Doumit heads to Minnesota

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Catcher Ryan Doumit has agreed to a one-year deal with the Twins, which officially ends any chance (though there really wasn’t one) of him returning to Pittsburgh. Doumit became a free agent after the Pirates declined to exercise a two-year option in his contract at the end of the World Series.

Doumit spent parts of seven seasons with the Pirates, though much of his time in Pittsburgh was marred by injury. Overall, he hit .271 with 67 homers and 266 RBIs in 611 games. His 55 home runs as a catcher ranks Doumit third on the club’s all-time list.

“I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Pittsburgh,” Doumit said. “I grew up there as a baseball player. By the same token, it was time to go someplace else. I’m excited to go to the American League and face unfamiliar teams in new cities and have new challenges.”

The deal is reported to be worth $3 million, a figure that is actually less than the Pirates will be paying new starting catcher Rod Barajas in 2012. Doumit likely sought out a one-year deal with the hope that he can remain healthy in 2012 and put up a full season of good numbers. That would put him in line for a much bigger payday — and longer deal — next winter.

Doumit is a Type B free agent, which means that, by him signing with the Twins, the Pirates are in line to get a compensation pick in between the first and second rounds of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. The only way that would change is if the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (which should be announced next week) makes immediate changes to the compensation system. It seems more likely that changes would take affect next offseason, so I’m guessing the Pirates’ pick will be safe.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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