Jays "Mildly" Interested in Ryan Doumit - C PIT

 Based on a recent report by Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Jays are said to have mild interest in Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, who will be 29 in April 2010.

Ryan Doumit is currently in the midst of serving a 3-yr 11.5 million dollar contract. Based on what is listed on Cot's, Ryan is owed $3.65 million in 2010, $5.2 million in 2011, with added club options for 2012 and 2013 that hold a $500,000 buyout. The Pirates have their 2009 #1 draft pick Tony Sachez waiting to become the catcher in Pittsburgh as soon as he is ready, which may be as soon as 2010. They also have a cheaper option in Jason Jaramillo who proved he could do the job full time last season, and the newly acquired Jeff Clement to share the role with.

What could acquiring Doumit cost the Jays? Lyle Overbay would be an option and would actually end up costing the Jays less, but are the Pirates interested in Overbay? They've recently been linked to other players such as Rick Ankiel who could play RF or 1B, depending on who is better in the OF, him or Garrett Jones. If they don't sign Ankiel, they could easily place Overbay as their 1B. The spoke in the wheel for the Jays is that the Pirates still believe Jeff Clement can win the 1B job outright, although I'm not sure he's their best option. Lyle has played in the NL Central before, with the Brewers, and does come off the books in 2011. So, once the Pirates bring up Pedro Alvarez and start moving people around, Lyle's obligations will be gone, and Doumit won't be in the way of either Tony Sanchez or whoever is manning 1B, if they trade him.

If the Pirates feel they're better off going with another option at 1B, or the Jays and Pirates can't agree on value since Doumit did have concussion issues in 2009 and costs a bit more over 2 years, the Pirates could ask for some pen help such as Brian Tallet, who is a cheaper option at just over $1 million.

So, what do we get if we deal Overbay or Tallet for Doumit?
We get a 29 year old switch-hitting catcher who can also fill in as a 1B when needed, who can easily hit over .270 each season, can hit around 15 HRs, has a decent OBP (.357 in 2008 - when healthy) and also hits a lot of doubles for a catcher. He's an ok defender, but won't win any awards for his play behind the plate. I'm not sure what his impact or personality is like in the locker room, but I haven't heard any negatives either. I'm pretty sure the Jays would be happier with acquiring a player like Ryan if there wasn't a second year on the contract at $5.2 million. Because like us, they have no crystal ball that can tell them that Ryan will return to form after wrist surgery and concussion issues and be worth that kind of investment. The question is, is he worth that much money for that output and the injury risk? I'm not sure, but with the other options sitting out there, he may have the most upside if he returns to form (higher reward), which would lead me to believe the Jays could trade him for a lot more than they'd give up to get him if he excels in 2010 and regains his power stroke with a healthier wrist.

The Jays are definitely kicking the tires on all catcher options, and some are already finding new homes. I'm a big Doumit fan and like the fact he could stick around 2 years as JP Arencibia makes his start in MLB. However, as was the case with Chris Snyder, the Jays are playing with fire in terms of acquiring players with serious health issues. Time will tell if a deal can get done. If you want to get to know Doumit a little more, see this fun question /answer blog post by jquist.

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