#5 Rod Barajas, 1 year $4 million
In November 2011, Rod Barajas signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates worth $4 million. The signing was seen as a move by the Pirates to address their need for a veteran catcher who could help mentor their young pitching staff. Barajas was coming off a productive season with the Los Angeles Dodgers in which he hit .230 with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs. Although he struggled offensively during his time with the Pirates, Barajas was praised for his work with the pitching staff and his ability to handle a young and inexperienced rotation.
Rod Barajas played as the starting catcher for the 2012 baseball season. He started the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a one-year deal with a club option for year 2. During his time with the Pirates, Barajas struggled at the plate, hitting just .206 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 78 games. However, he was known for his solid defense and game-calling abilities behind the plate.
Overall, Barajas had a well below-average season offensively but was valuable to both the Pirates for his defensive skills, game calling, and mentorship to the pitchers. Barajas was mainly brought in for those reasons along with the team needing a catcher. The Bucs would not exercise their option to bring him back for 2013.
Another reason was that newly acquired pitcher AJ Burnett had worked with Barajas in the past and they had a very good relationship. If not for those reasons Barajas probably would not have even made it to August with the team. At the time a young Michael "The Fort" McKenry was showing promise as a potential backup catcher.