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Old 12-22-2008, 05:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

Doumit gets three-year deal from Bucs
Catcher has high expectations for himself, team moving forward

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PITTSBURGH -- Over the next few years, general manager Neal Huntington will continue to assemble the pieces that he believes are necessary for the Pirates to once again become a perennial contender.
And Ryan Doumit will be there through it all, as a building block now and, the Pirates hope, as a cornerstone later.

By the end of the 2008 season, Pirates management had identified three players -- Doumit, Nate McLouth and Paul Maholm -- as integral pieces to the organization. Management went into the offseason with plans to try to sign each to a multiyear deal that would cover years of arbitration and potentially years of free agency as well. The goal: to lock down the foundation for future success.

Check Doumit's name off that list.

The organization announced on Monday that Doumit has signed a three-year extension, which also includes a club option to extend the deal through 2012 and 2013. Word that an agreement had been reached surfaced on Sunday, though the deal didn't become official until after Doumit passed a physical in Pittsburgh on Monday morning.

If the club option is exercised through 2013, Doumit is in line to make at least $26.5 million over the next five years. Doumit's salary will be $2.05 million in 2009, $3.55 million in 2010 and $5.1 million in 2011. He also picked up a $300,000 signing bonus.

There is one club option that would exercise both 2012 and 2013 if the Pirates decide to do so. That option would pay Doumit $7.25 million in 2012 and $8.25 in 2013. The club also has the option of a $500,000 buyout.

A number of incentives are also attached to the contract that could potentially push the deal to over $27 million over five years.

"This contract has raised the bar in our eyes, in our fans' eyes and in Ryan's eyes," Huntington said. "He wants to be a great player, and he has to live up to this."

Though Doumit was under contract for the next three years, the extension gives the organization cost certainty in planning out future payrolls. The club options, if exercised, would also buy out Doumit's first and second years of free agency.

Looking genuinely humble from the podium at a press conference on Monday, Doumit relayed a sense of responsibility that comes along with the financial security that this contract gives him.

"Wow," he started. "I can't relate to you what I feel right now. But I also know that, with a contract like this comes high expectations. And no one has higher expectations of me than I do.

"I believe in myself," he continued. "I know what type of player I can be, and I know what type of player the fans expect. It's my job and my duty as a Pittsburgh Pirate to give those fans everything I have."

For those who spent time in the clubhouse watching the '08 team, it became evident that Doumit's role was quickly evolving into that of a clubhouse leader. On the field, he was one of the team's most potent offensive catalysts. And off the field, he was emerging as a fiery, outspoken leader -- a young Doug Mientkiewicz, of sorts.

"You're either on board or you aren't," he said of his attitude moving forward. "There are certain guys on this team who are on board. Everyone knows what it takes to win, and everyone wants to win. We're going to right this ship, and it's going to start with Day 1 of Spring Training. I truly believe there are going to be some special things happening."

It may seem surprising that such a large contract would be given to a player who has been a starter for just one year. However, it quickly became clear last spring that management saw Doumit as a critical component of the organization's offense long term.

More than anyone, it was new manager John Russell who saw something in Doumit right out of the chute. And being a former Major League catcher himself, Russell, along with coach Luis Dorante, tutored Doumit extensively this season, and the results of Doumit's work defensively were evident.

"JR obviously knew Ryan as a prospect, and JR recognized that Ryan was different and believed in him," Huntington said. "JR came in and allowed Doumit to compete for the starting catching job. The improvements that Doumit made behind the plate last year were substantial, even if there is still room for further improvement."

Add in Doumit's eventual offensive production, and that only solidified management's early assessments.

The switch-hitting catcher hit .318 overall with 15 homers and 69 RBIs in 116 games and finished with a .357 on-base percentage. He led all National League catchers with a .323 batting average and led the league with his .407 average with runners in scoring position.

It was quite the revelation for a player who had been limited in playing time during his first three years in the Majors because of injuries and then-starter Ronny Paulino.

"No, I wouldn't have believed [a year ago] I'd be standing here," Doumit said. "I was an outfielder and then back to catching and ... there was a lot of hard work that went into it, and I'm just so honored to be in this position right now. I can't even tell you."

