Pirates to Decline Options For Doumit and Snyder

Jenifer Langosch reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates expect to decline the options of Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, with both decisions due five days after the end of the World Series.  Neither decision is much of a surprise.  Both catchers have missed a lot of time with injuries, and both catchers come with high priced options when you consider their production.  Doumit’s option would essentially be a two year contract at $15.5 M, while Snyder’s would be a one year, $6.75 M deal.  The Pirates will pay $500 K to buy out Doumit, and $750 K to buy out Snyder.

Buying out both players doesn’t necessarily mean the players will be gone.  The Pirates can still negotiate with both players as free agents.  They can also offer arbitration.  If they offer arbitration and a player accepts, the Pirates get the player for a raise over his 2011 salary.  That would be $5.2 M for Doumit and $5.75 M for Snyder.  It would make sense to offer arbitration to Doumit, since you’re probably looking at a one year, $6 M deal, rather than a two year, $15.5 M deal.  Also, if Doumit declines, the Pirates would get a compensation pick in the 2012 draft.  It wouldn’t make sense to offer arbitration to Snyder, since his arbitration price, plus his $750 K buyout, would probably cost more than the initial $6.75 M option.

I wrote about the catching position last week, and looked at some of the available free agents.  In my opinion, declining the options is the right move.  The defense from both Snyder and Doumit has been poor the last few years, and ranks as some of the worst of the available catchers.  The Pirates could commit $6.75 M for Snyder in 2012, or $15.5 M for Doumit over the next two years.  Or they could take that money and get a better catcher, like Ramon Hernandez or Rod Barajas, and the latter wouldn’t cost a 2012 draft pick.  It’s doubtful that either option would cost more than $6-7 M a year.  Based on their 2011 contracts, both guys would probably be in the $4-5 M a year range, max.

  • I have no problems with declining both options.  Neither is that good and neither is reliable.  Both are the catching equivalents of Nick Johnson.  Still, they need to at least get a pick for Doumit.

    I wouldn’t bring in Hernandez as he would cost the team a second round pick.  As we saw with the Bell signing, the Pirates should not be giving up any picks for stop gap players.

    I would hate to see another round of Overbay and Diaz signings just to fill holes on a temporary basis.  Its going to be a bad season anyway, play the young guys and see what they have.

  • I agree with offering Doumit arbitration. It’s a win-win. Get the draft pick or get a good offensive catcher on a one year deal while allowing Sanchez and Fryer another year to develop. If Fryer gets a chance to be the starting in AAA in 2012 the Bucs can finally see what they have in him. This would in no way block Sanchez’s development because after last year’s performance he needs to repeat AA.

  • I would really like to see them get Ramon Hernandez, seems like when the Pirates have someone he isn’t any good, when they want to or do get rid of someone that person suddenly becomes a big deal.

    • I think a big reason for the complaints isn’t due to how good or bad people feel the players are. I just think the common theory is that the Pirates won’t do anything, and will enter the 2012 season with what they have right now. Of course, this is the same theory that said the Pirates wouldn’t sign a guy like Dotel after non-tendering Capps, and it’s the same theory that fuels the annual “the Pirates won’t spend what it takes to land (insert over-slot draft pick here)”.

      I think if you look at the moves, and remove the predictions, the moves make sense. They make sense because it’s foolish to pay Snyder $6.75 M or Doumit $15.5 M when you could get a better catcher for less.

      • Paying those two anything close to that is foolish.

        I think the main reason for the complaints is 19 years of losing.  After almost two full decades of losing, any fan whether a consistent critic or unbridled enthusiast, should be given a truck load of credit for still having the energy to care.

  • personally, i dont believe the defense from Snyder was poor.  sure, hes no molina, but hes no doumit either.  AND the pitchers seem to like having him behind the dish.

    if it wasnt for his back, which is the worst injury for a catcher to have (not including having your fingers severed by a table saw), i would gladly have snyder back in 2012

    • I agree………

    • In the past, Snyder’s defense has been good. I think the past two years might have been injury related. Although that doesn’t say much about him bouncing back to a strong defensive catcher going forward, especially when he missed the second half of the 2011 season with a back injury. That’s not something I’d take a risk on in 2012.