Braves land Doumit from Twins for Minor Leaguer
Atlanta acquires power-hitting catcher in exchange for left-hander Gilmartin
ATLANTA -- During the final hour of last week's Winter Meetings, Braves general manager Frank Wren and Twins general manager Terry Ryan shared a brief conversation that extended the talks they had over the previous few days about Ryan Doumit.
On Wednesday afternoon, the two GMs completed a trade that brings Doumit to Atlanta in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Sean Gilmartin, a former first-round selection whose development had stalled over the past couple of years.
"We discussed [Doumit] at length during the Winter Meetings, and it was unanimous in our room that he was the best player available for us," Wren said. "He was the guy who would allow our club to have the most versatility and depth, because he was really almost two players in one."
With this acquisition, the Braves have satisfied their desire to add versatility, depth and power potential to their bench. Doumit is a capable switch-hitter who will likely primarily be used as a pinch-hitter. He also will serve as the third catcher and a backup option at both first base and the corner-outfield spots.
Wren pointed out that the presence of a third catcher will allow manager Fredi Gonzalez a chance to comfortably use Evan Gattis or Gerald Laird as a pinch-hitter when they are not handing the catching duties.
"[Doumit] was the No. 1 guy on our list coming out of those [Winter] Meetings," Wren said.
Doumit batted .247 with 14 home runs and a .710 OPS while compiling 538 plate appearances with Minnesota last season. The 32-year-old veteran has hit at least 10 home runs in five of the past six years and set a career high with 18 homers in 2012.
Doumit has shown most of his power potential while batting from the left side of the plate. He has produced a .454 slugging percentage and hit 81 of his 99 career home runs as a left-handed hitter. From the right side of the plate, Doumit has hit 18 home runs and produced a .395 slugging percentage.
Gilmartin has not lived up to expectations since the Braves took him with the 28th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old southpaw has gone 12-20 with a 4.23 ERA in 54 professional appearances. He compiled a 5.74 ERA in the 17 starts he made for Triple-A Gwinnett this year.
While Gilmartin has been considered a promising prospect, the likelihood of him ever gaining a lasting spot in Atlanta's rotation significantly decreased over the past two years. This is a product of his recent struggles and the hype surrounding Jason Hursh and Lucas Sims, a pair of highly-regarded prospects who could reach the Major League level at some point during the 2015 season.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.