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  • Twins Ink Doumit to Two-Year Extension

    Cross one name off the trade deadline "selling" list. Ryan Doumit is here to stay Ė at least for the foreseeable future.

    Pleased with the impact of their offseason acquisition, the Twins announced Friday that they've signed the backup catcher and frequent DH to a two-year contract extension worth $7 million.

    As the 2011 season came to a close, it had become clear that the catcher position was in drastic need of an upgrade. Joe Mauer, battling assorted health issues, had posted a disappointing .239/.328/.324 line while behind the plate; meanwhile, his backups hit an anemic .158/.209/.227.

    With Mauer's wellness still in question, the Twins needed to add a player who could fill in behind the plate. Among the list of available free agents, Ryan Doumit stood out as an ideal fit. A capable backstop with enough lumber to fill in at positions like right field and designated hitter, and with a modest price tag.

    Terry Ryan clearly liked those attributes and got him at a bargain: one year, $3 million. Doumit has lived up to expectations. There's a bit more risk involved with his new contract, of course, but we're talking about $3.5 million per year here. That's about what the Twins threw away on seven starts from Jason Marquis this year; about what they're paying Tsuyoshi Nishioka to play in Rochester.

    Unlike those two, Doumit has already proven his usefulness. His flexibility suits this club's needs well, now and going forward, and while he's not the kind of dominant bat you build your lineup around he adds some nice switch-hitting punch to the bottom half.

    Doumit is on the wrong side of 30 and not hugely athletic to begin with, so there exists a real possibility that his decline phase will hit before this contract is over. He's also been injured a lot during his career, and one healthy half hardly erases that history.

    Nevertheless, the Twins are taking a relatively minor risk here and the (very realistic) upside is that Doumit keeps doing what he's been doing Ė this year and most of his career Ė while staying fairly healthy in a role that is designed to keep him that way.

    Simply put, he has more value to this team than as a trade chip, especially at the price they've locked him up for. This is a great deal from any perspective.

    What do you think about Doumit's new deal? Join the discussion on our forum thread.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Ink Doumit to Two-Year Extension started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      I apparently wasn't clear enough.

      I am not suggesting that the 2.5 million would be used alone to buy a pitcher. I am saying that I would not spend any other money on offense since as you pointed out all of the positions are locked up.

      I would also suggest that the Twins stop looking for decline phase players who will take a 3-5 million dollar deal. Take three of those players like Carroll, Doumit and Marquis and instead spend it on one larger contract and two near minimum contracts.

      Why not after an Edwin Jackson first and see what you have left? Instead they sign Doumit and Carroll first and then are stuck with 3-5 million which got them Marquis and Zumaya. It is no different now. Their first priority for 2013 was a role player. That money is gone. My assumption is the budget will not change much. Is there anything that they have said otherwise?

      Maybe their assumption is any contract 3-5 million must be a good one. The sign Blackburn and Span to long term deals in that range to avoid arbitration. Span worked out. Blackburn didn't. They gave that level of contract to Carroll, Doumit, Nishioka and Marquis. Is the total worth the sum of the parts?

      I think the philosophy needs to change.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Here's the thing: Doumit isn't a backup catcher. He's a starting DH who can backup at catcher. The Twins could absolutely have gotten another backup catcher at $1M, but he isn't nearly as productive as Doumit.

      Turns out, the Twins have a guy just like that who they're on the hook for big money for the next few years. They compliment each other perfectly. The other option is going out and buying a backup catcher for a couple of million dollard less, except:
      - his offensive production likely won't come close to Doumits
      - it'll put pressure on the Twins to have Mauer start more behind the plate, which risks his production going down and further injury AND
      - you still have to sign a DH, which isn't an issue next year because of Morneau and Parmelee, but could be the year after.

      When they signed Doumit in the offseason, I didn't like it. I felt they were better served getting a cheaper platoon partner for Joe because I didn't trust Doumit to keep Butera out of the lineup. But I'm wrong. The Twins catching tandem is top five in the league offensively, even with Butera getting some at-bats. Continuing that for the next two years for $7M is a bargain. And I think it still leave them plenty of money to spend on pitching. I don't think they will, but they still could.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Are you saying that Doumit projects as a league average or better DH for the duration of the contract?
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      I think it's clear that the Twins will not be using the DH more and more as a 'day off' -- an unconventional use of the DH for sure and without much evidence to support this use of the DH.
    1. East Coast Twin's Avatar
      East Coast Twin -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      And I think it still leave them plenty of money to spend on pitching. I don't think they will, but they still could.
      You don't think they will pursue starting pitching in the offseason?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Here's the thing: Doumit isn't a backup catcher. He's a starting DH who can backup at catcher. The Twins could absolutely have gotten another backup catcher at $1M, but he isn't nearly as productive as Doumit.

