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.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.
No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.
Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:
Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.
Manfred didn’t stop there, however.
An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?