UPDATE: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports hears that Barajas will make $4 million next season while the contract includes a $3.5 million option for 2013. Barajas made $3.25 million with the Dodgers in 2011.
11:58 AM: After declining the options on Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder at the end of October, the Pirates have settled on a new starting catcher for next season.
The Pirates just announced that they have signed veteran backstop Rod Barajas to a one-year deal with a club option for 2013. No details on the contract information yet.
Barajas, 36, batted .230/.287/.430 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI over 336 plate appearances with the Dodgers this season. His .717 OPS was 20th among MLB catchers with at least 250 plate appearances. He threw out 25 percent (20-for-80) of would-be basestealers.
Barajas was a Type B free agent this offseason, so the Dodgers will receive a compensatory draft pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.