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Article: Twins Sign Catcher Kurt Suzuki

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#31 BigTrane

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:23 AM

Yep, 3 million stings, but sometimes ya gotta cut bait.

With Suzuki, we'd get younger than Doumit and have a solid C with plenty of MLB experience to mentor Pinto. A trustworthy/dependable guy like that has to appeal to the Twins, and without the, uh, "intangibles" of an AJ or the payday of a Salty. If that confidence is there, then absolutely- you go Suzuki/Pinto/Hermann and clear out Doumit and Freyer, opening up 2 spots for all the arms we have now. Win-win-win.

Suzuki is a vet, wouldn't cost that much, and puts the catcher question to rest.

Next season has to be focused on sorting out the pitching #1, and distractions behind the plate would just complicate that whole process. No thanks. Let's have a smooth transition, so we can turn our attention to other areas we need to focus on. No-brainer to me.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#32 cmathewson

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:33 AM

I wouldn't cut bait with Doumit, but more as a bench bat and third catcher than as a back-up. I've seen enough of him to know he really struggles on the catching side. His main weakness is he doesn't get low enough to get the low strike. That is a tough deal for a staff full of sinker ballers. The paradigm cases was one game by Gibson last year when he had 18 (!) pitches in the FX zone called balls--all of them at the knees. As long as we have human umps, we need catchers who can frame the low strike. Doumit is really bad at this.
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#33 kab21

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:20 AM

Doumit won't be flat out cut. The Twins won't cut a veteran like that. Perhaps at the end of spring training if he 'loses' a position battle but it's even more likely that Doumit is still on the roster for several months next summer.

#34 cmathewson

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:26 AM

Doumit won't be flat out cut. The Twins won't cut a veteran like that. Perhaps at the end of spring training if he 'loses' a position battle but it's even more likely that Doumit is still on the roster for several months next summer.


Right. I could see him competing for the full-time DH role in ST and losing to Kubel. But they will need to find DFA candidates from a list of AAAA guys if they sign anyone else. Fortunately, that list is still pretty long.
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#35 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:56 AM

I agree, he won't be cut. I disagree though and say he should be, if they sign Suzuki.

#36 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:34 AM

Suzuki>Fryer>Hermann>>>>Gray
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#37 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:01 PM

If Twins sign Suzuki, would you guys be upset if we just cut Doumit and kept Fryer on 40-man? Even though I think he is terrible, the Twins apparently do not. Knowing that, doesn't Fryer actually have more value on the 40-man roster? (controllable, cheap, younger, better defensively)

I guess I am just really at the point if we can't throw Doumit in a trade to give him away, I'd rather us just eat that money and give the at-bats to someone else, since this is a year it will be acceptable to see what we have in some guys. Agreed?


I wouldn't mind if the Twins just stuck with Fryer for Pinto's backup anyway. Doumit's not going to catch and he can't do anything besides DH. He doesn't hit righties as well as Kubel and his splits are great enough to get him in some sort of platoon. He just doesn't have worth to the Twins nor anyone else. Fryer is a better player than Doumit at this point in their careers and he's probably not too far behind Suzuki either.

#38 70charger

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:01 PM

IMHO, this is an acceptable stopgap scenario for 2014: Pinto starts every game vs. LH at catcher, Kubel starts every game at DH vs. RH pitching. Doumit catches about half the time vs. RH pitching and DHs most of the time vs. LH pitching. It would figure then that Doumit, Kubel, and Pinto would each start more than 100 games. That said, if the Twins can acquire a veteran catcher who is OK offensively and average defensively, go for it. I would put both Suzuki and Lobaton in that category.


I'm perfectly fine with this as a stopgap too. A healthy Doumit is actually a very good hitter (how quickly people forget!), and I just don't see the point of cutting him loose and eating his salary. He's got a career OPS+ of 106, and he's one year removed from a 114 with 18 home runs. Even his "really bad" year last wasn't really bad. His OPS+ was 96.

We can handle Doumit as a part-time (no more than half-time) catcher next year while we groom Pinto for the future. And while I wouldn't be opposed to someone else coming in on a one-year deal if their balance of offense and defense proved better, I do find it a little perplexing that we were talking about guys like John Buck who are clearly not upgrades.

#39 stringer bell

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:48 AM

It seems to me that Pinto has the basic tools to be a decent receiver. Where he needs work is in advanced skills such as pitch framing, calling a game, and working well with a pitcher. It would be nice to have a veteran to work with Pinto but Mauer and Steinbach can serve as mentors in "advanced receiving". Doumit is a decent switch-hitter who can fill in behind the plate. If he doesn't block Pinto or Arcia. I see no problem with him on the roster

#40 thetank

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

Fangraphs has Pinto hitting 26 doubles and 14 HRs in 563 plate appearances hitting .232. Sound like a lot of plate appearances for a rookie catcher.

#41 spycake

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:50 AM

MLBTR reports the Twins have signed Kurt Suzuki, for 1 year at $2.75 million plus incentives:

http://www.mlbtrader...urt-suzuki.html

So that will mean another 40-man roster move....

#42 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:58 AM

Good move by TR.
I'd be content if we are done shopping, but hope for a trade for a SS or SP and sign a bat.

#43 Nick Nelson

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:58 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...her-Kurt-Suzuki

#44 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

MLBTR reports the Twins have signed Kurt Suzuki, for 1 year at $2.75 million plus incentives:

http://www.mlbtrader...urt-suzuki.html

So that will mean another 40-man roster move....


