Kurt Suzuki Signs Extension With Twins
But he started the season strong, showing plate discipline far better than he had shown in his career and even played in the All-Star game at Target Field. He is hitting .304 this year, nearly 50 points above his career batting average entering the season and has been repeatedly praised for his work with the pitching staff, though metrics regarding catcher framing claim he costs the team runs. The Twins had talked to him about a contract extension as the trade deadline approached, but the Twins and his representative were reportedly far apart in finding a workable number.
That apparently changed. The number that the parties settled on - 2 years and $12 million - is a more reasonable number than what had been paid for desirable catchers in the offseason, which is closer to $8-9 million per year. But we still don't know details about the vesting option for the 3rd year, which often contains guaranteed money as well. Depending on what is required for that 3rd year to vest, and how much money is guaranteed, the value of this contract could be far different than what has been reported so far.
But ultimately, one's view on this trade likely depends on whether one views Suzuki's offensive success as sustainable. Personally, I do. When a player has as many walks as strikeouts after never coming close to that in his career, it demonstrates a fundamental change in skills that seems likely to carry over from year to year. Depending on the details surrounding the 3rd year of this contract, it looks right now like a very good deal for the Twins.
Update: Mike Berardino has tweeted out that the 3rd year vests for only $6M and it is based on plate appearances. Depending on that plate appearances number, it could be virtually guaranteed or a reach, so that's an important detail. There is also still no word on whether guaranteed money is attached to turning down that 3rd year.
Update 5:46 PM: The options vests at 485 plate appearances, which would require Suzuki to play about 125 games. And there is no guaranteed money for the 3rd year. This contract continues to be more attractive to the Twins than I expected.
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