Trade Values: Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit

What kind of trade value could the Pirates get for Doumit or Snyder?

In the past few days I’ve detailed the trade values for Joel Hanrahan and Paul Maholm, two players who could fetch a big return for the Pittsburgh Pirates based on their early season success this year.  Continuing that series, today we’ll look at the two catchers, Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit.  This has been a big topic lately with San Francisco’s Buster Posey going down for at least two months with a broken left fibula.  The Giants should be looking for a catcher, unless they are comfortable with Eli Whiteside handling the duties.

Unlike Hanrahan and Maholm, the Pirates’ catchers don’t have much value.  There are two reasons for this.  First, they are basically only under contract for the remainder of the year.  Second, their currently salaries provide little value from their current production levels.

Ryan Doumit had a 3.6 WAR in 2008, but over the last two years has been below a 1.0 WAR.  That’s mostly due to a lack of offense in 2009 and 2010, after a strong year in 2008.  Doumit has seen a spike in his offensive levels this year, although not nearly as high as the 2008 marks.  He’s also been splitting time, which might be helping his numbers.  Despite this, he currently has a 0.7 WAR after almost a third of the season.

Doumit is basically under control through the end of the year.  He has two option years, although they both have to be picked up at once, and the combined cost of $15.5 M is way more than Doumit is worth.  As far as value, the big issue with him is that he’s always been injury prone.  Expecting him to continue his success as an every day player, and remain healthy is a bit of a reach.  So when calculating his projected WAR, I’d say a 1.5 WAR would be appropriate, based on his performance this year, and the other circumstances that surround him.  His performance might warrant a higher WAR in a full time role, although his injury history and the thought that he might struggle in a full time role both bring that WAR down.

Here is a look at the value the Pirates could expect to receive from Doumit:

YEAR SALARY WAR VALUE
2011 $5.20 1.5 $1.2
TOTAL $5.20 1.5 $1.2

Chris Snyder is in a bit of a different situation as Doumit.  Just like Doumit, over the last few years he’s been below a 1.0 WAR, with the exception of 2008, when he has a 2.3 WAR.  He’s off to a decent start this year, with a .264 average and a .341 on-base percentage, although his biggest asset, his power, has been down so far this season, with a .347 slugging percentage.

Snyder makes $5.75 M this year, and has an option for $6.75 M in 2012.  This is where Snyder and Doumit differ.  Snyder’s option might have some value, depending on how well he performs.  Right now, with his lack of power, he’s probably not going to be more than a 1.0 WAR player.  That actually provides him with negative value in 2011, and makes his option worthless in 2012.  With a 1.0 WAR, here is how Snyder’s value would look:

YEAR SALARY WAR VALUE
2011 $5.75 1.0 -$0.3
2012 $6.75 1.0 -$1.6
TOTAL $12.5 2.0 -$1.8

You could pretty much eliminate his option year, and the Pirates would have to pick up salary in order to get any type of value in return.  The figures above are based on a Snyder trade that happened on July 1st.  In that event, the Pirates could pick up as much as $2.8 M, which would give Snyder a total value of $2.5 M.  That would be worth a minimal return, something along the lines of a Grade C pitcher, and maybe a Grade C hitter.

If Snyder can start hitting for power, he might be able to get up to a 1.5 WAR.  That would not only increase his value, but would make his 2012 option worth it:

YEAR SALARY WAR VALUE
2011 $5.75 1.5 $1.0
2012 $6.75 1.5 $1.0
TOTAL $12.5 3.0 $2.0

Even in this event, the trade value wouldn’t be high for Snyder.  The Pirates would have to pick up salary (NOTE: they can’t pick up anything in 2012, outside of his buyout), and even in that event the best they could expect would be two Grade C pitchers.  Also, if we’re talking about the Giants, Snyder’s second year would be worthless, since Posey will be expected to return by 2012.

Ryan Doumit’s trade value is similar to Snyder.  It is currently low, and would only be worth an older Grade C pitcher, or two Grade C hitters.  The Pirates could pick up an additional $2.5 M, but at the same time that would only bring his value up to where he would be worth two Grade C pitchers.  The best case scenario would be to envision one Grade B hitter in return.  Looking at the Giants, we can rule out Brandon Belt, Zack Wheeler, and most likely everyone else in their top seven.

