The Pirates have agreed to terms with catcher Rod Barajas to a one-year deal worth $4 million, plus a $3.5 million option on 2012 with no buyout. Kudos to the Bucs for getting in there and acting aggressively to, you know, fix the fact that they had no catcher, particularly given that the free-agent market was weak. I was never in favor of picking up Ryan Doumit's option, but I did hope they'd find a way to bring them back, simply because the catching situation without him was so dire. Barajas is a big downgrade from Doumit in terms of hitting ability - he's only cleared a .300 OBP twice in his career - but he's an upgrade in terms of Staying Healthy So Mike McKenry Isn't In The Lineup All The Time. Barajas is also a better defender than Doumit, and he has good power for a catcher.
The 2013 option on his services is nice, too, in that it will give the Pirates some flexibility next year if they need it. I don't expect they'll exercise it, since Barajas is old (and therefore reasonably likely to decline in 2012) and since they apparently don't like exercising options. But it's nice to have around.