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Twins sign Kurt Suzuki

Dec 20, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT

Kurt Suzuki AP

Minnesota wasted little time finding a new veteran catcher, adding free agent Kurt Suzuki one day after trading Ryan Doumit to Atlanta.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Suzuki and the Twins have agreed to a one-year deal and the 30-year-old will compete with rookie Josmil Pinto for playing time behind the plate. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says the contract is worth $2.75 million.

Suzuki is a better fit than Doumit for the Twins’ roster because he actually has a good defensive reputation, whereas Doumit is truly a designated hitter with lots of experience behind the plate. On the other hand Suzuki hasn’t really hit since 2009 or so and was pretty brutal offensively for the past two seasons with a combined .234 batting average and .614 OPS in 212 games for the A’s and Nationals.

Minnesota would clearly like Pinto to emerge as the regular catcher and he has promising offensive potential, but Pinto has some Doumit-like question marks defensively and odds are Suzuki will find his way into Ron Gardenhire’s lineup plenty.

  1. sknut - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    It’s a smart move to help give Pinto some time to get better behind the plate and low risk. The Twins are having a solid offseason so far and that is nice to see. Nice to see some action after 3 horrible years.

    • missthemexpos - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Would certainly say a busy offseason, time will tell if all the signings pan out.

  2. karlkolchak - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    “Suzuki will find his way into Ron Gardenhire’s lineup plenty.”

    Probably 9th in the order.

  3. luvmnsports2012 - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    No power and still no quality pitchers! This season will be exactly like the last 3. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge twins fan but it don’t see anything special here!! Hopefully I wrong! Good Luck twinkies

    • kopy - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      What did you want them to do? They can’t create power and quality pitchers out of thin air. They’ve had a great winter, unless you wanted them to hamstring their payroll for the next decade.

    • tved12 - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      I actually really like their off season so far. No quality pitchers? Nolasco is a quality pitcher, Hughes is a low risk high reward signing (value pitcher) and it gives their young arms a little more time to develop in the minors. As for the power, there wasn’t a ton of power out there in free agency this year. Save your dollars, let your young studs get some time in the majors this year, then sign some power hitters next year.

      You’re kidding yourself if you think the Twins were going to be a playoff team this year. I think this is a great foundation that you can build on. You have to hope that 3 or 4 of their top prospects (Buxton, Sano, Meyer) will pan out in the next year or two, then we will be set with Nolasco as a solid 2 or 3 in the rotation, hopefully Hughes is helped by our ballpark, etc…

  4. dluxxx - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Eh. Not bad. I figured they’d get a “good glove” catcher as a backup plan for Pinto, but I agree with Gleeman that he’ll get plenty of run with Gardy. He loves him some veterans…

  5. luisrivasbuttocks - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Not particularly exciting. I suppose I would rather have Suzuki than John Buck at this point. Best of luck to him hopefully he has something left.

  6. TBaySlim - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Im with some of the people above whats been so special about the off season for the twins? Nolasco signing was good, number 3 started, Hughes is a risk and by no means a forsure, and Pelfrey struggled last year aton, so you signed 2 pitchers with an ERA over 5 last year and people are excited? Traded Doumit for a pitcher who in Double AA had an ERA over 5 so thats a wash or a money dump to sign suzuki. I dont see it really i dont see much it any improvement, other then Nolasco the Twins havent done much, they didnt add any decent bats, Plouff at 3rd and Florimon at s.s, Florimon cant hit his weight, Plouff has some pop, no glove, Face it the team has huge holes, they were forced to spend some money to show they were trying or else they would have had a ton of empty seats next season, their pay roll is about 80 mill now, they could easily sign garza and cruz and be around 110 mil next season which is very reasonable….

    • dluxxx - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      You’re delusional if you think the Twins would suddenly be a contender if they added Garza and Cruz. They’re still a ways away, but they’re making some improvement. You point out multiple holes in their lineup, and then say that they should sign Cruz and Garza? Really? What are you smoking? Why would Cruz sign with the Twins anyway? They have a ton of talent within striking distance of the majors. If they sign an OF, it’ll be a one or two year deal. No way Cruz takes that. Not to play for a team that won’t contend for another year or two…

