Sunday, October 16, 2011
Free Agent Watch: Rod Barajas
Dodgers' veteran 36 year old catcher Rod Barajas has become a free agent. In 2011, he actually had (tied for) his second best year in his career, at a 1.4 WAR. After two straight years of 0 D-WAR, he put up a .3 D-WAR in 2011. Regardless, his 2011 season was worth 4.2 million. However, he has only averaged a .87 WAR in the past 3 years. That is technically worth 2.6 million, but most healthy organizations have someone in the minors they can bring up and give them that production on a smaller salary. There are also dozens of free agents that would play for minimum salary and put up at least that production. The only question is whether you can get a catcher to do it. Barajas' 2011 offensive statistics were pretty pedestrian: .287 OBP, .717 OPS, .94 PPG, 2.82 PAPP, 89.4 Pitches per starter, and 4.2 RC/G (meaning a lineup of 9 Barajas' would score 4.2 runs a game). The good thing that Barajas has going for him was a .244 BABIP in 2011, while he had a .311 in 2010. His career average is .250 (pretty poor compared to most hitters), so one would expect him to have a better OBP in 2012, but not too much better. When you look at all the offensive numbers, his 2010 and 2011 seasons were a lot better than many of his seasons. Either he has improved as a hitter, or it has been kind of fluky. Either way, there isn't a lot of things terrible attractive about Rod Barajas. I am sure someone will pick him up, and he may get a lot of money, but I just don't think that is very smart.