This season hasn’t been much fun for anyone involved with the Dodgers, but Rod Barajas has enjoyed his time in Los Angeles so much that the impending free agent catcher wants to re-sign.
“This is definitely a place I never want to leave,” Barajas told Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. “If I could stick around with the Dodgers for the rest of my career, that is definitely what I want.”
At age 36 “the rest of my career” may not be more than a year or two, but do the Dodgers want Barajas back for even 2012?
They have a pair of cheap catching options in A.J. Ellis and Tim Federowicz who could save the Dodgers around $3 million compared to Barajas’ current salary. And while Barajas’ power is very hard to find at catcher his .236 batting average and .289 on-base percentage are among the worst in baseball and he’s thrown out just 24 percent of steal attempts.
If the Dodgers are looking to cut some more corners in 2012 catcher seems like an obvious spot.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.