Hot Stove Rumors: Red Sox Considering Rod Barajas As V-Mart Replacement?
The Red Sox are kicking the proverbial tires on veteran backstop Rod Barajas, according to FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi and MLBTradeRumors.com.
While the Red Sox reportedly made a bid to retain Victor Martinez behind the dish for at least the next couple seasons, they lost him to a more aggressive Detroit Tigers' organization early last Wednesday.
Although former Toronto Blue Jays All-Star John Buck might have represented a nice replacement, he was inked to a three-year, $18 million deal by the Florida Marlins at free agency's opening bell.
With the top two free agent catchers snatched up so quickly and Yorvit Torrealba having signed with Texas, the number of quality free-agent backstops is dwindling quickly.
Rod Barajas, who has apparently drawn the Red Sox' interest, joins Gerald Laird, Miguel Olivo, A.J. Pierzynski and Jason Varitek as the remaining unsigned catchers.
Although the 34-year-ol Pierzynski is rendered less attractive to potential suitors by virtue of his Type-A status, he remains the only truly viable option for a contender such as the Boston Red Sox.
While I try to keep the commentary to a minimum in these pieces, I have to seriously question the Red Sox wisdom in even considering Rod Barajas as a catcher fit for Fenway.
The 35-year-old Barajas hit .240 in 2010 and posted a 731 OPS on the back of 17 long balls. Although he's averaged throwing out 32% of potential base stealers over his career, Barajas managed to catch only 15% in 2010.
As such, Barajas represents neither a significant upgrade offensively nor a more reliable arm defensively compared to Jason Varitek, the obvious low-cost veteran option.
Rod Barajas is not the answer. But now that Martinez is gone to Motor City, there may be no clear answer.
However, the whole situation begs the question: what is Boston's true philosophy regarding their own free agents?
Considering Martinez' willingness to catch, platoon at first, and serve as designated hitter in Detroit, one has to ask why the Red Sox didn't retain him to do just that in Boston?
If Boston truly believes Martinez' catching time to be limited, surely they couldn't have done better than to replace David Ortiz with Victor Martinez as designated hitter after the 2011 season.
Draft picks are quite valuable, particularly in such a strong draft as looks to come along next June, but the Red Sox are now in a tenuous position regarding the catching position, and the process that's landed them there should concern the Red Sox faithful.
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