PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Veteran catcher Rod Barajas accepted the Mets' major-league offer Saturday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth close to $1 million, plus another $1 million in incentives, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.
Barajas, who first must pass a physical examination, immediately moves atop the Mets' depth chart behind the plate. The Mets, who had been casting about for help after Bengie Molina spurned them and re-signed with San Francisco, had not done better than Henry Blanco and Omir Santos before landing Barajas.
The Mets had signed Blanco with the intent of making him their backup catcher. Santos, 29, has spent most of his career in the minors and though he did respond to an opportunity with the Mets last summer -- .260 with seven homers and 40 RBI -- he's viewed more as an organizational depth guy, not a pivotal part of a team being built to challenge for the NL East title.
Barajas also had fielded interest from Texas and others, but only had received offers of minor-league deals. The Mets initially offered him a minor-league contract but upgraded that to a major-league offer on Friday. The one-year offer, as general manager Omar Minaya said Saturday, affords Barajas "the opportunity to be able to be back on the market next year in a positive situation."
Aside from the Mets, there is one other beneficiary of Barajas signing a major-league deal: Toronto. The Blue Jays will receive a supplemental first-round pick as compensation because Barajas is a Type-B free agent and declined arbitration. On a minor-league deal, Toronto would have received no compensation.
Barajas, 34, batted .226 with 19 homers and 71 RBI while catching for the Blue Jays last summer.