Being reported by www.1500espn.com also

http://www.1500espn....year_deal122013

#45 NoCryingInBaseball

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:09 AM

Been going back and reading many of this site's comments about Suzuki and I give Ryan "[FONT=Verdana]thatta boy" for the acquisition.[/FONT]

#46 ppearson50

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:10 AM

Being reported by www.1500espn.com also

http://www.1500espn....year_deal122013


See you at Rochester Eric Fryer. I would assume he would be taken off the 40 man. Should clear. He hasn't hit for much in minors or his tiny bit oftime in the majors.

#47 raindog

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:12 AM

I love the signing, with the assumption that Pinto is the starter. Fryer should now be a couple injuries away from making the 25 man. Thank goodness.

Suzuki is a fine backup catcher.

#48 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:21 AM

I love the signing, with the assumption that Pinto is the starter. Fryer should now be a couple injuries away from making the 25 man. Thank goodness.

Suzuki is a fine backup catcher.


A Veteran Backstop who will be able to help with the game planning. His Value will go beyond his batting stats and caught stealing%. The Catcher plays a major role in weather a pitcher is successful or not.

After Doumit was traded... I was pretty sure this was going to happen.

I think it's a bit much to just hand the job over to Pinto without a little insurance. We did that with Hicks in 2013. In hindsight... Insurance would have helped in the case of Hicks.

Also... In consideration of what Parmelee did a couple of Septembers ago and what he has done since that impressive September. Simply saying Pinto "here you go" after an impressive September is a little risky.

I have a feeling that Suzuki will start as the primary catcher come April.
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#49 ericchri

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:25 AM

I like it, it feels like a better match for Pinto in that I'm hopeful Pinto turns into an above-average catcher long-term. Some of the bigger name available catchers were going to take away some of the playing time I wanted Pinto to get. Suzuki should slot in nicely as a backup who can take over and start adequately if Pinto should face-plant or get injured for some reason, but not take away his playing time otherwise. Curious what happens with Herrmann, now. Still seems like a possible bench bat due to his versatility, but AAA may be more likely.

#50 Winston Smith

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:27 AM

" The signing addresses the last obvious need on the roster,...."

So we lose Morneau and Doumit (I nearly forgot Clete), sign Kubel and Suzuki to fill that void.

Do these moves really do much to improve our bad offense from last year?

#51 orangevening

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:30 AM

Better fit than Buck

#52 Monkeypaws

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:36 AM

I like this signing because a better guy like AJ would likely push Pinto to the bench more often than not. Now it's up to Josmil to grab that starter's job and leave Suzuki the backup role.

#53 nicksaviking

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:48 AM

" The signing addresses the last obvious need on the roster,...."

So we lose Morneau and Doumit (I nearly forgot Clete), sign Kubel and Suzuki to fill that void.

Do these moves really do much to improve our bad offense from last year?


I would have been upset if the team didn't get upgrades for the pitching staff in free agency, but I'm OK if the plan for offensive upgrades is simply expecting improvement/bouncebacks/arrivals from guys like Arcia, Hicks, Willingham, Plouffe and Sano. Surely all won't shine but if a couple produce better than they did last year the offense will be improved.

#54 spycake

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:51 AM

The last two years, Suzuki has been basically the equivalent of Jose Molina with the bat. (With his modest ability to take a walk, Fryer might be in that range too.) Molina signed for 2 years at a lower AAV (2/4.5). Will be interesting to see how their defense/framing compares.

#55 tjsyam921

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

I dont see how he can really bring much more to the table than what Herrmann or Fryer would bring. Seems the money couldve been spent elsewhere. Now who gets removed from 40 man to make room for someone who doesnt bring much more than what we have?

#56 cmathewson

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

It's not as simple as that. To me, Kubel is an upgrade over Doumit. Mauer is a big upgrade over Morneau. A Pinto/Suzuki platoon is a downgrade compared to Mauer. At that point, you're about even. But, Arcia is a big upgrade over Parmelee, so a couple of extra months of him should help. Also, we won't have to suffer through two months of Hicks leading off. That experiment killed our offense in 2013.

Overall, a slight upgrade, I think. I expect Ryan to upgrade the shortstop offense in January (or before) with Stephen Drew. That might be all we can reasonably expect, beyond the natural regression to the mean of several of the guys who underperformed expectations last year.

The biggest part of the regression is health. Willingham spent about a month on the DL and played hurt a lot. Mauer missed the last six weeks of the season and, when he was playing, he had the typical catching dings that affect hitting. Plouffe played through a lot of things. Arcia missed some time. If those guys are more healthy in 2014, they should produce more than they did in 2013.

It certainly is not a line-up to inspire fear in the likes of Justin Verlander. But it should be a little better. In 2015, it will get a lot better when you add Buxton and Rosario to the top of the order and Sano to the middle.

#57 whatever54

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:02 AM

We'll see how it works out, but what I'd like to see happen is Pinto and Suzuki split catching starts something close to 50-50. Catcher is a tough position and a bit less wear and tear may help keep them healthy. I'm especially concerned about Suzuki wearing down with too many starts, if he can stay healthy, he could really contribute.

#58 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:09 AM

I believe about 2/3 of all starting pitchers right handed. Suzuki is a right handed batter, as is Pinto. In 2013 Pinto hit great against righties in a small sample, but Suzuki over the last three years has been horrible against righties, hitting just .233/.287.

#59 Chance

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:10 AM

Love it.

#60 nicksaviking

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

Bonus in signing Suzuki: He has proven to be very tradable over the last two years. Not that the Twins should do so, but it's nice to have that option.