The Blue Jays would like to re-sign shortstop Marco Scutaro and catcher Rod Barajas, GM Alex Anthopoulos told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Anthopoulos also said he will not learn his budget until later this month. Our recent Offseason Outlook suggests the Blue Jays will only have $10MM to spend unless payroll is increased.
Scutaro, 34 later this month, hit .282/.379/.409 in 680 plate appearances this year. His defense was average this year and above average last year, based on UZR/150. Coming off a career year, Scutaro figures to ask for at least $6MM annually. He's a projected Type A free agent, so the Jays will miss out on the chance to add two draft picks if they re-sign him.
Barajas, 34, hit .226/.258/.403 in a career-high 460 PAs this year. Among those with 400 PAs, Barajas' OBP was the worst in baseball. He had a pretty strong season defensively, though not quite on par with his arbitration-eligible teammate Raul Chavez. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian recently explained that the Jays may need to re-sign Barajas because prospects J.P. Arencibia and Brian Jeroloman need more minor league seasoning and Chavez might fit better as a backup. Barajas profiles as a Type B free agent, though it's not certain the Jays will offer him arbitration.
If Scutaro earns $6MM in 2010 and Barajas repeats his $2.5MM salary, the Blue Jays might not have much left to spend if they re-sign both. Anthopoulos could backload Scutaro's contract to create more payroll space in 2010, but going beyond two years on the 34-year-old would be dangerous.