Pirates secure Doumit's rights through 2013

Three-year extension will have rare club option for two more years

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The Pirates and catcher Ryan Doumit have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension -- plus an unusual club option for an additional two years -- and are expected to announce it with a news conference today at PNC Park.

All that remains is for Doumit to take a physical, and that is scheduled for this morning.

No financial terms were immediately available, but the guaranteed three-year term will carry Doumit through all three of his arbitration-eligible years, and the club option could buy out what would have been his first and second years of free agency. The rarity of the option is that it has a one-time trigger for both years, meaning that the Pirates can decide only once whether or not to exercise both.

The contract effectively gives the Pirates control of Doumit's rights through 2013.

Doumit, 27, made $412,000 during a breakout 2008 in which he batted .318 with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs. His .407 average with runners in scoring position was the best in the National League for players with a minimum 100 plate appearances.

The signing will be the first for the Pirates of their seven arbitration-eligible players. Starter Paul Maholm also is negotiating an extension with the team. Center fielder Nate McLouth had been doing likewise until those talks crumbled in the past week. The rest are first baseman Adam LaRoche, starter Zach Duke, and relievers John Grabow and Tyler Yates. All except Maholm can be expected, for now, to end up with one-year contracts.

The Doumit extension would be the fourth since new management took over in late 2007: Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, starter Ian Snell and closer Matt Capps received multiyear contracts early this year.


Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Catch more on the Pirates at the PG's PBC Blog .


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