By Jason Shetler
In a move that comes as no surprise, the Pirates have declined Rod Barajas’ club option for 2013. This according to Rob Biertempfel. Barajas was due to make $3.5M next season had his option been exercised, but instead will receive no buyout. Barajas signed as a free agent last November to be the Pirates regular catcher after Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder signed elsewhere, and because Michael McKenry didn’t show enough that he could be the Pirates starting backstop entering 2012. Barajas struggled with the Pirates this year where he posted a batting line of .206/.283/.343 in 104 games played and threw out just 6% of opposing basestealers which was the worst mark in all of baseball. Despite the poor numbers, Barajas for whatever reason, continued to get more playing time over the better performing Michael McKenry. The Pirates will now have to decide whether to re-sign Barajas for cheaper or let him walk? I personally think it would be a mistake to bring him back even as a backup. Besides the fact he doesn’t give you much offensive upside, his defense is below average and you’d like to have someone who can throw out baserunners consistently on days when McKenry isn’t catching.