Are you ready to feel old yet? Joaquín Árias Jr., who is the son of former SF Giants infielder Joaquín Árias, was among the 23 international prospects to sign with the Texas Rangers on Monday according to a team announcement.
Son of two-time World Series champ and former SF Giants infielder signs with Rangers
The 2024 -2025 international free-agency cycle opened up on Monday. While the period opened up, teams usually have handshake agreements well in advance of the start of the signing period. In most cases, teams will introduce the majority of their signing class before the end of the first day.
This is a full-circle moment for the Árias family. The elder Árias spent parts of four seasons in a Rangers uniform during his eight-year career. The veteran infielder originally signed with the New York Yankees out of the Dominican Republic.
He was considered one of the better prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 77 according to Baseball America prior to the 2005 season. That was one of the reasons why the right-handed bat was shipped along with Alfonso Soriano in a move that sent Álex Rodríguez to the New York Yankees in 2004.
Of course, that is not Árias' only footnote in baseball history. The infielder joined the Giants on a minor league deal prior to the 2012 season. This included a camp invite. He did not make the club out of spring training but was added to the active roster early in the 2012 season. A move that may have helped preserve history.
Árias posted a .693 OPS with five home runs in 344 plate appearances while providing steady defense in his first season with San Francisco. He recorded the final out of Matt Cain's Perfect Game on a ground ball hit by Jason Castro. Árias was at third base while the ground ball hit by Castro was tailing down the third base line, but Árias managed to keep it in front of him and convert the final out.
Over the next several seasons, his production at the plate dipped until he was eventually designated for assignment by the club in 2015. During his time with San Francisco, he won two World Series rings and made one of the more memorable plays in franchise history.
Unfortunately, Árias never returned to the majors. He appeared with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2016 spring training, but did not make the club out of camp and was released. Being a utility infielder is a tough job and usually a thankless one. However, the veteran infielder did receive a nice reception from the Giants crowd when the Diamondbacks visited Scottsdale that spring.
There is not much known about Árias Jr. other than that he is an outfielder. His signing bonus is not currently known. The Rangers hope that this is the first step in a long career. Below is a cool moment for the Árias family.