Two Pirates option decisions due soon
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Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Saturday the team had not reached a decision on the club options of catchers Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder but indicated it is unlikely they will be exercised.
"Given the dollars that it would take to pick up those options, it may not be the best choice," Huntington said.
But, Huntington said, the team might consider signing Doumit or Snyder to a long-term deal.
"We hate closing doors," he said.
Doumit and Snyder -- both 30 -- missed considerable time last season because of injuries. Doumit hit .303 in 77 games, but spent two months on the disabled list with an injured left ankle. Snyder hit .271 in 34 games, but was inactive after back surgery in June.
Doumit has a two-year club option that would cost the Pirates $7.25 million in 2012 and $8.25 million in '13. Snyder, acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks in '10 -- has a $6.75 million option for the '12 season. The Pirates negotiated Doumit's option before signing him to a long-term deal in 2008. The Diamondbacks negotiated Snyder's deal.
The Pirates have until a couple days after the World Series ends to decide on club options. If declined, those players would become free agents.
Huntington said he could not answer if the Pirates were considering exercising either option before trading either player. But he said that is one of the benefits of a club option; it allows teams a chance to receive compensation for players they cannot afford or no longer wish to keep.
When Doumit and Snyder went on the disabled list, the front office scrambled -- and for awhile struggled -- to find suitable replacements. They traded with the Boston Red Sox to acquire minor league catcher Michael McKenry, who played well for the Pirates.
Huntington said the lack of depth in the market for free-agent catchers and the team's struggles to replace Doumit and Snyder last season will weigh on the front office as it makes final decisions. But it will not be the most important factor.
"The fear of the unknown can't drive decisions," Huntington said. "Emotional decisions or decisions driven by fear are usually bad decisions."
If the Pirates move on without Doumit or Snyder, Huntington said the team is "comfortable" with their internal options at catcher but will explore the open market or trades. The position is one the front office identified as an area for improvement this offseason.
Huntington said a couple weeks ago the team was unlikely to pick up the club option on pitcher Paul Maholm.
First Published October 23, 2011 12:00 am