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Article: Twins Sign Catcher Kurt Suzuki

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#21 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:46 PM

I would be like to sign him. Much, much better than going for Buck, Pierzynski, or Salty.

#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

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.


Fair enough but I don't fault the Twins for missing on this catching market. The only guy who interested me in the slightest is Saltalamacchia and I don't like him in TF and I don't like him coming off a .370+ BABIP season.

And he signed with his hometown team for a pretty good deal. Given the money it probably would have required to pry him away from the Marlins, no thanks.

Suzuki is an acceptable one-year stopgap. Reevaluate the position next offseason.

#23 edavis0308

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 06:05 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?



As far as former Mariners go, I believe you were thinking of Johjima.

#24 howeda7

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:40 AM

Suzuki is OK. But are folks just writing off Doumit catching? I'd much rather let him platoon with Pinto and go find a RH bat to platoon with Kubel at DH.

#25 stringer bell

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:59 AM

Suzuki is OK. But are folks just writing off Doumit catching? I'd much rather let him platoon with Pinto and go find a RH bat to platoon with Kubel at DH.

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.

Edited by stringer bell, 17 December 2013 - 09:32 AM.


#26 cmathewson

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:27 AM

I've always liked how he handles pitchers. And you can't argue with the results in Oakland, with so many young guys cycling through all the time. He'd make a good complement to Pinto in an unconventional platoon. And he could help Pinto with the parts of his game where he tends to struggle, especially running the scouting meetings, calling the game, mound visits, etc.
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#27 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:55 AM

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?

#28 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:56 AM

Suzuki is OK. But are folks just writing off Doumit catching? I'd much rather let him platoon with Pinto and go find a RH bat to platoon with Kubel at DH.


As I just said, I'm okay with writing off Doumit period. He is not a part of this teams future after 2014. If he hits the crap out of the ball, he still won't be back, IMO.

#29 BigTrane

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:18 AM

I'd been looking into him and mentioned him yesterday on the 'Who gets DFA'd' thread as my solution to the whole Freyer/Donut issue. He's got a good rep for D (Johnny Bench award winner in '04) and showed a pretty decent bat in his 1st year with the A's (led the team in RBIs, I believe). CS% in the low 30s. Don't know about his injury history, but he's only 30, so that's a plus. My sense is he'd be willing to platoon with Pinto (much more than an AJ or Salty, anyway) and if he's good with a pitching staff, so much the better. If we were offering 2 years to AJ, then (in this market) what are we waiting for? Offer him 2 and get him now before other teams catch the scent. This is a tight market.

Edited by BigTrane, 17 December 2013 - 08:31 AM.

Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#30 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:37 AM

I'd been looking into him and mentioned him yesterday on the 'Who gets DFA'd' thread as my solution to the whole Freyer/Donut issue. He's got a good rep for D (Johnny Bench award winner in '04) and showed a pretty decent bat in his 1st year with the A's (led the team in RBIs, I believe). CS% in the low 30s. Don't know about his injury history, but he's only 30, so that's a plus. My sense is he'd be willing to platoon with Pinto (much more than an AJ or Salty, anyway) and if he's good with a pitching staff, so much the better. If we were offering 2 years to AJ, then (in this market) what are we waiting for? Offer him 2 and get him now before other teams catch the scent. This is a tight market.


If we sign Suzuki and intend on platooning him with Pinto, it makes even more sense to cut Doumit. Potentially we are looking at a roster of Doumit/Pinto/Suzuki/Kubel/Willingham/Parmelee for DH at-bats. It'd be wise to eliminate one of those options. Pinto needs to play more than the 80 games he will catch if we are planning on signing Suzuki and splitting their time behind the dish.

Yeah it stinks to waste 3 million dollars, but we have done it before. I just can't see how carrying 3 catchers would be a good option considering one of them would be Doumit. I'd rather see Parmelee/Kubel/Pinto getting his DH at-bats with Herrmann as the 3rd catcher(if they need one).

#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.