Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston doesn't expect Rod Barajas to return to the team next year, according to Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press (via the Toronto Sun). Barajas, who will hit free agency after the season, told reporters he's surprised his manager doesn't expect him back.
"I enjoy it here," Barajas said. "I have fun here and I don't see any reason for someone to make that assumption about me coming back."
Barajas says he wants to re-sign with Toronto after the season. The 34-year-old made $2.5MM this year and figures to be a Type B free agent. The Blue Jays could let him walk and obtain a compensation pick if he rejects arbitration to sign with another club.
Barajas has 16 homers this year, but his OBP is just .270. The Blue Jays have an alternative to Barajas at Triple A with similar on base skills. J.P. Arencibia, a first round pick two years ago, has just a .284 OBP. Like Barajas, he has power. The 23-year-old hit 21 homers and 32 doubles in Triple A this season, so the Jays could rely on him and Raul Chavez next year if Barajas departs.