TORONTO — Big news! As completely anticipated and expected, the Blue Jays picked up the $2.5 million club option for catcher Rod Barajas today. It was well known that Toronto planned on doing just that. What isn’t clear is who will be the backup behind the plate.
There’s Gregg Zaun, who is a free agent this winter and has been with the Jays for the past five seasons. He probably wouldn’t rule out a return to the Jays, but it’s not clear if the club wants to bring him back.
Beyond Zaunie, the Jays have Curtis Thigpen, J.P. Arencibia and Brian Jeroloman to maybe compete for the backup job. They could give it to Thigpen, allowing Arencibia to play every day in the Minors until he’s deemed ready to hit the big-league stage. Jeroloman probably has a future as a backup, so he could possibily push Thigpen for the job this spring.
There’s also the chance Toronto wants to add a veteran backup through free agency or via rade this offseason. If the club returns with only Barajas, there isn’t much depth at catcher. So it’d make sense to re-sign Zaun or to bring in a similar backup veteran type. Not a big storyline, but one to follow this offseason nonetheless.
Also, John Parrish filed for free agency today.