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Dodgers Sign Rod Barajas: Now What?

In Rod we trust.
In Rod we trust.

Lost in the non-tendering of Russell Martin last night was that the Dodgers are bringing back Rod Barajas on a one-year contract. The deal is not yet official, but Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported that the deal is done. Financial terms are not yet known. I have a few thoughts on the Barajas deal and what to expect:

Barajas won't hit .297/.361/.578 again

This is not revelatory, of course, but that's what Barajas hit in 25 games as a Dodger in 2010. Sure, he likes playing at home, so let's give him some sort of performance bump, but be reasonable. Barajas hit .240/.287/.441 on the season, and has hit .239/.284/.412 in his career. Expect offensive numbers more like that.

Barajas will throw out more than 15% of base stealers

Barajas threw out two of 13 runners as a Dodger, and threw out six of 40 would-be base stealers on the season in 2010, but he's normally better than that. He threw out between 33% and 40% of baserunners every season from 2002 to 2009, so don't be surprised if Barajas improves in throwing out runners

The Dodgers will sign another catcher

Ned Colletti last night said, of Barajas, "This is somebody who, if the season were to start today, would take the lion's share of [playing time], with A.J. in a backup role," per Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles, but the key there is "if the season were to start today." I can be talked into A.J. Ellis as a backup catcher, but not when there is almost literally nobody behind him on the organizational depth chart. Hector Gimenez is technically on the 40-man roster, but he is also out of options and is Hector Gimenez. I think the Dodgers sign another catcher, maybe even Martin, to share time with Barajas, leaving Ellis to Triple A.

What's other moves might the Dodgers make?

The signing of Barajas gives the Dodgers 37 players on the 40-man roster, leaving three spots to be filled. My guess is that the Dodgers will sign an outfielder, another catcher, and a relief pitcher (Vicente Padilla could be on the verge of returning), and that will pretty much be it for the offseason.

Current 40-man roster:

Dodgers 40-Man Roster
Player 2011 Age* Service Time 2011 Salary
Pitchers (19)
Ronald Belisario 28 1.133 team control
Chad Billingsley 26 4.110 arb eligible
Jonathan Broxton 27 5.020 $7,000,000
Scott Elbert 25 0.100 team control
John Ely 25 0.101 team control
Jon Garland 31 10.071 $3,500,000
Javy Guerra 25 0.000 team control
Blake Hawksworth 28 1.108 team control
Kenley Jansen 23 0.073 team control
Clayton Kershaw 23 2.105 team control
Hong-Chih Kuo 29 4.114 arb eligible
Hiroki Kuroda 36 3.000 $8,000,000
Brent Leach 28 0.090 team control
Ted Lilly 35 10.102 $7,500,000
Jon Link 27 0.047 team control
Carlos Monasterios 25 1.000 team control
Travis Schlichting 26 0.143 team control
Ramon Troncoso 28 2.080 team control
Luis Vazquez
25 0.000 team control
Catchers (3)
Rod Barajas 35 10.000 ??
A.J. Ellis 30 1.062 team control
Hector Gimenez
28 1.016 team control
Infielders (9)
Casey Blake 37 8.138 $5,250,000
Jamey Carroll 37 8.020 $2,500,000
Ivan DeJesus 24 0.000 team control
Rafael Furcal 33 11.000 $12,000,000
Chin-lung Hu 27 1.016 team control
John Lindsey 34 0.028 team control
James Loney 27 4.012 arb eligible
Russ Mitchell 26 0.028 team control
Juan Uribe 31 9.090 $5,000,000
Outfielders (6)
Andre Ethier 29 4.153 $9,250,000
Jay Gibbons 34 7.057 $650,000
Jamie Hoffmann 26 0.025 team control
Matt Kemp 26 4.049 $7,100,000
Xavier Paul 26 1.041 team control
Trayvon Robinson 23 0.000 team control
*age is as of June 30, 2011