      Turns out, the Twins have a guy just like that who they're on the hook for big money for the next few years. They compliment each other perfectly. The other option is going out and buying a backup catcher for a couple of million dollard less, except:
      - his offensive production likely won't come close to Doumits
      - it'll put pressure on the Twins to have Mauer start more behind the plate, which risks his production going down and further injury AND
      - you still have to sign a DH, which isn't an issue next year because of Morneau and Parmelee, but could be the year after.

      When they signed Doumit in the offseason, I didn't like it. I felt they were better served getting a cheaper platoon partner for Joe because I didn't trust Doumit to keep Butera out of the lineup. But I'm wrong. The Twins catching tandem is top five in the league offensively, even with Butera getting some at-bats. Continuing that for the next two years for $7M is a bargain. And I think it still leave them plenty of money to spend on pitching. I don't think they will, but they still could.
      Great post. This is exactly correct. With regard to your last paragraph . . . Rod Barajas (in your blueprint . . . ) hasn't been too terrible either (though certainly on the decline) and at $2 million that wouldn't have been a bad outcome. Yet somehow he got $4 million . . . and probably no real future beyond this year.

      Also, add Chris Herrmann instead of Drew Butera and the situation only gets better.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by East Coast Twin View Post
      You don't think they will pursue starting pitching in the offseason?
      I think he is referring to "spending plenty" not simply pursuing starting pitching. I hope he is wrong. $20 million would be plenty enough.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Are you saying that Doumit projects as a league average or better DH for the duration of the contract?
      The average OPS of a DH right this year in the AL is 774. That's almost exactly Doumit's career average. So, yeah, he's about a league average DH.

      But that isn't really my point. My point is that he ISN'T a backup catcher. Backup catchers don't get 500 plate appearances and don't start when the starting catcher is in the lineup and don't have a career OPS of 775. He's an EVERYDAY guy, and just because a good fraction of those days happen to be behind the plate doesn't mean his value is limited to the market of a backup catcher. He really is being used as a DH, only with the very real added benefit of being able to keep Mauer healthy and productive.

      I'll say it again: I'm surprised he signed this deal. He was 3 months away from hitting the trade market as a switch-hitting catcher with a 775 OPS (in the AL) who finally stayed healthy. I don't think that necessarily means a multi-year deal, but it might have meant a 1-year deal for $4-$6M where he could prove he could do it a second year in a row and get that multi-year deal.

      Here's another way to look at it: he's a slightly older Kubel, except he can catch quite a bit but looks lost in the OF. Kubel signed for 3/$20M. That's not a perfect comparison, but it's hard to see why one is worth $7M+ per year and one is worth $3.5M+. I'll take the latter.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by East Coast Twin View Post
      You don't think they will pursue starting pitching in the offseason?
      I don't think they're going to go after any of the premier starting pitchers on the market. They might go after than next level, since there's kind of a glut, but that's where I think have Terry Ryan as a GM works against them. Bill Smith did a nice job of gaming the free agent market. Ryan is too risk adverse. He won't wait for someone to fall to him.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      I'll say it again: I'm surprised he signed this deal. He was 3 months away from hitting the trade market as a switch-hitting catcher with a 775 OPS (in the AL) who finally stayed healthy. I don't think that necessarily means a multi-year deal, but it might have meant a 1-year deal for $4-$6M where he could prove he could do it a second year in a row and get that multi-year deal.
      I was also shocked at this deal. If Doumit is healthy, I thought he'd be more along the lines of a 3/$18m guy. When the extension talk started, I expected something like 2/$12m, maybe 2/$10m.

      2/$7m is a steal.

      This deal reaffirms my belief that JR returning as GM was a great move for the franchise. He replaced Cuddyer with a younger version for 60% of the cost. He nabbed Doumit for less than 75% of what I thought he was worth on the open market. JR needs to stick around for a little longer.
    1. East Coast Twin's Avatar
      East Coast Twin -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      I don't think they're going to go after any of the premier starting pitchers on the market. They might go after than next level, since there's kind of a glut, but that's where I think have Terry Ryan as a GM works against them. Bill Smith did a nice job of gaming the free agent market. Ryan is too risk adverse. He won't wait for someone to fall to him.
      Okay. Thanks.
    1. East Coast Twin's Avatar
      East Coast Twin -
      Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl View Post
      I think he is referring to "spending plenty" not simply pursuing starting pitching. I hope he is wrong. $20 million would be plenty enough.
      Plus another $22M is freed up after 2013 when Morneau, Nishioka and Blackburn's contracts end. I would think the Twins are in a position after this season to offer a multi-year deal.
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