Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/10/11

The Bucs made a bit of early noise early on in the free agency, signing catcher Rod Barajas to a one year deal for $4 million, plus a 2013 club option for $3.5 million.

Barajas is 36. He hit .230 with 16 homers in 98 games for the Dodgers last season. For his career, he’s a .238/.284/.414 hitter. His defense is supposedly pretty good, but as you can see he’s a pretty big downgrade on offense.

Still, the Pirates needed to do something at catcher if they weren’t going to bring Ryan Doumit or Chris Snyder back. Barajas isn’t awful, and the free agent market at catcher is horrendous – he was arguably the second best guy out there behind Ramon Hernandez. $4 million may be a little much but it’s not going to cripple spending for the rest of the year or anything.

That said, one has to be very skeptical when talking about a veteran free agent signing with the Pirates. It’s been a while since one of these moves has worked out. I don’t know. On the surface, I’m OK with it because Barajas is an improvement over Michael McKenry and Jason Jaramillo. Doumit is a better hitter but a far worse catcher, plus his option was unreasonable and he can’t be counted on to stay healthy.

©2011 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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