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  • How Big is the Twins Catching Problem?


    Ted Schwerzler

    Going into the offseason the Minnesota Twins have just one catcher on their 40-man roster. With little other help immediately seen throughout the system, it’s a position needing to be addressed this winter. The question for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine may be just how dire is the issue?

     

    Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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    Last offseason the Twins traded Silver Slugger Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers. Injury had been his bugaboo in recent seasons, and he was ultimately shut down with Texas to undergo an arm procedure. In trading Josh Donaldson and Ben Rortvedt to the New York Yankees, Minnesota opted to pair Ryan Jeffers with former standout Gary Sanchez. It did not go well.

    While a timeshare was probably somewhat expected, Jeffers ultimately could’ve been given the keys to the kingdom. Unfortunately, he dealt with injury and ineffectiveness, playing only 67 games and posting an 86 OPS+. Looking ahead to 2023, it’s basically Jeffers or bust until Minnesota’s front office decides otherwise. The 2018 2nd-round pick has to show he’s capable of that 119 OPS+ he posted across his first 26 games in the majors.

    It’s hard to make much of 2022 for Jeffers given how truncated the action was. He bottomed out with a .550 OPS through his first 39 games, but then on June 8 started a little turnaround. In his next 21 games, through July 14, Jeffers slashed .286/.342/.529 (.871) with nine extra-base hits, including four home runs. In a year in which his power had looked nonexistent, it finally arrived at that point. Then the injury happened.

    Returning to a fading team in late September, Jeffers followed up a successful rehab in St. Paul by playing in just seven more games. It wasn't enough to settle in, and nothing about his production provided answers for the year ahead. Gone are Sanchez and Sandy Leon, leaving only Jeffers to assume time. Another talent will be brought in to work alongside him, but the level of that player should say plenty as to where Minnesota’s front office believes their backstop situation is.

    It was this front office that took a risk on Jeffers in the draft. Despite some reports and evaluations by other organizations that he may never have the defensive chops behind the plate, Minnesota took him on as a bat-first prospect. We have now seen a strong defender emerge, and it’s largely been the bat that has lagged behind. That alone should give hope to an organization relying on analysis from when Jeffers was originally drafted.

    For this pitching staff to be successful, Jeffers is the type of catcher they’d prefer working with. More often than not Sanchez had them working against a stacked deck, and Leon was leaned on heavily down the stretch. The front office could opt for a veteran backup in the form of Omar Narvaez, or they could make a big splash and land a starting type akin to Sean Murphy or Danny Jansen. There are ways for the roster to work with either path, but plenty will be said about the current prognosis of Jeffers in relation to whatever option they choose.

    There was a time that Jeffers and Garver held down the position almost as well as peak Joe Mauer did. Minnesota hasn’t had that consistency since the future Hall of Famer moved to first base, however, and they’ll be looking for a much better outcome from behind the dish in 2023.

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    Must take exception to your comment that Jeffers is a strong defender.  Yes, he has a reputation for framing, which hopefully goes away in the next year or two with some type of robo ump or challenge system.  The catcher I have seen behind the plate is bad at blocking balls and terrible at throwing out anybody.  Yes, the pitchers often are as much to blame about steals, but his record last year was bad.

    To answer your question, catching is the biggest problem the Twins have, HUGE!  They need a new starter, who preferably swings from the left side.  Someone who will play about 90 games a year with Jeffers at 70, MAX.  They also need a third guy.  Could be someone like Leon who is at St. Paul on a minor league deal.  Ideally, this is an older vet who is fantastic working with the young pitchers who are one step away.  And finally, they need a third guy.  Some guy at AA who is a solid prospect and could/should be ready by 2024.

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    Battey, Wynegar, Laudner, Mauer, Pierzynski, Harper, Suzuki, Mitterwald, Borgman, Steinback, Rosboro, Butera, Walbeck,  That is not a list of greatness from top to bottom, but 5 - 6 of them are top catchers.  Where does Jeffers fit into this list?  He is the only catcher which has to change, but his performance so far has him outside the rank of good (not great) catchers, and the Great Mauer, Battey, Pierzynski, Harper group at the top is a long way from anything we have now. 

