MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins and versatile catcher Ryan Doumit agreed Friday a one-year, $3 million contract.
Matt Sosnick, one of Doumit’s agents, confirmed the deal was done. The Twins declined to comment.
Doumit is a career .271 hitter who can also play first base and right field, skills that fit well with what the Twins are seeking this offseason. One of their priorities was a backup for catcher Joe Mauer after Drew Butera and Rene Rivera struggled to hit last season. Butera batted .167 in 234 at-bats and Rivera hit .144 in 104 at-bats.
Doumit spent seven years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, finishing the 2011 season with a .303 average, eight homers and 30 RBIs in 77 games. He missed two months with a severely sprained ankle. His best year was 2008, when he batted .318 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs in 116 games.
“He’s trying to get as many plate appearances as he can and continue to help his value,” Sosnick said. “He really wanted to play for Minnesota.”
Doumit’s familiarity with the organization was increased by his friendship with B.J. Garbe, his former high school teammate in Moses Lake, Wash., and the Twins’ first-round draft pick in 1999. Doumit, who got married last weekend, will turn 31 in April.
With outfielders Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel testing free agency and unlikely to be back and first baseman Justin Morneau’s injury problems, Doumit should have plenty of opportunities to play. Cuddyer filled in at first base when Morneau was hurt, and even a healthy Morneau will take frequent turns as the designated hitter this year.
Sosnick and his partner Paul Cobbe also represent outfielder Josh Willingham, another free agent the Twins have interest in. Sosnick said Willingham is mulling his offers. He will be 33 in February. Willingham hit a career-high 29 homers with 98 RBIs and a .246 average last season for the Oakland Athletics.
Also Friday, the Twins added three prospects to their 40-man major league roster: outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, right-handed pitcher Carlos Gutierrez and left-handed pitcher Tyler Robertson. They removed right-handed pitcher David Bromberg from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to Triple-A Rochester.
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