The Mets are making "a hard push" to get Rod Barajas

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Barajas headshot.jpgSo much for Josh Thole: starting catcher.  Rosenthal:

The Mets are making “a hard push” for free-agent catcher Rod Barajas and negotiating with him on a one-year deal, according to major-league sources.

Little known fact: the name “Rod Barajas” is the California-ized version of “Bengie Molina.” Both roughly translate to “decent power, awful on-base skills.”

That said, if bringing in Barajas means that the chances of Omir Santos winning the starting job in a one-on-one competition with Thole are eliminated, it probably represents an improvement.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.