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    with the new rules on the pitchers, I see base runners will be running a lot more that'll put a lot of stress on Jeffers. Plus not having a strong arm, Jeffers will have a lot of problems. Narvaez is an ideal platoon, we need to focus on getting him to set our floor. If we sign Correa we have our tandem if we don't, we can pivot & sign Contreras. If we sign Contreras, we can trade Jeffers.

    PIT has 2 very promising catching prospects, Davis which has been PIT top prospect for a little while and up coming switch hitting E Rodriguez. Rodriguez last season has shown that he has all the tools to be a very good catcher. IMO PIT could be thinking about competing this year, so they might consider an upgrade at catcher & maybe willing to let Rodriguez go. If so that could solve our catching problem for a very long time.

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    50 minutes ago, roger said:

    Must take exception to your comment that Jeffers is a strong defender.  Yes, he has a reputation for framing, which hopefully goes away in the next year or two with some type of robo ump or challenge system.  The catcher I have seen behind the plate is bad at blocking balls and terrible at throwing out anybody.  Yes, the pitchers often are as much to blame about steals, but his record last year was bad.

    He's coached to frame the ball low as much as possible, including receiving the ball with a leg out instead of in a crouch. That decision affects his ability to block and his pop time to second base. I think Jeffers could adjust and improve in these areas if the team wanted him to do so. They'd rather have him framing low pitches for strikes.

    I keep going back to Jeffers' actual stats for base stealing. He was 3 bases below league average. Not runs, but bases allowed. If he's "terrible" then the average MLB catcher is also "terrible". With base stealing at a 50 year low I doubt the catchers are that bad at throwing out baserunners. It's far more likely that teams only attempt to steal with elite baserunners.

    I would love to see the team sign Vazquez. I enjoyed watching him play during the postseason (which also showcased the elite skills of Realmuto). I agree the team needs to add AAA depth as well.

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    BIG decision for this FO.  Do they keep grooming Jeffers and add a platoon player or go big with a trade or a Contreras signing?  That decision will tell us a lot about what they think of Jeffers.

    I also noticed a comment in a different thread regarding Rule 5 catchers.  Could we snatch one there that would be acceptable to platoon with Jeffers?  Maybe one who has a long-term future also.  I would include that in the equation.

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    As I stated in yesterday in a post why hasn't the twins signed Narvaez ...

    Defense and leadership is very important to the success of the team at the catcher position ...

    He calls the game , he positions players in the field , he blocks balls in the dirt ( limit wild pitches ), he throws out a high percentage of base stealers,  he doesn't allow pass balls ....

    We have lacked a defensive catcher for awhile and I'm tired of seeing the ball get by the catcher and the runner scores from third base ...

    CATCHER IS THE BIGGEST NEED FOR A TEAM, ,  pure and simple  , pitching is next ...

    Both world series contenders this year had a great defensive catcher  ...

    That my plan and I'm sticking to it  ...

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    Cross posting this from other thread, some Rule 5 draft prospects to consider?

    Some possibilities:

    Maverick Handley from Orioles; Antonio Gomez from Yankees; Drew Millas from Nat's; Dominic Miroglio from Diamondbacks; Kile Cottam and Stephen Scott from Red Sox.

    Twins haven't drafted anyone for a while, but they might like one of these catchers....

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    40 minutes ago, Bigfork Twins Guy said:

    I also noticed a comment in a different thread regarding Rule 5 catchers.  Could we snatch one there that would be acceptable to platoon with Jeffers?  Maybe one who has a long-term future also.  I would include that in the equation.

    Drew Millas is probably the best Rule 5 option behind the plate. If they want him they should trade for him and option him to AAA. I don't think he's ready for the big leagues.

