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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pirates, Barajas agree to one-year deal

An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off Thursday for the Pirates, who were able to ink the veteran catcher to a one-year deal that includes as club option for 2013.

The addition of Barajas, 36, eliminates one item off the Pirates’ offseason to-do list, as the team needed to find a starting catcher for the 2012 season. General manager Neal Huntington confirmed that Barajas was signed to be the team’s No. 1 catcher.

Barajas will make $4 million in 2012, according to an industry source. His ‘13 club option is worth $3.5 million and does not include a buyout. A short-term commitment makes sense for the Pirates, who are hopeful that top catching prospect Tony Sanchez will be ready to ascend to the Majors in the next year or two.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 10, 2011 at 08:33 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: November 10, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#3990722)
The addition of Barajas, 36, eliminates one item off the Pirates’ offseason to-do list, as the team needed to find a starting catcher for the 2012 season.

Signing Rod Barajas doesn't shouldn't mean the Pirates have found a starting catcher for the 2012 season.
   2. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: November 10, 2011 at 11:33 PM (#3990733)
An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off


I understand each of those words individually, but not in that order.
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: November 10, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3990743)
An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off Thursday for the Pirates,

If this were high school, you would assume that the Pirates are virgins and Barajas puts out.
   4. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 10, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#3990753)
If this were high school, you would assume that the Pirates are virgins and Barajas puts out.

The Pirates have been jerking off with shitty catchers for years and Rod Barajas is a cromulent major league catcher; it's not what you really want but it'll do until a potential good one like Sanchez comes along relatively soon. So yeah, this isn't really all that different from a virgin high school freshman who deep down knows that someday he'll get a good girlfriend but in the meantime will settle for getting laid with something real.
   5. haven Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#3990771)
A body to fill a gaping hole at a non-prohibitive price. Meh. But OK in context.
   6. Tripon Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#3990781)
Hardball Talk was speculating that the Pirates are looking at defensive catcher data. Barajas rates highly on framing pitches, for instance.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:38 AM (#3990790)
It could be worse. But he's a 36-year-old catcher who has caught more than 99 games twice in the last six years. They should probably expect a second catcher to have to handle at least 65 or 70 games in 2012. Who will that be?
   8. Swedish Chef Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:44 AM (#3990793)
I understand each of those words individually, but not in that order.

"An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off for the IRS on Thursday, when..."
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:45 AM (#3990794)
Who will that be?


Jaramillo or Fort McKenry, most likely.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:56 AM (#3990800)
Hardball Talk was speculating that the Pirates are looking at defensive catcher data. Barajas rates highly on framing pitches, for instance.


Interesting. Swiped the link for a FanShot on BD - thanks for the heads-up.
   11. RJ in TO Posted: November 11, 2011 at 01:39 AM (#3990831)
While I realize that his actual production is decent, it is still incredibly unpleasant to watch Rod Barajas hit.
   12. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: November 11, 2011 at 01:50 AM (#3990842)
The Pirates have been jerking off with shitty catchers for years and Rod Barajas is a cromulent major league catcher

I dunno, I don't see how Barajas is better than the guy they've had for the last several years, and he's certainly not better than the guy they had in the late 90s.

Catcher's one of the few positions the Pirates actually have had some decent players.
   13. akrasian Posted: November 11, 2011 at 03:56 AM (#3990933)
Not a horrible signing imo. Doumit's a free agent and not much of a catcher anyway. McKenry is not as good as Barajas. There's not really all that much out there. They get a solid defensive catcher with a bit of power and very poor OBP to fill in a year, and if they want to split time with Sanchez in 2013 he will be cheaper then.

A bit of an overpay, but the Pirates wanted to get somebody acceptable although far from exciting. And frankly, the Pirates probably have to overpay. At the very least, they had to offer enough more than the Dodgers to get him - and there aren't a lot of in demand free agents who would sign for the same with Pittsburgh as they could get elsewhere.

It's not a move to drive them to the championship in the next couple of years, but it fills a hole with a guy who could help the pitchers and maybe Sanchez develop. And by overpaying they made sure to get a guy with some pluses, instead of pure filler. Pirate fans shouldn't be dancing in the streets, but at least there is a modicum of sense in the signing.
   14. salvomania Posted: November 11, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#3990974)
There have only been 79 catcher-seasons (since 1901) in which a catcher 36 or older has had at least 300 plate appearances.... their median OPS+ is higher than I expected---89---and 28 managed an OPS+ of 100 or better...
   15. "Catching Dianetics" by Dr. L. Ron Karkovice Posted: November 11, 2011 at 05:57 AM (#3991016)
There have only been 79 catcher-seasons (since 1901) in which a catcher 36 or older has had at least 300 plate appearances.... their median OPS+ is higher than I expected---89---and 28 managed an OPS+ of 100 or better...


Carlton Fisk has 38 of those 79 seasons.
   16. Pujols Shot Ya Posted: November 11, 2011 at 06:26 AM (#3991025)
I've only half been paying attention, but isn't it starting to seem like Sanchez tain't no good?
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2011 at 06:43 AM (#3991031)
I've only half been paying attention, but isn't it starting to seem like Sanchez tain't no good?


He lost a bunch of weight while his jaw was wired shut in 2010. It's possible that he wasn't at full strength last year.
   18. Russ Posted: November 11, 2011 at 11:29 AM (#3991056)
There have only been 79 catcher-seasons (since 1901) in which a catcher 36 or older has had at least 300 plate appearances.... their median OPS+ is higher than I expected---89---and 28 managed an OPS+ of 100 or better...


Classic survivor bias. I think the median OPS+ for every position is likely to be higher than you expect as age increases. It's probably just magnified for catchers, because they're much more likely to retire or move to another position because of age.
   19. zonk Posted: November 11, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3991097)
Has there been any team that has passed more cromulent or projected to be cromulent catchers through its roster since Kendall turned to dust?

Jaramillo, Doumit, Snyder, Paulino, Cota, Ross, House, Clement (though I guess he couldn't catch by the time they got him) -- even Dusty Ryan, I always thought, deserves a career.

When I think of that grey area of catchers who are perhaps a bit too intriguing either with the glove, bat, or both to be typecast as backup catchers, but just not good enough to really be legit starting catchers -- I think of the Pirates.

Maybe it's just my NL Central bias showing and you could say the same about a lot of teams -- but Pittsburgh just seems like some sort of weird vineyard for those sort of 2-300 AB catchers who grab a season or two of platoon glory.
   20. Karl from NY Posted: November 12, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#3991548)
"An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off for the IRS on Thursday, when..."

"An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off for Venezuelan kidnappers..."

Too soon?
   21. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: November 12, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#3991580)
"Give us Barajas!"
   22. Something Other Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:10 AM (#3993656)
The Pirates have been jerking off with shitty catchers for years and Rod Barajas is a cromulent major league catcher


I dunno, I don't see how Barajas is better than the guy they've had for the last several years, and he's certainly not better than the guy they had in the late 90s.

Catcher's one of the few positions the Pirates actually have had some decent players.
Voros, are you aware of a site that allows one to sort by team and position? I have a few things in that vein I'd like to look at and this thread reminded me of them. Thanks.

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