By John Perrotto
The Pirates' approach to free agency has seemingly forever been to wait until later in the offseason then try to find bargains.
They went against the grain Thursday, though, by signing veteran catcher Rod Barajas to a one-year, $4 million contract. The deal also includes a club option worth $3.5 million in 2013 but contains no buyout clause.
Barajas said his agent heard from a number of teams but the Pirates were clearly the most interested.
"They were aggressive," Barajas said. "They gave me the feeling they really wanted me to be a part of their team. They played good baseball for four months last season and showed a lot of improvement. I think we're going to better next year. It just seemed like a really situation to be in."