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.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.