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Article: Twins Sign Catcher Kurt Suzuki

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:33 PM

Per La Velle and the San Francisco Chronicle, the Twins are looking at catcher Kurt Suzuki.

About all I know about him is that he used to be a Mariner and that he's still young. Anyone want to do some quick research and throw it out here?

#2 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:48 PM

Didn't he play for Oakland?

#3 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:53 PM

A's actually... I don't remember him with the Mariners.

There was a time when I was impressed. He had occasional pop with the bat and he was a real active catcher behind the plate... Athletically skilled... He made some amazing blocks of wild pitches.

Last year... I watched him catch a couple games and he didn't seem as active... He looked a little sedentary behind the dish and he looked a little lost at the plate.

He needs to find that energy again... If he does... He'll be a decent support player... He calls a decent game so that will be good for the pitching staff.

I remember watching this play below and thinking it was one of the finest defensive plays from catcher I'd ever seen.

http://wapc.mlb.com/...tent_id=7431547
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#4 biggentleben

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:55 PM

Per La Velle and the San Francisco Chronicle, the Twins are looking at catcher Kurt Suzuki.

About all I know about him is that he used to be a Mariner and that he's still young. Anyone want to do some quick research and throw it out here?


He's actually never been a Mariner (perhaps you're thinking of onetime Seattle closer Kaz Sasaki or a certain right fielder). He came up with the Athletics with a high reputation for handling a staff and holding runners close and surprised the A's with quality seasons at the plate. He's still young in catcher years, and while he won't ever hit .300, he can give you a solid contact guy that will give you .250 batting average with a .700ish OPS. Nothing spectacular, but not horrid for a catcher either. While injuries have taken away his elite defensive abilities, he's still highly touted for handling of pitchers.
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#5 biggentleben

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:58 PM

A's actually... I don't remember him with the Mariners.

There was a time when I was impressed. He had occasional pop with the bat and he was a real active catcher behind the plate... Athletically skilled... He made some amazing blocks of wild pitches.

Last year... I watched him catch a couple games and he didn't seem as active... He looked a little sedentary behind the dish and he looked a little lost at the plate.

He needs to find that energy again... If he does... He'll be a decent support player... He calls a decent game so that will be good for the pitching staff.

I remember watching this play below and thinking it was one of the finest defensive plays from catcher I'd ever seen.

http://wapc.mlb.com/...tent_id=7431547


If you saw him after his late-season trade back to Oakland, you saw some of that vigor again. Injuries have taken some of the raw athleticism away, but he was seemingly energized with the A's staff and his bat even came alive in a short stint with Oakland last season.

Great example of that - in his first few years as a catcher, he averaged 4+ runs prevented by blocking. He was then 0.xx for the last couple years before bouncing back to produce a 5+ run prevention number in 2013 combined between the A's and Nats, which was second only to Yadi Molina.

Edited by biggentleben, 13 December 2013 - 10:06 PM.

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#6 biggentleben

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

One mark on him offensively - he puts the ball in play. He rarely walks, but he also rarely strikes out. Fangraphs has him for a career 6.4 BB%, but also only an 11.9 K%.
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#7 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:06 PM

If you saw him after his late-season trade back to Oakland, you saw some of that vigor again. Injuries have taken some of the raw athleticism away, but he was seemingly energized with the A's staff and his bat even came alive in a short stint with Oakland last season.


I watched him with the Nats. I was disappointed but I wasn't aware of the injuries. Injury would explain it because he didn't look like the same guy.

If he has worked through the injury. This will be a good pickup for us. At least good for anyone that doesn't expect all players to OPS plus .900. Or be worthless. :D

I think he's tough and we need some tough. He could be a guy that doesn't look like he's helping but helps by improving others around him.

I hope we get him. Roll them dice!
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#8 Trevor0333

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:10 PM

I like him a lot better than Buck. He's ok with the bat & defensively for a C. Which isnt common for catchers, seems like they are usually more all defense or all offense.

Given Pinto latest shoulder woes, I do like having another option besides Fryer/Hermann. While they have said Doumit can catch. I expect that to be on an emergency injury basis only. I honestly dont think he will catch another game in his career.

Bartlett, Kubel, Suzuki... These are all quality end of the bench take a chance on possibly getting good reward type players.

Edited by Trevor0333, 13 December 2013 - 10:12 PM.


#9 biggentleben

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:12 PM

I watched him with the Nats. I was disappointed but I wasn't aware of the injuries. Injury would explain it because he didn't look like the same guy.

If he has worked through the injury. This will be a good pickup for us. At least good for anyone that doesn't expect all players to OPS plus .900. Or be worthless. :D

I think he's tough and we need some tough. He could be a guy that doesn't look like he's helping but helps by improving others around him.

I hope we get him. Roll them dice!


