…and that should tell you a lot, because Rod Barajas is horrendous. He’ll be 35 in two weeks, and his laughably bad .263 OBP this year is actually not that far off his amazingly poor .284 career mark. He just missed a month with an oblique strain, and he’s hitting .163/.223/.221 since the end of May.
He’s also your new Dodger starting catcher, since they claimed him off waivers from the Mets today. That should tell you something as well; even though he’s got less than half of his paltry $500k salary coming to him, the Mets didn’t even work out a deal with the Dodgers. They just said, “fine. Take him.”
There’s definitely an air of “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” to this move, but the sad truth is… A.J. Ellis and Brad Ausmus are so unbelievably bad, that getting Barajas for free is actually a small step up. Does Barajas’ OBP suck? Sure, it does. But it’s not like Ellis (.237) or Ausmus (.275) are doing any better, and Barajas at least offers one thing that neither Ausmus or Ellis can even dream about: power. Ausmus has one homer in the last two years, while Ellis hasn’t hit one since 2008 despite spending time in high-altitude Albuquerque in each of the last few years. Barajas hit 19 last year, and 12 in just 267 plate appearances this year.
So the trade, in itself, is not a problem. For about $150k, they acquired a pretty bad catcher to replace their amazingly bad catchers, so fine. The problem here may be a larger issue, though; as I’ve mentioned about a billion times lately, the team needs to sell. They need to sell Ted Lilly. They need to sell Manny Ramirez. They need to sell anyone who’s not signed for next year, but once again, they’re buying.
If this deal is just a free way to make an embarrassing position slightly less embarrassing, then fine. If they still fancy themselves contenders… that’s just a complete organizational failure which will have repercussions into the future.