Ryan Doumit Fits Toronto Like a Glove

Free agent catcher Ryan Doumit makes a lot of sense for the Toronto Blue Jays. Reportedly, the club attempted to acquire the former Pittsburgh Pirate via the trade route on more than one occasion.

A bit of a poor man's Mike Napoli, Doumit is an offensive-minded catcher whose best position is probably DH but he can also handle first base and the corner outfield. As such, he offers insurance for the inconsistent Adam Lind at first base, the enigmatic Edwin Encarnacion at DH, as well as a pair of sophomore hitters: left-fielder Eric Thames and catcher J.P. Arencibia.

That kind of veteran insurance from one player at multiple positions is hard to find. As a switch-hitter who has value from both sides of the plate he also makes an excellent platoon partner and allows manager John Farrell a lot of flexibility off the bench. The move would also allow the club to let '11 backup catcher Jose Molina walk via free agency and pick up a supplemental first round draft pick. Toronto could let Doumit act as the pure back-up or keep three catchers on the roster and pay rookie Brian Jeroloman the league minimum to play 30-40 games in 2012.

Doumit has already reportedly turned down a one-year offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers at $3 million but he could be a reasonable acquisition at two-years and $8-10 million. He was worth $8 million in value in 2011, according to FanGraphs' WAR rating. Prior to that he was worth a combined $5.4 million in value between 2009-10.

If you're looking for warts on Doumit, glance no further than his defensive skills. He is not a great fielder at any position, but he's competent at each spot. He has also been injury-prone in his career, and has yet to surpass 124 games played in any season; he tallied just 77 games in 2011 thanks to an ankle injury suffered in a home plate collision.

Doumit is not the kind of hitter that you build a team around but he's exactly the kind of player that has value to a team like Toronto, a club that is looking to compete in a tough league with a young, unproven lineup.

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