The Pittsburgh Pirates face difficulties in upgrading the catcher position from an offensive standpoint, after declining Ryan Doumit’s option this week.
Doumit who hit .303 with 8 home runs, 30 RBI’s last season and batted .328 in 125 at-bats after the All-Star break, is a free agent for the first time in his career.
Scouts believe a move to the American League in a DH role would best serve Doumit who is below average defensively at catcher. His agent Matt Sosnick says Doumit is open to all options, including 1B, RF, and DH.
“He would play all positions, ” Sosnick told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com on Friday afternoon.
Sources inside the Pirates organization indicate that GM Neal Huntington intends to monitor Doumit’s market in free agency but that the Pirates won’t make an “actual” play to resign him.
Sosnick believes that the Pirates have showed their cards and have moved on as he has yet to receive one phone call from Huntington since being informed that the team was decliningÂ Doumit’s option.
Sosnick though indicates that Doumit is open to coming back, despite his comments from earlier in the week that it’s time to move on.
“He would be open to coming back, but my sense is that team has moved on, ” Sosnick said.
PIRATES TYPE B FREE AGENTS
Derrek Lee, Ryan Ludwick, Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder are type B Free Agents. The Pirates have until November 23, to decide whether to offer arbitration. The team has intentions of offering Lee arbitration. The Pirates have been engaged in talks with Lee’s agent Casey Close since September. Lee though has full intentions of testing the open market and explore better opportunities, according to sources.
Agent Casey Close also represents Rays first baseman Casey Kotchman who the Pirates looked into at the trade deadline and who is on their radar.
If the Pirates offer Lee arbitration, he would have until December 7th to reject or accept. The Pirates are prepared to match or exceed Lee’s $7.25 million salary from last season.
TYPE-A FREE AGENTS
The Pirates do not expect to be in the mix for Type-A free agents and will not consider any Type-A free agents who are eligible for first or second round compensation.
The player who has been somewhat linked to the Pirates is catcher Ramon Hernandez but indications are that the Pirates will not pursue him.
Albert Pujols, Cardinals
Prince Fielder, Brewers
C.J. Wilson, Rangers
David Ortiz, Red Sox
Ryan Madson, Phillies
Heath Bell, Padres
Carlos Beltran, 80.879
Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox
Ramon Hernandez Reds
Roy Oswalt, Phillies
Michael Cuddyer, Twins
Josh Willingham Athletics
Kelly Johnson, Blue Jays
Darren Oliver, Rangers
Jose Reyes, Mets
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
Octavio Dotel, Cardinals
Takashi Saito, Brewers
Francisco Cordero, Reds