Wednesday, February 17, 2010

With The Mets Moving on Barajas (Again), Would Thole Get The PT He Needs In Buffalo?

It looks like the Mets are still trying to add Rod Barajas, the only question is exactly how hard they are pushing to do it.  According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Mets "are making "a hard push" for free-agent catcher Rod Barajas and negotiating with him on a one-year deal, according to major-league sources."  This is interesting because according to Jon Heyman on twitter, the Mets have offered Barajas a low salary, minor-league deal.

Personally, I'm having a hard time reconciling these two reports.  I guess the main thing to take from these is that the Mets are still interested in adding Barajas and seem to be in negotiations.  However, I find it hard to believe that you can characterize a low money-minor league deal as a "hard push."  I know this will excite some Mets fans who didn't like the idea of the unproven Thole behind the plate, or another year of Santos, but I'm slightly bummed about it.  At this point, I wanted to see Thole win the job, and I think the presence of Barajas might block that, even if Thole plays well.

While I'm sure Barajas is a fine defensive catcher, and will definitely be an upgrade over Santos, (should they sign him) I'm a little confused again.   I was just getting warm on the idea of letting Thole learn to catch with Blanco and a major league staff.  Beyond that, this is going to cause a serious problem at Triple-A.  Now you have Riggans, Coste, Santos and Thole all vying for playing time in Buffalo.  To me that's not going to be beneficial to the growth of Thole as a catcher.  If he's not in the majors, the guy needs to be playing everyday in the minors, PERIOD.  There should be no debate about this.  The fact that there will be three other catchers competing for playing time in TRIPLE-A, is not good.

Although, I know most people will be excited about the defensive "prowess" of Barajas, who was second in the AL in throwing at baserunners, I'm slightly concerned about putting a guy with an OBP of .258 last year into the line-up.  I know it's late to harp on this, but if the Mets wanted an upgrade they should have gotten Molina.  While I think Barajas would be fine, his defense better blow me out of the water because his presence in the line-up would give the Mets close to two automatic outs (pitcher spot), and that's something you cannot have in a major league line-up...

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