Arizona is in the market for a new backup catcher to play behind Miguel Montero and Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks had made an offer to free agent Rod Barajas.
Barajas is 37 years old and very stretched as a regular both offensively and defensively, but playing a couple times per week against mostly left-handed pitching would be a good role for him.
Sanchez notes that Wil Nieves is still an option for Arizona if they can’t work something out with Barajas, who hit .206 with 11 homers and a .625 OPS in 104 games for the Pirates this year.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.