May 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) hits a double in the tenth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Target Field. The Twins won 4-3 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Suzuki looking for extension with Twins


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