Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Mlb-philadelphia-phillies

The Pirates’ curious decision to forego 2 reasonably-priced option years for catcher Ryan Doumit was compounded last week

Image credit gearupforsports

when the club signed backstop Rod Barajas to a 1-year $4,000,000 contract, with a 2013 club option for $3,500,000.  Barajas is inferior to Doumit in almost every aspect.  Consider the following:

1.  Age- Doumit will be 31 in the 2012 season, Barajas 36.  Despite the “depth” GM Neal Huntington has supposedly built in this organization, it’s disconcerting that he’s still relying on Dave Littlefield-esque veterans in their mid-30′s a full 4 years into his “successful” tenure.

2.  Production- Doumit had an excellent 128 OPS+ last season, which has largely gone overlooked by both fans and the Pirates alike.  Barajas had a 97 OPS+, or slightly below average for the catching position.  But what Barajas has in power is completely nulified by his abysmal on base skills.  Barajas hasn’t had a .300+ OBP since George W. Bush was in office.  His OBP’s over the past 4 seasons are…

2011  .287   2010  .284   2009  .258   2008  .294

In fact, the only time in his career Barajas finished well over a .300 OBP was in a small sampling of 48 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007.  In fact, Barajas has finished below .300 in 9 of his 11 MLB seasons (not counting 5-game stints in 1999 and 2000…when he also finished under .300).

We’re dealing with a player whose career .284 OBP is the catching equivalent of Ronny Cedeno- who the Pirates just released due to his lack of production.

3.  Defensive Ability- The major knock against Doumit is his declining play behind the plate.  Those concerns are well-warranted, although I don’t think it would be difficult to move his bat to 1B, where he has played off and on throughout his career.  But Barajas isn’t any better.  Defensive catching metrics have Barajas as the better career defender, but slightly worse in 2011.  And being 5 years older, he isn’t likely to improve.

4. Durability- Another slight on Doumit is his tendency for fluke injuries season after season.  But both Barajas and Doumit have only eclipsed 400 at bats twice in their careers (and Doumit’s is 4 years shorter).  In fairness, much of Barajas’s low at bat totals are due to his status as a backup for some of his career.  But is a 36-year old backup catcher really the solution?

 

So in summary, Barajas is older, less productive at the plate, an OBP black hole, and defensively, is just as questionable as Doumit.  So why the move?  In my mind, here’s the one number that mattered:

Doumit  $15,000,000 over 2 seasons

Barajas  $4,000,000 over 1, with a max of $7,500,000 over 2

Simply put, this was a matter of saving money on an already league-low payroll.  And we as fans are going to pay the price for that come 2012.

Thanks for reading.

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: A-Rod apologized to new MLB commissioner

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Potential fatal flaws for Pats in SB XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.