The best deal for the Pirates would be to trade Doumit, and pick up the rest of his salary to increase the value.  They would likely have to accept multiple players from the lower levels.  I suggest a Doumit trade because Snyder has more value to the Pirates.  They don’t have a catcher for the early part of the 2012 season, with Tony Sanchez expected to arrive by mid-season.  Doumit’s option years eliminate him from consideration for the 2012 season, but Snyder’s option year wouldn’t be as prohibitive.  It wouldn’t make sense to trade Snyder, since his value to the team would be worth more than two lower level prospects.

Meanwhile, Doumit is more of a luxury right now.  The Pirates can afford to deal him, since they don’t look like a contender this year.  They also won’t have him beyond this season, which means that in the long term, they would get more value by trading him, rather than keeping him for the remainder of the year.

Keep in mind that, while San Francisco might be looking for a catcher, they’re only looking for a catcher for two months.  As for any other team, the fact that Bengie Molina might be available for the price of his salary alone might make it difficult for the Pirates to get a huge value in return for one of their catchers.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Share This Post On
  • Anonymous

    It would appear that Doumit and Snyder are more valuable to the present Pirates than they would be to the Pirates in any move that they might make.
     They would be better off losing Doumit after this year and if necessary keeping Snyder for one more year, Snyder and Jarrimio could be adequate until Sanchez arrives or they might be able to get a backup catcher fairly reasonable in the off season.
    IMO, the present Pirates need to win games, whether they have a good team or not, keeping it together is more important than trading off pieces and getting nothing in return.
    At this point in time the Pirates do not have a replacement for either Doumit or Snyder this year, a trade would almost surely have to be a multiple trade with a catcher in it somewhere.
    Malhom and Hanrahan are different items, they will bring something of value and both are replaceable to some degree.

  • Anonymous

    It would appear that Doumit and Snyder are more valuable to the present Pirates than they would be to the Pirates in any move that they might make.
     They would be better off losing Doumit after this year and if necessary keeping Snyder for one more year, Snyder and Jarrimio could be adequate until Sanchez arrives or they might be able to get a backup catcher fairly reasonable in the off season.
    IMO, the present Pirates need to win games, whether they have a good team or not, keeping it together is more important than trading off pieces and getting nothing in return.
    At this point in time the Pirates do not have a replacement for either Doumit or Snyder this year, a trade would almost surely have to be a multiple trade with a catcher in it somewhere.
    Malhom and Hanrahan are different items, they will bring something of value and both are replaceable to some degree.

  • http://twitter.com/joegonz_2_5 Joe Gonzalez

    Just wondering. Isn’t Arizona picking up most of Snyder’s salary for the year. That would make him more valuable. I may be wrong, but I could have sworn they covered all but like 500k of Snyder’s salary.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

      I think, although I could be incorrect, that the cash sent from AZ to PIT was for last year.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      You are correct.  I forgot to include that in the first figure.  It really doesn’t change the scenario where the Pirates pick up all of Snyder’s salary.  They’d have less to pick up, but the value would be the same.  However, in the original scenario, with a 1.0 WAR and no cash picked up, Snyder would be worth about $1 M in 2011, with a worthless option in 2012.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

    The only way the Pirates could get anyone valuable from the Giants is by offering a package the Giants would overvalue in the short-term. Such a package would likely include Cedeno. Since shortstops are now a premium position due to a lack of quality replacements for most major league shortstops, Cedeno might be enough to trigger a trade with the Giants that included Belt.

    But the more I think about it, the more I want the Pirates to keep Cedeno. His defensive play this season has been excellent — in fact, it has been Gold Glove worthy. There is always a risk in trading for a prospect and there is a great risk in trading away a shortstop that’s better than a replacement level player when his replacement is not currently in the farm system. The Pirates would need to be very confident in Belt’s abilities so that they would trade a shortstop like Cedeno for him.

