By John Perrotto
The Pirates have decided that Ryan Doumit will no longer be the everyday catcher when he returns from the disabled list, proof positive being that they have a tentative deal in place to acquire catcher Chris Snyder from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade.
Baseball sources said early Saturday morning that two sides had agreed to a trade. The Diamondbacks will pay an undisclosed portion of the $8.25 million remaining on Snyder’s contract and that part of trade must be approved by Major League Baseball.
There was no immediate word on what player or players the Pirates would be sending the Diamondbacks but it is believed to be second-tier prospects.
Snyder is expected to become the Pirates’ primary catcher and start four or five times a week. Doumit would get the rest of the starts once he recovers from a concussion but also see playing time at first base and possibly right field. He is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 6.
Doumit has always been considered a below-average defensive catcher and the Pirates believe his work behind the plate has declined this season. They are also concerned about his propensity for being injured, including a growing concussion history.
Snyder, 29, is hitting .231 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 65 games with the Diamondbacks this season. He has spent his entire seven-year career with Arizona, batting .233 with 62 homers in 556 games.
Snyder has thrown out 30 percent of runners who have attempted to steal during his career, though that figure is down to 20 percent this year as he has nailed 12 of 59. He is the all-time leader in fielding percentage among major-league catchers with a .998 mark, having committed just six errors in 3,844 chances.
Snyder is signed through next season with a club option for 2012. He is making $5.25 million this season and will have a $5.75 million salary next season while the option worth $6.75 million and can be bought out for $750,000.
—John Perrotto is editor-in-chief of BaseballProspectus.com and baseball columnist for the Beaver County Times—