Rod Barajas takes his talents to Pittsburgh
Barajas, a Southern California native who wanted to remain with the Dodgers, signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. He signed for a reported $4 million, with the club holding a $3.5 million option for 2013.
That’s some serious cash for a 36-year-old catcher with a career .238 batting average, but that tells you plenty about the state of catching these days.
Most were stunned when the Dodgers rushed to sign him for $3.25 million last off-season after they were unable to come to terms with Russell Martin.
However streaky, Barajas gave them what they asked for: a veteran behind the plate who could add some occasional pop (16 home runs, second on the team).
Sans Barajas, however, the Dodgers are left without a veteran catcher. The only two catchers currently on their roster are A.J. Ellis and Tim Federowicz.
Still, $4 million for Barajas is even stranger than what the Dodgers paid him last year. And they picked him up on waivers from the Mets, where he was making only $500,000.
The good news is that he’s expected to be a Type B free agent, so there should be a compensation draft pick.
The market on free-agent catchers is particularly weak, but then the Pirates could have told you that.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Former Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images