The Twins next franchise catcher could be already in their clubhouse.
After moving Joe Mauer 90 feet to his right to be the full-time first baseman, Minnesota could be eyeing Kurt Suzuki as their long-term solution behind the plate. Suzuki is open to that idea.
According to Mike Berardino of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the Twins love how Suzuki has meshed and become a part of the team. Suzuki is known as an excellent receiver and someone who works very well with a pitching staff. Those kinds of qualities will be important to the Twins going forward, as they use a mix of veterans and prospects in their rotation for the next couple of years. On top of working with a pitching staff, Suzuki has proven to be a valuable learning tool for rookie catcher Josmil Pinto.
Suzuki, who is only 30, was signed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract with $500,000 in incentives by Minnesota in the off-season. He started last season with the Nationals and then was traded back to his original organization, Oakland. In 43 games so far, Suzuki has posted a slash line of .291/.360/.397. After enduring the shuttling back and forth with trades, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the native Hawaiian to settle down somewhere again.
“It’s something that I think you’d be crazy not to listen,” Suzuki said. “You’re always open to those things. The thing with me, being a free agent at the end of the year, if you keep it up you could put yourself in a good spot…I talked to my agent (Dan Lozano) about it just because I went through it last year. I told him, ‘This year, you do everything. You just tell me when it’s ready, and I’ll go for it.’ “
Suzuki could prove to be a great keep for the Twins, but the veteran catcher could also be used as a stop-gap option for clubs who are raising catchers in their farm systems. The Twins’ backstop is currently fifth in the All-Star voting for the 2014 game, which will be held in Minnesota.
Tags: Minnesota Twins