Jays sign Barajas to one-year deal
Veteran will serve as Zaun's backup at catcher
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays and Rod Barajas have apparently cleared the air. After an agreement fell apart between the two sides last offseason, leading to some harsh words, Toronto has signed Barajas to a one-year contract worth $1.2 million to be its backup catcher.
Barajas' new deal, which includes an option for 2009, came to fruition with the Jays on Thursday night. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi was not immediately available for comment, but was scheduled to discuss the signing with the media on Friday.
The 32-year-old Barajas spent last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he hit .230 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 48 games. Barajas, who has thrown out 33.7 percent of basestealers over his career, will serve as the backup catcher to Toronto's Gregg Zaun.
Last winter, Barajas inked a one-year, $3 million contract with the Phillies after spurning a two-year, $5.25 million offer to suit up for Toronto. Philadelphia's deal included a $5 million club option for 2008, but the team decided against picking it up, making Barajas a free agent.
The Blue Jays indicated that Barajas agreed to sign in November 2006, but then the catcher switched agents and backed out of the negotiations with the Blue Jays. After the contract talks with Barajas fell apart, the Blue Jays re-signed Zaun to a two-year deal worth $7.25 million.
"I was disappointed in the fact that [Barajas] would go back on his word and a new agent just came in and now we have no deal," Ricciardi said last offseason. "Look, we don't want anyone who doesn't want to be here. If you don't want to be here, we don't need you. The game isn't going to stop.
"I'm going to take the high road. We're happy with Zaunie and we'll remember this one."
If any hard feelings remained, they obviously weren't detrimental enough to stop Ricciardi and Toronto from signing Barajas this winter. To clear room for the catcher on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated infielder Ray Olmedo for assignment.
Over his career, Barajas has hit .239 with 62 homers and 235 RBIs between stints with the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Phillies.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.