Doumit, a second-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, also used 2008 to break through the injury-prone label that had trailed him. He spent just one short stint on the disabled list in 2008, and this after the Pirates moved him back to being exclusively a full-time catcher.

Furthermore, Doumit's work ethic and offseason conditioning regimen became an oft-cited example by management and coaches to his teammates.

"This contract did not happen because Ryan Doumit had a great year," Huntington said. "It happened because he worked hard, gave it all he had, showed team dedication and proved himself to be someone we could build around. And he's not done. There's more to come."

Doumit, who earned $412,000 last season, is the first of seven arbitration-eligible players that the Pirates have now signed. Though the club attempted to sign McLouth, a first-time arbitration eligible player, to a multiyear deal, Pirates president Frank Coonelly characterized those negotiations as not looking good. As a result, the two sides will now likely focus their efforts on reaching a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Negotiations with Maholm are in the early stages. The other four arbitration-eligible players -- Tyler Yates, Adam LaRoche, Zach Duke and John Grabow -- will likely come to one-year agreements as well.

Doumit is the fourth player that the Pirates have signed to a multiyear deal since Huntington and Coonelly assumed their positions late in 2007. Matt Capps, Freddy Sanchez and Ian Snell all signed similar deals early this year that bought out at least one year of arbitration eligibility.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

so much for Daniel Cabrera, actually would of love to of seen him as a pirate

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/...=.jsp&c_id=was
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

Oh well. At least Doumit will be a Pirate.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

Im glad the Bucs signed a good catcher, Doumit is a great player.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

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Im glad the Bucs signed a good catcher, Doumit is a great player.
He's the only good one they have now.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

Here is when ill be happy. Pirates fire their owner a greedy bastard!
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

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Here is when ill be happy. Pirates fire their owner a greedy bastard!
You'll have to hope to the MLB does it.
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

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Originally Posted by SteelCityMan786 View Post
He's the only good one they have now.
Nuh-Uh, McLouth had a great season last year, if we trade him for spare parts like we did for Jason Bay, I'll go to PNC Park and light the scoreboard on fire,
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

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Nuh-Uh, McLouth had a great season last year, if we trade him for spare parts like we did for Jason Bay, I'll go to PNC Park and light the scoreboard on fire,
I should have specified.

only good CATCHER.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Thread.

PITTSBURGH -- The year began with renewed expectations and anticipation stemming from sweeping changes in the front office that took place at the end of the 2007 season. However, a change in decision makers ultimately did nothing to change the results in '08.
For the third time in four seasons, the Pirates finished at the bottom of the National League Central and with just 67 wins. It was a season in which the club surprised many with its early offensive capabilities, yet endured pitching struggles from Opening Day until the end of September.


Of the number of storylines that presented themselves over the past 12 months, it would have to be those pitching woes that defined the season. For the first four months of the year, new manager John Russell pleasantly watched his offense become one of the best run-producing units in the league. Simultaneously, however, the Pirates endured rotation-wide struggles.

"You think we pitch better, the way we were hitting, yeah," Russell said recently when asked if he often wonders how different the team results would have been if the starting pitching had been up to par.

As a result, the Pirates found themselves out of the playoff hunt midway through the season, which resulted in two immediately debilitating Trade Deadline deals. Though the Pirates netted eight young players in return, the last two months were tumultuous, as the pitching continued to struggle and the offense stumbled.

The starting staff finished the season with a Major League-low 33 wins and a National League-worst 5.36 ERA. No starter finished with 10 wins, the first time that had happened since 1890.

Still, despite another losing season, there are signs that the organization has laid the groundwork for steps forward. The 2008 season showcased the emergence of three young players -- Ryan Doumit, Paul Maholm and Nate McLouth -- who are all likely to be fixtures with the organization for many years. And Russell's mantra about changing the clubhouse culture did seem to have an impact.

http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/ne...=.jsp&c_id=pit

Hopefully if Gorzelanny, Snell, Duke can retain there fromer playing form. Especially Duke, if Jim Tracy didnt mess with his pitching delivery, Duke wouldnt be doing so bad. and as for Maholm, I just hope he continues what he did last year, with Grabow, setting up closer Matt Capps, I can see some glimmer of hope with the pitching. IF the pitching gets better, and the offense plays like it did the first 4 months of last year, the Bucs could be a scary team.
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