The Braves trade for Ryan Doumit

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This is pretty unexpected:

Rosenthal reports that the Braves are sending back lefty Sean Gilmartin.

Doumit, a catcher and outfielder who does neither of those things at all well but who has been known to hit a little, wouldn’t seem to have much of a place in the Braves’ lineup. Evan Gattis — who is like a baby Ryan Doumit when you think about it — is catching and the outfield is covered with the Uptons and Heyward. Gerald Laird is the backup catcher. They don’t have a DH, obviously. All I can think is that Fredi Gonzalez could use Doumit like they used Gattis last year: in left field if and when B.J. Upton stinks.

As it is, Doumit hit .247/.314/.396 for the Twins last season. In the three seasons before that, however, he hit ..272/.331/.444. And it’s not like Target Field killed him. He was basically the same player on the road as he was at home. He makes $3.5 million this year.

Gilmartin is 23 and does not appear to be much of a prospect, posting a combined record 12-20 with a 4.23 ERA in 53 minor league starts over three seasons.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?