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Ryan Doumit Might Not Stick With Pirates Next Year

Dejan Kovacevic writes that Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit probably won't be back next season.

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If you’re betting that Doumit will be back, I’m betting that you lose.

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The team isn’t going to exercise Doumit’s dual club options for 2012-13, and if Doumit’s smart — he is — he’ll go out and test free agency. It’s a lousy year for catchers on the open market, which could be great for him.

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Kovacevic is probably right about the option the Pirates have on Doumit's services for both 2012 and 2013. He's been injury-prone his entire career, and he's a catcher heading into his thirties - taking a two-year risk on him seems excessive.

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On the other hand, the Pirates' offense is terrible, and the distance between Doumit's offensive abilities and those of the Pirates' remaining options is enormous. A team that hits as badly as the Pirates do really can't go through the year with Michael McKenry, Matt Pagnozzi and other players of that type at catcher. And Chris Snyder has an option that the Pirates will also likely decline.

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My preferred course of action with Doumit would be to decline the option but offer him arbitration, which would pay him about $7 million next year. That's still a lot, but at least it's only one year. Kovacevic might be right that he wouldn't accept it, however.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.