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Rod Barajas and J.P. Ricciardi

Ah, what a difference a year makes...

Remember this, from November 2006?

As far as the Blue Jays were concerned, they had signed free-agent catcher Rod Barajas. After all, he had signed an agreement.

On Tuesday, Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said that Barajas and the Jays had "more than a handshake," regarding the two-year contract the catcher was offered. On Wednesday, at a press conference to announce the re-signing of catcher Gregg Zaun, Ricciardi acknowledged that Barajas actually signed before backing out two days earlier.

"Where I'm from, that's done," Ricciardi said. "If your word doesn't mean anything any more or your signature doesn't mean anything, what kind of world do we live in? It's all right, though. This worked out for the better.

"We were going to have a press conference for him and we were flying his family up."

* * *

"The original two agents agreed, and they did a great job -- a super job," Ricciardi said. "Your word is supposed to mean something. What does that say to the agents you just did a deal with? You're going to get a new agent and start renegotiating? No."

"I was disappointed in the fact that the player would go back on his word and a new agent just came in and now we have no deal," he added. "Look, we don't want anyone who doesn't want to be here. If you don't want to be here, we don't need you. The game isn't going to stop."

And then, after all that, after Barajas goes to Philadelphia on a one year deal and becomes a free agent again, this story came down yesterday:

News flash: J.P. Ricciardi says he has a short memory.

"Sometimes you need that, especially in sports," the Toronto Blue Jays' general manager said last night after the club signed free-agent catcher Rod Barajas to a one-year contract worth $1.2-million (all currency U.S.). There is an option for 2009 based on games started.