I woke up way too early this morning so, with nothing else to do, caught up on all my sports news from the last 12 hours. I happened upon an article on Yahoo sports http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Pirates-waiting-to-deal-Doumit-?urn=mlb-327320 saying the pirates were wanting to trade Ryan Doumit. I could see how trading for him might be beneficial to the Royals under the right circumstances.
At first I thought my excitement revolved around the fact that this was someon who played the same position as Jason Kendall who was decidedly NOT Jason Kendall, but i did a bit more research.
For me the right circumstances would start with jetisoning Jason Kendall. I would assume no other team will trade for him so he would have to be DFA'd
This also would assume that either Pena or May would have to prove in ST that they are not ready for the Major Leagues. I think Pena will be fine, but I'm not convinced that May deserves to be here any more than Kendall does at this stage of his career. His Marcel Projections aren't as bad as I thought they would be (.253/.315/.389) but I have a lot of reservations about him meeting those numbers.
Also I would not want Doumit to replace Brayan Pena as the every day catcher. I was thinking more of a platoon with the two catchers splitting time.
Lastly, I would not give up any major prospects for the guy. There are a bunch of guys in Spring Training right now that are not going to make the team. I'm seeing some guys in the outfield and in the pitching staff that will have to clear waivers or they would be released outright if they don't break with the team. Some of these guys could include Mitch Maier, Gregor Blanco, Melky Cabrera, Sean O'Sullivan, and Bruce Chen. I don't know if SOS has options left and I'm pretty sure that I have left off the list, but I think there are enough pieces to bring in Doumit. Melky would be my choice to be traded for obvious reasons.
I've come up with a few things I like about Doumit other than his incredible ability to not be Jason Kendall.
Doumit is 29, so should be in his prime.
He is a switch hitter who has a .285/.343/.469 slash line against RHP over the last three years.
He has played C, 1B, and RF at the major league level.
I could see the union taking issue with the Royals current payroll in the near future and I think taking on Doumit's Salary could assuage that grief and we do have some wiggle room in our payroll to take on his salary. With the right combination of players from above we could probably convince Pittsburgh to eat half of that figure (If they were willing to take Kendall I would pay all of Doumit's contract and part of Kendall's). His contract comes with team options for 2012 and 2013 for $7.25 and $8.25 million respectively. It gives the Royals a lot of flexibility with him and doesn't hurt there payroll flexibility past this season. He could be part of a good platoon situation to cold down the catcher spot until the prospects are ready.
The biggest downsides with Doumit are that he has not been able to stay healthy over a full season and he is greatly overpaid at $5.1 million for 2011. When he is healthy he's probably worth the money, but has shown little ability to stay off the DL. I'll have to rewind myself because he is undoubtedly in the best shape he's been in for at least the last three years if not his entire life.
Marcel - .264/.325/.421 13 HR .326 wOBA 458PA
Bill James - .266/.331/.440 15 HR .335 wOBA 443 PA
Marcel - .263/.321.394 6 HR wOBA .315 274 PA
Bill James .279/.327/.400 4 HR wOBA .321 257 PA
My assessment is that we have the payroll flexibility and the spare parts to go get Doumit. He would bring some more pop to the line up when he's in it. He wouldn't really be blocking any of the prospects yet (other than Lucas May who comes up when Doumit goes on the DL), and can play right or first if other players get hurt or traded (I'm looking at you, Frenchy). If he returns to form he could be a good trade piece, if not his options aren't picked up at the end of the year. No harm no foul. If nothing else he's an upgrade from Jason Kendall no matter how you look at it. ESPN wrote on Kendall's player page "his slugging percentage has been lower than his on-base percentage the past three years, and at 36, there's no reason to think that will change. He can't hit anymore AND he's recovering from major surgery? Wow, sign us up." Hopefully the Royals see all this and make the right decision regarding Kendall, but with Management's man-crush on the guy I'll remain pessimistic about the situation.