The Pirates and catcher Rod Barajas have agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $4 million. The deal also includes a team option for $3.5 million in 2013, with no buyout.
Barajas isn't anyone's idea of a superstar, but this is a nice move for the Pirates. The Bucs wisely declined their pricey team options on Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, but that left them without a real starting catcher in 2012, and a weak free agent market. (And no, the spunky but non-hitting Michael McKenry doesn't count as "a real starting catcher.") The Bucs acted swiftly to sign Barajas, who figures to do a better job staying healthy than either Doumit or Snyder, while also playing better defense than Doumit. Barajas is old, so a collapse is possible, and he doesn't get on base nearly enough. But he has excellent power for a catcher, with 16 homers in 2011. This isn't an inspiring move by any means, but at least the Pirates can cross catcher off their list of things to worry about.
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