One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Former Expo Michael Barrett signs Minor League Contract with Jays

As the title suggests, Michael Barrett, the former Expo (Cub and Padre), has been signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to a minor league contract, which includes an invite to Blue Jays Spring Training.

The last two seasons, especially last year he has missed many games due to being on the disabled list.

He had five complete seasons with the Expos, 1999 - 2003. His MLB debut came September 19, 1998. He then had three full seasons with the Cubs 2004 - 2006. He played in 57 games, starting 52, in 2007 with the Cubs before being traded to San Diego along with cash considerations for Rob Bowen and Kyler Burke. He then played in 44 games with the Padres, starting 31 to finish 2007.

Last year he managed to play in only 30 games, due to an elbow injury (missed 42 games), and broken nose (missed the last 76 games).

He is a fairly respectable catcher, I preferred him over Brian Schneider, when they were together as Expos teammates, not based on stats, just generally. He can put up respectable numbers as a catcher too, both offensively and defensively. MLB doesn't seem to have a percentage for runners he caught stealing (just the SB and CS), but I believe he is alright in that category. The scouting report says he is typically slow for a catcher. He put up some good RBI numbers with the Cubs, as it states in the same scouting report he is a proven run producer. The most games he started as a catcher came in 2001 with the Expos starting 129, then 119 in 2004, and 114 in 2005 both with the Cubs.

I believe if he has a good spring he'll definitely be competing with Rod Barajas for the number one catching position for the Jays. Rod Barajas had a really good year after taking over the number one job from Gregg Zaun who missed 55 games due to injury (fractured right thumb, 39, and right elbow inflammation 16). Zaun was unhappy how he wasn't even told he lost the number one catcher job, and the Blue Jays have no intention of resigning him, as he is a free agent.

Meanwhile, Brad Wilkerson remains a free agent.

I have probably mentioned this before, but Gregg Zaun was a Montreal Expo during Spring Training 2004. (January 13, 2004, Expos signed him to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. April 4, Montreal reassigned him to minor league camp. On April 8 he declined and opted for free agency. April 9 the Blue Jays signed him to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Syracuse. April 27 the Blue Jays purchased his contract from Triple-A Syracuse. During that time with Syracuse he played in 7 games, and had 23 ABs (he went 7 for 23 with 2BB).)

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