The Pirates moved fast to find a starting catcher and today signed veteran Rod Barajas to a one-year, $4 million contract. The deal includes a $3.5 million club option for 2013 with no buyout. “They were very aggressive and definitely showed they wanted me to be part of their team,” Barajas said.
The Pirates needed to find a new starting catcher after declining the contract options for Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit. “There’s no question there was a limited market, free agent-wise,” GM Neal Huntington said. “We determined our best course of action was to be aggressive with a guy we wanted. Rod likes the fit, we like the fit, and we were able to get it done.”
Barajas, 36, last season hit .230 with 16 homers in 98 games for the Los Angeles Dodges. He also has played for the Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2003), Texas Rangers (2004-06), Philadelphia Phillies (2007), Toronto Blue Jays (2008-09) and the New York Mets (2010).
Only twice in his 13-year career has Barajas played in 120 or more games. Huntington said either Jason Jaramillo or Michael McKenry will likely be the backup catcher. The lack of a buyout in Barajas’ contract for 2013 is an indication the Pirates are setting up Tony Sanchez as their starter in 2013.
»»» Customs problems have delayed pitchers Ryan Beckman and Rinku Singh from reporting to their their winter assignments in the Australian Baseball League. Both Pirates prospects will play for the Adelaide Bite.
»»» Ex-Buccos updates: Right-hander Chris Jakubauskas (best known as the guy who was hit in the head by a line drive a couple of years ago in Houston) signed a minor league deal with the D’backs. … Left-hander Donnie Veal signed a minor league deal with the White Sox. The Pirates got Veal in the Rule 5 draft, but his path toward the majors was derailed by Tommy John surgery. … Former pitching coach Joe Kerrigan might be in line for a job with the Baltimore Orioles.