Ryan Doumit Signing Does Wonders for Minnesota Twins

Collin Kottke@CollinKottkeCorrespondent IIINovember 20, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Ryan Doumit #41 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up in the on deck circle against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 1, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Dodgers defeated the Pirates 6-4.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Joe Mauer played three positions last year: catcher, first base, and right field. On Friday the Twins signed Ryan Doumit, he plays three positions: catcher, first base, and right field. Purely coincidental or is this a purely great signing by General Manager Terry Ryan?

My vote is for a purely great signing. If you forget about the Twins problems with pitching, Doumit fills a lot of holes.

The Twins currently have a hole in right field with Cuddyer and Kubel both on the free agent market. Doumit could fill in on a platoon basis. Right field isn't Doumit’s main position, but he could handle some games out there splitting time with the likes of Trevor Plouffe and Kubel if he was to be re-signed.

First base is an interesting spot. Justin Morneau has had injury problems the past two years and the Twins can’t go into next year putting all their eggs in the Justin Morneau at first base everyday basket. Doumit can split time with Morneau and Mauer, which will help keep the Twins former MVPs healthy.

Doumit should help keep Mauer doubly healthy both filling in for him at first and behind the plate. The catcher position is the main reason the Twins signed Doumit to a one-year, $3 million deal. He’s an upgrade over Drew Butera offensively, but he too has an injury problem. He’s had eight stints on the disabled list since 2006, including last year when he had a broken ankle.

Doumit did play in 77 games last year and hit an average of .303, with 30 RBI and eight HR. He’s not the flashiest signing, and he’s not the sexiest switch hitter, but he has one job: fill in to keep Morneau and Mauer healthy. It’s not every day a team finds a utility player who can catch, but it looks like the Twins found one.

He doesn't solve every problem the Twins have, unless he can pitch which he never did for the Pirates, but he may help the Twins get back to the Central Division Champions way earlier than the 99-loss team of a year ago.