    On the other hand, a left-handed powerhitter in right field would greatly help the Pirates over the next five or six seasons.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      There’s no way the Pirates get Belt.  He’s a top 25 prospect, which is worth $25+ M.  That’s the type of trade chip you deal for a star, not a bunch of spare parts that are under control for a year or two (which is the case with Cedeno and most of the other trade chips).  If they’re looking for a shortstop, they could do a lot better than Cedeno if they’re dealing Belt.

      As for Cedeno, his play has been encouraging lately, although we’ve seen this from him before.  Last year at this time he was one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, according to UZR.  By the end of the season, he had a negative UZR rating.  I’m not buying this until I see it from him over the long term, and I’m sure the Giants aren’t buying it either.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

        I think you under-appreciate the value provided by multiple players to a team that has multiple needs and has a need to seek a second World Series title.

        Giants:

        Catcher: hole
        Shortstop: hole
        Firstbase: hole.

        San Fransisco’s offense is even more anemic than the Pirates offense. The Giants might have a winning record, but it also has a negative run differential. The Giant’s would be below .500 if they had won at a rate suggested by their RS and RA. If Belt performs, that would help some with the run production. But catcher and shortstop will remain black holes. Who would the Giants trade to get a better shortstop than Cedeno? a better offensive catcher than Doumit?

        The is a rationale for a trade like this, it’s a short-term title-seeking rationale.

        • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

          They might have holes at those positions, but that doesn’t mean they have to limit themselves to trading with one team.  There is little benefit to trying to fill multiple needs from one team.  You severely reduce your potential return.  This is your basic three nickels for a quarter trade.  It’s just like three team trade proposals: they only benefit the team that is suggesting them.

          The only way the Pirates get a big return for a Doumit/Cedeno package is if someone drastically overpays.  Even if a team is making a title run, I don’t think that happens, as Doumit and Cedeno are not pieces you add when you’re trying to make a title run.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

            But the Giants lack the kind of prospects needed to get quality players at the positions they need to fill.

            I’m saying the Giants may overpay for the same reason a famished man with money will overpay for a bowl of rice during a famine.

            • Anonymous

              Gotta agree with Tim completely on this one.  And I’ll add to it:

              1. You can’t possibly believe that you are a “playoff contender” if you truly have “holes” at 3 of the 8 positions in the field.  

              2.  Ronny Cedeno and Ryan Doumit are surely not the pieces that are going to solidify the Giants’ ability to compete.

              While Doumit would prove to be a very worthy guy to have on a playoff teams’ bench (switch hitter with some power, can play multiple positions – sort of), it would be delusional to think that Doumit still has starting in his future (his time with the Pirates, not withstanding).  So, to me, and as Tim has shown, Doumit really doesn’t have a lot of value, especially to a team looking to add a starting catcher.  

              Chris Snyder would be a slightly more valuable addition for a team looking for a short-term solution, but still, the Pirates received him AND Ciriaco for a decent middle reliever and 2 terrible bench players.  Certainly nobody’s going to give up a top prospect to get him.  There are enough “Chris Snyder”‘s (decent glove, some power but low average) out there in baseball that the Giants wouldn’t need to get rid of much to get someone like him.

              Now Cedeno, on the other hand, has some value to a team in desperate need of a short-term solution at shortstop.  However, that value is no more than many, many other shortstops out there.  If Brandon Belt is made available by the Giants, I think most non-contending teams would offer their starting shortstop (and more) to get him.   Is Cedeno the best available shortstop in that scenario, no, but he’s solidly in the middle of the pack.  Certainly, the Giants can do better than Doumit/Cedeno. 

            • Anonymous

              Gotta agree with Tim completely on this one.  And I’ll add to it:

              1. You can’t possibly believe that you are a “playoff contender” if you truly have “holes” at 3 of the 8 positions in the field.  

              2.  Ronny Cedeno and Ryan Doumit are surely not the pieces that are going to solidify the Giants’ ability to compete.

              While Doumit would prove to be a very worthy guy to have on a playoff teams’ bench (switch hitter with some power, can play multiple positions – sort of), it would be delusional to think that Doumit still has starting in his future (his time with the Pirates, not withstanding).  So, to me, and as Tim has shown, Doumit really doesn’t have a lot of value, especially to a team looking to add a starting catcher.  