      • TBaySlim - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Did i say that Cruz and Garza would make them a contender anywhere? NO!, what am i smoking What is every one in MN smoking being ok with a sad SAck of players and chances to upgrad at key positions. Garza for one would be instantly the best pitcher on the Team, Cruz would instanly be the best power hitter on the team, Why would anyone sign with anyone team…MONEY….cano just signed 240 million in seattle for crying out loud, F*** the twins way, it sucks its awful, take it if you want, the twins are happy to take your money at the new ball park and not put talent on the field, the twins have the money an refuse to spend it and then to bout you have short sited people like yourself who cant see past your own nose….Ok lets see, your goint to trout out some combonation of Hicks, Arcia and MASTroianni and Willingham and your telling me the Twins couldnt use cruz, now your just crazy, Cruz had more RBIS and home runs then those guys combined….oh so you have young talent great, work with a talent surplus instead of a shortage, since cuddyer left/besides willingham they have lacked right hand power. Cite your improvement, beside nolasco…lets see, pelfrey at 5-13, hughes at 4-14—so 9 and 27 for pitching last year is your improvement? must be jason kubel right? hit a whopping 216 with 5 homers….maybe Kurt Suzuki who hit 232 with 5 hrs…ya improvements compaired to what, Now I just feel sorry for you and you accepting the twins way…they could be better but refuse to spend money…bottom line

  7. allday420ap - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    The real reason they traded Doumit is because they resigned Kubel. And we all know Doumit strives to be Kubels twin.

    • byjiminy - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      But what would be wrong with having twins on the Twins?

      • luisrivasbuttocks - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        The next time a quality set of twin brothers hit the MLB the twinkies need to do whatever they can to aquire them. It’s a corny headline writers dream.

    • TBaySlim - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Kubel….dude couldnt hit his way out of a paper bag, 5 bumps last year 2 teams, his legs are shot, he cant hit left handed pitching and strikes out too often as is and is a turtle on the basepaths, offers Zero Defensive value, straight salary dump to get a catcher, i would rather have kept doumit over kubel, and im not the biggest twins fan, former minnesotan living in Tampa, but i still watch here and there, What woud be wrong with going after Cruz and Garza, really the twins have blown smoke up every one’s A**** since 2010 and people have lived with it, hell the cardinals spent about 120 mill on payroll and the twin cities is relatively the same market with one of the richest owners in all sports, i think they could go to 110k and sign those two FA, instead of hoping and praying the prospects work out because we all know they are 100% garenteed to pan out!!!! RIGHT!!!!!!….David west, Todd walker, Ryan Mills, Bj garbe, adam johnson, JD durbin, david Mccarty, willy banks, Pat mahomes all worked out well didnt they, all im saying is hope they just dont bank on future prospects to save the day

  8. luvmnsports2012 - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    TBayslim, I couldn’t have said it any better! I said it before, no power and no pitching! Didn’t say they would make the playoffs this year just saying they didn’t improve….anywhere!!!

  9. schrutebeetfarms - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    so we essentially signed Drew Butera

  10. joeyashwi - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    68-94

    • undeadjesus - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      77-85

      Terry Ryan is getting things back on track. With the moves he’s made, it’s going to feel like the last three years of misery are over and the new era has begun. Twins will be a contender again in 2-3 years.

  11. kraa0901 - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Honestly, you have to give the Twins, and Terry Ryan credit here. Bill Smith came in as Terry’s “predosesor” a couple years back and ruined the Twins way. He traded Wilson Ramos for nothing (John Raush- not sure of spelling there) and made a bunch of questionable moves.

    Terry has taken back the reigns and is trying to slowly, but surely piece things back together. Let’s be honest here, we are a smaller market team- we cannot make those huge splashes in free agency like other teams can. You make gambles (Phil Hughes) and hope your educated guess that he will bounce back will work.

    I will never question Terry’s insight, personally. He made the Twins who they were through the late 90’s, early 2000’s. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but you can’t not have faith in the guy. Stay positive Twins fans- better days are ahead!!

    • TBaySlim - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Why would the twins deserve credit? They did this to themselves and terry Ryan endorsed bill smith as the gm. Did they do some bad trades yep…they traded Ramos to the nationals for Matt Capps not Johnny Rusch who we scooped up from Arizona after the trade dead line…its funny Minnesota people think the twins have done a great job at what? They basically stole your money for the past 3 seasons with out upgrading talent…small market team? One of the richest owners in sports…a sports market similar to st Louis…their excuses sold to the public to lighten expectations..the fans just bought them pretty sad

  12. TBaySlim - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Why would the twins deserve credit? They did this to themselves and terry Ryan endorsed bill smith as the gm. Did they do some bad trades yep…they traded Ramos to the nationals for Matt Capps not Johnny Rusch who we scooped up from Arizona after the trade dead line…its funny Minnesota people think the twins have done a great job at what? They basically stole your money for the past 3 seasons with out upgrading talent…small market team? One of the richest owners in sports…a sports market similar to st Louis…their excuses sold to the public to lighten expectations..the fans just bought them pretty sad

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