Kristy Robinson quotes Clint Hurdle on the possibility of having catcher Rod Barajas return next year.
"Is he a [No. 1 catcher]?," Hurdle said. "Or turn it into a two? Is there another one? Is it time for [Michael] McKenry to be a one? Is there another one out there? As you look at the crystal ball, and those conversations are candid ... Is the guy willing to go in with the mindset that, okay, I’m not the 100-120 game guy anymore. I might be the 60-80 game guy…I thought it was time to explore that with Rod. He wants to play, and I think he understands very well where he is at this point in time in his career."
Is Rod Barajas a No.1 catcher? Is he a No. 2? Hey, how about a No. 4? Or a No. 8? I don't want to say the guy's done, but I do know that when you bat .206 and throw out six of 99 basestealers, there isn't a team out there that should want you. Moreover, there's no reason the Pirates in particular should want him, whether that's for 60 games, or 80, or 100. Claims that Barajas works well with the pitching staff ring hollow, when he can't hit or control the running game, and the pitching tanks badly down the stretch. And the Bucs need hitting, and upside, if they're going to improve on their 79-83 showing this year. The 37-year-old Barajas has little chance of providing either.
It's time for the Pirates to move on. They'll likely shop the free agent market for a catcher to pair with McKenry. If they can't find one, Tony Sanchez can step in.