Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins Trade Ryan Doumit to the Atlanta Braves

According to sources around the league, the Minnesota Twins have traded Catcher/OF Ryan Doumit to the Atlanta Braves for left-handed starting pitcher Sean Gilmartin.

After a strong 2012 with the Twins, Doumit signed a two year extension but fell off the pace a bit in 2013 by turning in a just below average 96 OPS+. Doumit, who in 2013 played 49 games at DH, 43 at Catcher, 32 in Right and 1 in Left, hit .247/.314/.396 (Avg./OBP/SLG) for the season with 14 HRs and 55 RBIs. Although he was versatile in the field, he didn’t excell defensively as a catcher or an outfielder and without putting up strong offensive numbers, he became expendable to open up roster space. Doumit’s time on the DL with a concussion last year likely brought up questions about his ability to catch long term and might have made him an even bigger target to trade away.

The Twins are receiving Gilmartin, who was the Braves 1st round draft pick in 2011 and was rated the #4 prospect in the Braves system. Gilmartin has spent time in every level of the Braves organization but has already made the most starts (24) in Triple A. In those starts he has a 5.46 ERA and a 1.547 WHIP but he has much much better numbers at the lower levels. He doesn’t have any fast stuff but he has earned the label of a command pitcher and can throw all four of his pitches for strikes (Fast, Curve, Change, Slider). He’s struggled to adjust to tougher opposition but he is still only 23 years old, and as a left handed pitcher, could reach Minnesota sometime in the next few years. His progression will all depend on his ability to locate his pitches and keep batters off-balanced since he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, which sounds a lot like Scott Diamond or Andrew Albers. We’ll see if Gilmartin can separate himself from that pack.

What does this trade mean for the Minnesota Twins? Doumit’s departure increases the Twins need for catching help. Josmil Pinto can hit but his defense needs time to develop and a veteran catcher splitting time behind the plate can help with that development. The Twins have been linked to Kurt Suzuki and John Buck recently and this trade should speed along some sort of move for a new catcher. Doumit’s $3.5 million is now off the books and that money, plus whatever is left from the Twins free agent spending, can be used to fill some gaps, like catching, on the roster. Twins officials haven’t ruled out trying to add another starter but I would rather see this money used to shore up the defense instead of trying to get more pitching.

With Doumit gone, Chris Herrmann should have an easier time making the roster out of Spring Training since he has essentially the same skill set as Doumit. Jason Kubel could also be positively affected because, in addition to removing one of the “regular” DH guys from the team, the 33 games Doumit played in the outfield last year are now up for grabs too. Overall, this is a good trade that opens up space and money for the Twins and it seems as though the return, in Gilmartin, could pay off as well. Whatever happens though, the Twins are keeping this offseason very interesting!

 

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