              Chris Snyder would be a slightly more valuable addition for a team looking for a short-term solution, but still, the Pirates received him AND Ciriaco for a decent middle reliever and 2 terrible bench players.  Certainly nobody’s going to give up a top prospect to get him.  There are enough “Chris Snyder”‘s (decent glove, some power but low average) out there in baseball that the Giants wouldn’t need to get rid of much to get someone like him.

              Now Cedeno, on the other hand, has some value to a team in desperate need of a short-term solution at shortstop.  However, that value is no more than many, many other shortstops out there.  If Brandon Belt is made available by the Giants, I think most non-contending teams would offer their starting shortstop (and more) to get him.   Is Cedeno the best available shortstop in that scenario, no, but he’s solidly in the middle of the pack.  Certainly, the Giants can do better than Doumit/Cedeno. 

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Zielinski/100000181161454 Steve Zielinski

                Which teams would trade their starting shortstop and catcher (Doumit) to the Giants for anything but a blue chip player. I’m assuming the trade would not be a salary dump for the team sending the shortstop and catcher?

                Markets do not bring into direct relation abstract values. They are composed of barely rational individuals who confront resource constraints, performance demands, imperfect information, etc. We who analyze a market, such as the player’s market, must not only account for the solid information we have about the players, but also must include an assessment of this softer and imprecise information. Even when assessing all of this information, we can only generate possible outcomes that are also feasible.

                My claim is that the Pirates can make a trade offer to the Giants that is not so impractical for the Giants that it just won’t happen, ever. My claim is not that this trade will happen or that it is so compelling that the Giants would be insane not to take it. My claim is that the Giants FO may believe themselves compelled to make this trade because they can fill multiple holes in the lineup, which would save their season and permit them to compete for another championship.

                Of course, the Giants FO can just conclude that the team will not have the tools needed to compete this season, and that it must keep Belt so that it might better compete next season. That is not a conclusion they would want to draw but it might be a conclusion they feel compelled to accept.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

    Demand has a lot to do with it too, as your article also points out.  I’m fine with the Pirates holding onto Doumit and Snyder, Doumit can play OF in case of injury and brings power off the bench.  Also, using both catchers liberally will help avoid injury to the catching position.

  • Anonymous

    “ but still, the Pirates received him AND Ciriaco for a decent middle reliever and 2 terrible bench players.”
    Forgot to add: Ciriaco, Snyder AND A TON OF CASH for a decent middle reliever and 2 terrible bench players.

    So, really, it isn’t the Giants who would have to overpay, it would be the Pirates would have to overpay in order to dump an overpaid (for his value) Doumit.

    Teams just don’t often let go of top prospects anymore.

  • Anonymous

    IMO, I am not trading Cedano for anybody just to make a trade, that includes
    Snyder or Doumit. 
    The Pirates are trying to win games this year, not give away players for nothing. They do have a couple of players they could move and not make much difference to this team, might even help them. Diaz, Wood, Paul are guys they could part with for low “A” prospects with some upside.
    Maholm has to bring back a top prospect or a major league ready starting player.
    I think Cedano, like a lot of players in baseball is benefiting from better coaching than he has had in the past, plus he is maturing, he already has as much talent as most top end shortstops. He can frustrate you, but so could a lot of shortstops around the major leagues these days.
    He IMO, is not one of our major problems, a true 4 hitter is. 
    The Pirates need a bopper in the middle of this lineup.

  • F Lang

    I think the catching situation is pretty solid for next year with Sanchez, Fryar, Jaramillo, Brown possibly on the 40 and Cabrera on his way at AA in 2012. Doumit, unfortunately is made of glass and I think that his constant injury problems has worn thin. I like Doumit. He’s a very solid hitting catcher but injuries and defense make him not worth paying next year. Snyder is another guy like Correia. His value is as close to as high as it’s gonna get right now. If you get rid of both, you are leaving the catching situation to question marks and inexperience so that will weigh into any decisions of course. If Snyder or Doumit were retained I wouldn’t have a problem with either…but no way both are kept. Either guy would be a nice fit in Boston. A lot of contenders in the AL could use a catcher.