with the Rangers. In the middle of the 2010 season, Arias was traded to the Mets and played 22 games for them.
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He eventually became a very valuable utility piece for the Giants’ dynasty teams. Arias has never been a great hitter, compiling a .644 OPS during his time in the Bay Area. However, he saw significant time at shortstop, second and third base. Arias only appeared in 40 games for the Giants last season and was outrighted off the 40-man roster in August.
Seven more roster moves still need to be made to cut the roster down to the 25 guys that the D-backs will have on the roster come Monday.