So much for Josh Thole: starting catcher. Rosenthal:
The Mets are making “a hard push” for free-agent catcher Rod Barajas and negotiating with him on a one-year deal, according to major-league sources.
Little known fact: the name “Rod Barajas” is the California-ized version of “Bengie Molina.” Both roughly translate to “decent power, awful on-base skills.”
That said, if bringing in Barajas means that the chances of Omir Santos winning the starting job in a one-on-one competition with Thole are eliminated, it probably represents an improvement.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.