Barajas Gives Phils Veteran Catcher

Rod Barajas would like a guarantee to play everyday, but the Phillies were the next best thing. The veteran catcher signed a one-year deal with an option for a second year, giving the Phillies a veteran catcher to help groom Carlos Ruiz.

The Phillies are still looking for a left-handed hitter, but they've added two right-handed hitters in the past two days. Rod Barajas inked a one-year deal with an option for a second season. The deal will reportedly pay Barajas a minimum of $2.5 million.

The plan is still to have Carlos Ruiz do the bulk of the catching, but Barajas will certainly see a good share of playing time behind the plate. Chris Coste, who was set to backup Ruiz, will be used as a third catcher and will likely be one of the first pinch-hitters coming off the bench.

For Barajas, the deal was the best available after he turned down a reported two-year, $5.25 million deal with Toronto.

Barajas, who will be playing in his eighth major league season in 2007, is a career .240 hitter who hit a career-high 21 home runs as a member of the Texas Rangers in 2005. Barajas' career took off in 2004 when he became a member of the Texas Rangers. Over his first five seasons, Barajas hit 11 home runs in just over 500 at bats with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In three seasons with Texas Barajas saw considerably more home runs (47) in just over 1,200 at bats.

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