A lot of it was due to overuse. He caught just under 300 games in 2008-2009 and another 270 in 2010-2011. That's simply a ton of games behind the plate for any catcher.
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#10 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:26 PM

A lot of it was due to overuse. He caught just under 300 games in 2008-2009 and another 270 in 2010-2011. That's simply a ton of games behind the plate for any catcher.


Yeah... No doubt... And it would lead to a little complacency from the routine-ness of it all.

Good stuff Ben... You are filling in some gaps with stuff that add's up... I've seen two Suzuki's... One good... One So-So... Hopefully... A little dose of "I want to stay in the majors" will bring that good one back.

Let's look at the tape again: http://wapc.mlb.com/...tent_id=7431547
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#11 biggentleben

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:43 PM

Yeah... No doubt... And it would lead to a little complacency from the routine-ness of it all.

Good stuff Ben... You are filling in some gaps with stuff that add's up... I've seen two Suzuki's... One good... One So-So... Hopefully... A little dose of "I want to stay in the majors" will bring that good one back.

Let's look at the tape again: http://wapc.mlb.com/...tent_id=7431547


He's been a personal favorite since he came up, so I watched his career closely. I see him akin to a Russell Martin lite. Martin was also abused terribly in the Dodgers days (448 games in 3 seasons along with 1838 plate appearances), and his production at the plate and behind it tailed off. He recovered in his Yankee days, barely cracking 475 PA in each season in New York. Last year in Pittsburgh, he turned in his best defensive season of his career by metrics and his best fWAR since his 2008 season when he was being overused in spite of batting a meddling line of .226/.327/.377 in 2013 at the plate.
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#12 Tibs

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:29 PM

He's actually never been a Mariner (perhaps you're thinking of onetime Seattle closer Kaz Sasaki or a certain right fielder). He came up with the Athletics with a high reputation for handling a staff and holding runners close and surprised the A's with quality seasons at the plate. He's still young in catcher years, and while he won't ever hit .300, he can give you a solid contact guy that will give you .250 batting average with a .700ish OPS. Nothing spectacular, but not horrid for a catcher either. While injuries have taken away his elite defensive abilities, he's still highly touted for handling of pitchers.


The handling of pitchers sounds like something the Twins need.

#13 Hawkeye12

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:40 PM

If Pinto is going to be the starter, I prefer Suzuki over Buck. If Pinto is going to be in AAA to start the year, I'd rather have Buck paired with Fryer. Plus I think Suzuki will be slightly cheaper, but I haven't seen any dollar figures tossed around.

#14 John Bonnes

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:12 AM

He's actually never been a Mariner (perhaps you're thinking of onetime Seattle closer Kaz Sasaki or a certain right fielder). He came up with the Athletics with a high reputation for handling a staff and holding runners close and surprised the A's with quality seasons at the plate. He's still young in catcher years, and while he won't ever hit .300, he can give you a solid contact guy that will give you .250 batting average with a .700ish OPS. Nothing spectacular, but not horrid for a catcher either. While injuries have taken away his elite defensive abilities, he's still highly touted for handling of pitchers.


Nah, i typed the wrong team - thinking Oak and typed Sea. He was an A forever.

#15 kab21

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:08 AM

I don't care who at this point but they need to bring in a veteran that can catch 60-100 games regardless of Pinto's possible injury. Suzuki and Buck are at the top of my list so hopefully one of them ends up here.

#16 cmathewson

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 08:27 AM

I like him about as well as AJ if he can get healthy. He should be a bargain. We might be able to get him on a minor league deal.
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#17 jorgenswest

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 09:02 AM

He does poorly in the pitch receiving metrics. That probably doesn't matter to the Twins.

Must matter to some teams. Any catcher slightly below average to very good in this metric were signed quickly or moved in the trade market. The guys perennially below average like Buck and Suzuki remain.

It is unfair to put Suzuki with Buck though. While Suzuki is below average, Buck is in Doumit range.

The Twins missed on the catcher market this year. They can't go back. Suzuki is probably the best of what is left.

Edited by jorgenswest, 14 December 2013 - 09:07 AM.


#18 whatever54

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 10:03 AM

I don't care who at this point but they need to bring in a veteran that can catch 60-100 games regardless of Pinto's possible injury. Suzuki and Buck are at the top of my list so hopefully one of them ends up here.

This I agree with. Pair a solid vet catcher with Pinto, Suzuki is probably the best remaining, especially if he can get over the injury issue and get back to some semblance of his former self.

#19 ScottyB

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:37 PM

I like him about as well as AJ if he can get healthy. He should be a bargain. We might be able to get him on a minor league deal.


The way catchers have been flying off the board, no way Suzuki is a minor league deal. If we could get him under $5M, I'd grab him. In fact I'd give him a 2-year deal.

#20 iastfan112

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:44 PM

Per La Velle and the San Francisco Chronicle, the Twins are looking at catcher Kurt Suzuki.

About all I know about him is that he used to be a Mariner and that he's still young. Anyone want to do some quick research and throw it out here?


Or you could've been thinking of http://www.baseball-...johjike01.shtml