There aren't any sign-and-trades allowed in baseball, mostly because there is no salary cap. Yes, there is a luxury tax but there are no caps on individual salaries like in the NBA where a player can earn more money by signing with his current team rather than another squad. A new collective bargaining agreement in baseball is expected this week, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, as the general manager meetings begin Monday in Orlando followed by the owners meetings beginning Wednesday.
Anyway, back to the sign-and-trades. The Dodgers and Pirates nearly pulled off the MLB equivalent of a sign-and-trade deal, as the Dodgers turned to ex-Pirate catcher Ryan Doumit to replace ex-Dodger catcher Rod Barajas, who signed a one-year deal worth $4 million plus an option for 2013 with Pittsburgh last week. But there is only one problem.
Doumit said no to the Dodgers, for now anyway.
The switch-hitting catcher who turns 31 in April spurned a Dodgers offer of "just under $3 million," according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. It doesn't necessarily mean Doumit doesn't want to be a Dodger, just that the price is too low for his liking.
Then again, Doumit did get married this weekend (excellent sleuthing by Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness), so it's understandable if Doumit is a bit preoccupied. Who knows, maybe Doumit gave his agent a minimum salary and instructed him to reject any offers below that bar. Doumit made $5.1 million in 2011, but had his options for 2012 ($7.25 million) and 2013 ($8.25 million) declined on October 31, instead receiving a $500,000 buyout.
Doumit hit .303/.353/477 in 2011 but was limited to just 77 games and missed two months with a sprained left ankle. In his career, Doumit has hit better from the left side, hitting .275/.336/.461 against right-handed pitching in his career, compared to .262/.329/.388 against left-handers. He also has started 54 career games in right field and 32 games at first base, but only played catcher this season.
We'll see what the next step is for the Dodgers from here, whether they increase their offer to Doumit or move on to other backstop options.