Former Pirate Chris Snyder has quietly gone unsigned since free agency started last month. The Pirates rightly declined a $6.75M option on his deal with them. Snyder is worth nowhere near that, and there hasn't been much fuss about them cutting him loose. That said, I'm pretty confident he'd sign for around half that (or less) if the Pirates were one of only a few teams willing to give him a Major League deal (one-year) for 2012.
There are a few arguments against this, which I understand. First, he profiles pretty similarly to Rod Barajas, in that he's a high-strikeout catcher with respectable defense and some power. Second, he isn't likely to be a part of the next winning Pirates team. And third, there are probably better things in the world for this franchise to be doing than spending a combined $7-8 million on mediocre veteran catchers like Barajas and Snyder.
But there are also positives to the idea, and I think they outweigh the negatives. Snyder has a much better plate approach than Barajas and is a pretty good bet to walk more and post an OBP at least 20 points better. This is all while playing pretty comparable defense, which could admittedly be questionable because of his bad back. If Snyder plays 75 games and hits seven or eight home runs and Barajas hits 10 or so the rest of the season, that's solid pop between your two catchers.
Most importantly, Snyder's better than Michael McKenry by virtually any measure. McKenry had a neat little run last summer, but he can't hit and doesn't bring anything all that special defensively. His defense is good, sure, but I'd bet it doesn't add the Pirates even a half win over what Snyder would bring in a similar number of games played. McKenry is a AAAA player, whereas Snyder is a legitimate Major League catcher.
The Pirates have money to spend, and if they're not going to use it to find some way to get Kevin Correia out of their starting rotation, they should look into bringing back Snyder. He would go a long way toward giving the Pirates insurance that they put out a respectable Major League lineup all year and don't rely on McKenry and his inevitable .270 OBP. That's worth a few million dollars.