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    Battey, Wynegar, Laudner, Mauer, Pierzynski, Harper, Suzuki, Mitterwald, Borgman, Steinback, Rosboro, Butera, Walbeck,  That is not a list of greatness from top to bottom, but 5 - 6 of them are top catchers.  Where does Jeffers fit into this list?  He is the only catcher which has to change, but his performance so far has him outside the rank of good (not great) catchers, and the Great Mauer, Battey, Pierzynski, Harper group at the top is a long way from anything we have now. 

    Sorry Mike, but I disagree:

    The Twins have actually had a pretty good lineage of Catchers going back to Butch Wynegar (people forget how good he was)

    Harper
    Ortiz
    Steinbach
    Blanco
    Pierzynski
    Mauer
    Redmond
    Suzuki

    All above average catchers (or extremely above average).  Heck, even Laudner was an all-star one year.

    Jeffers has shown the ability to be above average, the question is can he regain that form, even if only partially?

    I am not as down on our catching as most.  In today's world, Catchers are like Kickers in the NFL.  They are generally afterthoughts.  You pay if you have a rock-star, otherwise you find the right guys that can handle it or fit your team mold.

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    3 hours ago, roger said:

    Must take exception to your comment that Jeffers is a strong defender.  Yes, he has a reputation for framing, which hopefully goes away in the next year or two with some type of robo ump or challenge system.  The catcher I have seen behind the plate is bad at blocking balls and terrible at throwing out anybody.  Yes, the pitchers often are as much to blame about steals, but his record last year was bad.

    To answer your question, catching is the biggest problem the Twins have, HUGE!  They need a new starter, who preferably swings from the left side.  Someone who will play about 90 games a year with Jeffers at 70, MAX.  They also need a third guy.  Could be someone like Leon who is at St. Paul on a minor league deal.  Ideally, this is an older vet who is fantastic working with the young pitchers who are one step away.  And finally, they need a third guy.  Some guy at AA who is a solid prospect and could/should be ready by 2024.

    Jeffers was 8th (worst) in the AL with 5 passed balls last year. Sandy Leon was 6th worst with 6. 5 or 6 passed balls is maybe 3-4 runs per season at most. 
     

    There were 2487 stolen bases league wide last year, 1/2 of a stolen base per team per game, that result in on average .3 of a run per steal. Jeffers had 31 steals on him, so that’s 10 runs estimated in the season.

    There are 100+ pitches thrown per game, getting a higher percentage of strikes impacts dozens of outcomes per game. Jeffers is ranked 21st (best) in the league. Improved counts puts at-bats in the pitchers’ favor.

    I think Jeffers is a high quality half of a catching tandem. The question is the other half. Narvaez seems like a good option. The Twins also have Banuelos, a good journeyman at the Saints but doesn’t hit, is supposed to be an excellent fielder. And Bechtold is progressing nicely (but doesn’t really hit either)

    if the rest of the lineup hits, Carlos Correa and a corner outfielder, DH… a black hole at catcher for half your games could be overcome.

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    2 hours ago, Blyleven2011 said:

    As I stated in yesterday in a post why hasn't the twins signed Narvaez ...

    Defense and leadership is very important to the success of the team at the catcher position ...

    He calls the game , he positions players in the field , he blocks balls in the dirt ( limit wild pitches ), he throws out a high percentage of base stealers,  he doesn't allow pass balls ....

    We have lacked a defensive catcher for awhile and I'm tired of seeing the ball get by the catcher and the runner scores from third base ...

    CATCHER IS THE BIGGEST NEED FOR A TEAM, ,  pure and simple  , pitching is next ...

    Both world series contenders this year had a great defensive catcher  ...

     

    Narvaez career Caught Stealing number is 22 percent; Sanchez career (both 7 years) is 29 percent.

    Narvaez would just be another black hole at catcher; resign Sanchez he is better than either,

    Pitch framing is just a Willo the Wisp  with some dude thinking catchers can perform magic, Jeffers is far from a magician behind the plate.

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    1 hour ago, Richie the Rally Goat said:

    Jeffers was 8th (worst) in the AL with 5 passed balls last year. Sandy Leon was 6th worst with 6. 5 or 6 passed balls is maybe 3-4 runs per season at most. 
     

