LOS ANGELES -- Lacking too much offense without the injured Russell Martin, the Dodgers made a move to bring in a veteran catcher for the stretch run on Sunday.
Los Angeles claimed Rod Barajas of the Mets off waivers and will add the 34-year-old to the roster officially on Tuesday in Milwaukee. A.J. Ellis, Sunday's starter at Dodger Stadium against the Reds, will be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque until Major League rosters expand in September, when he will likely return.
In his 12th season, Barajas had played in 74 games for the Mets this year, including 67 starts. He hit .225 with 12 homers, 11 doubles and 34 RBIs in 249 at-bats in his first season in New York, bringing a power threat to a position where the Dodgers essentially had none.
When Martin was lost for the season with a labral tear in his right hip on Aug. 4, the Dodgers turned to 41-year-old Brad Ausmus, who had missed the first half of the season because of back surgery, and the 29-year-old Ellis, who had played 10 games in the Majors before this season. They hit a combined .183 with no home runs and 11 RBIs in 128 at-bats.
"It's a move that's going to make us better, especially offensively," Ellis said. "We both did a really good job in terms of handling the staff. I think we've done a good job preparing and calling games. The problem's been offense."
"At this point in time we need that third catcher," manager Joe Torre said. "We were hard pressed to find another catcher to bring up. We'll catch [Barajas], he'll share with Ausmus and probably do most of the catching."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.