Pirates sign catcher Rod Barajas

Rod Barajas

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed catcher Rod Barajas - to a one-year deal with a club option for 2013. It reportedly was a one-year, $4 million contract. The deal includes a $3.5 million club option for 2013 with no buyout.

General manager Neal Huntington confirmed that Barajas was signed to be the team's No. 1 catcher.

"We're going to have to make sure we monitor his workload and put him in position to be successful," Huntington said. "That's why the No. 2 catcher is going to be important as well. The majority of the rest of the free-agent market is in the same level of games caught."

Last season with Los Angeles (NL), Barajas hit .230 (70-for-305) with 13 doubles, 16 home runs and 47 RBI in 98 games. He ranked third among all National League catchers with 16 home runs, trailing Atlanta's Brian McCann (23) and Arizona's Miguel Montero (18). He also led the Dodgers with 88 games and 85 starts behind the plate while posting a 3.56 catchers ERA, which was the third-lowest among National League qualifiers.

"They were aggressive," said Barajas, who confirmed that he also had firm offers from multiple other teams. "They definitely showed that they wanted me to be a part of the team. For me, to feel like I'm wanted is huge. The way they came after me, that's what you want to feel when you're a free agent."

Since the beginning of the 2009 season, Barajas ranks third among all Major League catchers with 50 home runs, trailing only Brian McCann (64) and Miguel Olivo (51). During that time period he also ranks sixth among all backstops with 161 RBI.

In 966 games behind the plate during his big league career, Barajas has also produced a .993 fielding percentage, committing 45 errors in 6473 total chances.

The 36-year-old Barajas has a career average of .238 (746-for-3139) with 176 doubles, 125 home runs and 449 RBI in 1010 games in the big leagues with Arizona (1999-2003), Texas (2004-2006), Philadelphia (2007), Toronto (2008-2009), the New York Mets (2010) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2010-2011).

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