So It Seems the Dodgers Are In On Ryan Doumit

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, anyway:

Source close to #Dodgers says team offered C Ryan Doumit 1-year deal for just under $3 million. Doumit passed. #Angels still haven’t called.

If we set aside the usual “yeah, but I have a source that says James Loney is close to being elected president of the moon” hesitation and take this at face value, it’s actually pretty interesting on a couple of different levels. The simple fact that they’re (possibly) interested in Doumit is both good and bad, because Doumit really can hit, putting up a .303/.353/.477 (.830) in an injury-shortened season. Over the last five seasons, the switch-hitter’s total line is .280/.337/.454 (.791), good for a 111 OPS+ while seeing time at catcher, first base, and right field. Though he’s not a perfect fit for a platoon option to replace Loney or Andre Ethier since he hits righties far better than lefties, his solid bat and multi-positional flexibility make him an intriguing addition to any team’s bench.

Here’s the thing though – I sincerely doubt that’s how he’d be looked at if he landed in Los Angeles, with it being far more likely that he’d be coming to join A.J. Ellis as a veteran option behind the plate, and that’s a little scary. It’s one thing to be thought of as poor defensive catcher, and it’s quite another thing to be such a lousy catcher that in some circles, he’s not thought of as even an option back there. He is, by some measures, the absolute worst defensive catcher in baseball, and that matters. (Personally, I love having the flexibility of three catchers, so to have him as a bench bat mainly playing 1B and RF but being available to catch if needed due to injury or double switches would be wonderful.)

The other item that’s somewhat confounding is that it seems like somewhat of a lowball offer to give him under $3m, particularly with the upward trend we’ve seen in salaries so far this offseason. Doumit earned $5.25m in 2011, and the Pirates declined to exercise options of $7.25m in 2012 and $8.25m in 2013. That was the right move because he’s not worth that much, especially if he can’t catch, yet it’s hard to think that he’s going to take a paycut of nearly half – particularly when he’s been more effective since 2008 (.783 OPS) than Juan Rivera (.743 OPS), who just pulled in $4.5m. It’s a great deal for the Dodgers if he accepts, but it’s so low that it’s impossible to think that he would have. (It’s also once again worth noting that this is an unconfirmed report, so who knows if that dollar figure is accurate.)

According to Doumit’s own page, he got married this weekend, so it’s unlikely he was spending too much time working on contract details. On the other hand, maybe the offer was so low that his agent didn’t feel the need to stop laughing and pick up the phone to interrupt the nuptials. Either way, if true, it’s a very interesting tactic by the Dodgers.

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  1. [...] Day. (Sidenote: fun to see that Gurnick completely debunks the idea that the Dodgers had ever offered Ryan Doumit a contract, isn’t it? Though I did caveat the hell out of the Doumit post because it was from “a [...]