Rangers still interested in Rod Barajas

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Rod Barajas Mets.jpgAccording to T.R. Sullivan and Chris Cox of MLB.com, the Rangers would be interested in trading for Rod Barajas if and when the Mets become sellers.

The Rangers had interest in Barajas as a contingency plan before he signed an incentive-laden one-year, $500,000 contract with the Mets during spring training. It was a pretty easy choice for Barajas at the time, as he was assured of a starting gig in New York, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden were expected to open the season on the major league roster in Texas.

Barajas has been a pleasant surprise with the Mets, batting .269/.299/.571 over his first 119 at-bats. He leads the Mets and all major league catchers with 10 home runs. Meanwhile, Texas catchers have combined to bat just .200/.292/.300 with four home runs and 15 RBI. Saltalamacchia and Teagarden are now both in the minor leagues, with Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez functioning as the new tandem in the majors.

Barajas previously played with the Rangers from 2004-2006, but don’t look for a return anytime soon. Remember, the Mets refused to acknowledge themselves as sellers in the disaster that was last season, so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they’d let him go.

Giancarlo Stanton stared down Derek Jeter and Michael Hill to get to New York

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Everyone knows that Giancarlo Stanton is now a New York Yankee. Everyone knows the Marlins traded him to New York. Most people also know that, before that trade happened, the Cardinals and Giants had deals in place for Stanton that he rejected via his no-trade clause. Now, for the first time, we get some real flavor of how all of that went down from Stanton’s perspective, courtesy of this profile of Stanton’s eventful offseason from Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated.

The best part of it comes when Derek Jeter and Marlins president Michael Hill had a sit down with Stanton while the Giants and Cardinals offers were pending. In that meeting, Reiter reports, Stanton was told in no uncertain terms that he’d either accept one of those deals or else he’d be stuck in Miami while the roster was dismantled. Stanton responded thusly:

“This is not going to go how you guys think it will go,” Stanton said. “I’m not going to be forced somewhere, on a deadline, just because it’s convenient for you guys. I’ve put up with enough here. Derek, I know you don’t fully understand where I’m coming from. But Mike does. He’s been here. He can fill you in. This may not go exactly how I planned. But it’s definitely not going to go how you have planned.”

Even adjusting for the likelihood that it wasn’t put quite as smoothly as that in real time as it was in Stanton’s recollection of it to Reiter, it’s still pretty badass. Stanton had the power in that situation and he did not blink when the club threatened to call his bluff. In the end, he got what he wanted.

Beyond that, it’s a good profile of Stanton as he’s about to begin his Yankees career. Definitely worth your time.