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Braves deal first-rounder Gilmartin for veteran catcher

The Atlanta Braves acquired the veteran bat they were looking for on Wednesday, but it came at the expense of a former first-round draft choice.

Ryan Doumit, a versatile switch-hitter with power, was obtained from Minnesota in exchange for left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin.

Doumit, 32, is primarily a catcher, but can also play first base and the outfield. He reached double figures in homers five of the past six seasons and has a .268 career average.

Gilmartin, 23, saw his stock drop last season when he went 3-8 with a 5.74 ERA in 17 starts for Class AAA Gwinnett while battling shoulder soreness. He was the 28th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Florida State.

The Braves were looking to improve their bench and turned to Doumit when third baseman Eric Chavez, a free agent, decided to return to Arizona.

Doumit, not a strong defensive player, has one season left on his contract and is owed $3.5 million in 2014.

Doumit can share time with Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird, both right-handed hitters, behind the plate and serve as the Braves’ top pinch hitter. He played two seasons with Minnesota after seven in the National League with Pittsburgh and has 99 homers and 396 RBIs in 880 career games.

Doumit hit .247 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs in 135 games last season after batting .275 with career highs of 18 homers and 75 RBIs for the Twins over 134 games in 2012. He hit .303 with the Pirates in 2011 and .318 in 2008.

The trade takes away a pitcher from Gwinnett’s projected 2014 rotation, but likely guarantees that Christian Bethancourt — considered Atlanta’s catcher of the future — will start the season with the G-Braves.