    There were 2487 stolen bases league wide last year, 1/2 of a stolen base per team per game, that result in on average .3 of a run per steal. Jeffers had 31 steals on him, so that’s 10 runs estimated in the season.

    There are 100+ pitches thrown per game, getting a higher percentage of strikes impacts dozens of outcomes per game. Jeffers is ranked 21st (best) in the league. Improved counts puts at-bats in the pitchers’ favor.

    I think Jeffers is a high quality half of a catching tandem. The question is the other half. Narvaez seems like a good option. The Twins also have Banuelos, a good journeyman at the Saints but doesn’t hit, is supposed to be an excellent fielder. And Bechtold is progressing nicely (but doesn’t really hit either)

    if the rest of the lineup hits, Carlos Correa and a corner outfielder, DH… a black hole at catcher for half your games could be overcome.

    Can certainly agree with your last comment.  If we had a great defensive catcher and he hits a buck ninety, so be it.  I would be happy.  And anything better is gravy.

    If I understand most of your response, you are indicating that his pitch framing offsets being bad or less than average on blocked balls and throwing out runners.  LaTroy Hawkins made a comment on one of the broadcasts this summer that I loved, "good pitch framing is really bad umpiring."  When changes are made to robo umps or a challenge system, Jeffers plus goes away.  And changes are coming to the base size which will likely increase the amount of running teams do,.

    And I am not proposing they replace him, rather get someone better so that he is only playing about 40% of the games.

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    Jeffers was brought to the majors with 25 games above A ball in 2020, during the covid season. He lost a certain amount of development time in the minors. To this point in his major league career in 535 at bats he has 24 homers and 70 RBI's. Although his 210/285/670 line is definitely not great, I think most teams would take 24 homers and 70 RBI's from the catching position.

    As mentioned above the Twins as a team will have to decide if they want fewer stolen bases or more stolen strikes.

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    For me the ideal 40 man has 3 catchers: a really good one if you can, an experienced backup who perhaps complements the starter in some specific way, and then a young guy who is promising but hasn't established himself but has minor league options so you can stash him at AAA in readiness for when one of the older guys is injured.  A fourth veteran on a minor league contract, break glass in emergency, completes the preparation for the season; having that guy as your third catcher is begging for roster trouble since you can't send him back down at will.

    IMO we're missing the first two guys.  It's a leap of faith to think Jeffers is your number one, especially in the absence of another prospect knocking on the door.  He's ideally my number three, and let him fight his way back up.

    The FO is going to have to give up salary and/or prospect capital, to cover catcher next season unless they want to admit they're not really contending.

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    26 minutes ago, roger said:

    Can certainly agree with your last comment.  If we had a great defensive catcher and he hits a buck ninety, so be it.  I would be happy.  And anything better is gravy.

    If I understand most of your response, you are indicating that his pitch framing offsets being bad or less than average on blocked balls and throwing out runners.  LaTroy Hawkins made a comment on one of the broadcasts this summer that I loved, "good pitch framing is really bad umpiring."  When changes are made to robo umps or a challenge system, Jeffers plus goes away.  And changes are coming to the base size which will likely increase the amount of running teams do,.

    And I am not proposing they replace him, rather get someone better so that he is only playing about 40% of the games.

    Correct, I am trying to weigh deficiencies and strengths relative to each other.

    A higher percentage of strikes on 16,000 to 20,000 pitches caught, vs 5-10 passed balls, vs 40-45 steals.

    Does anyone disagree that more strikes is better than fewer strikes? Of course not.

    MLB is very slow to change. I mean the Selig ball lasted 20 years. The NFL used replay and challenges for 15 years before MLB did. If you think robo-umps are coming next year, I love your optimism, but do not share it. I believe it will be 5 years or more.

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    12 minutes ago, Richie the Rally Goat said:

    Correct, I am trying to weigh deficiencies and strengths relative to each other.

    A higher percentage of strikes on 16,000 to 20,000 pitches caught, vs 5-10 passed balls, vs 40-45 steals.

    Does anyone disagree that more strikes is better than fewer strikes? Of course not.

    MLB is very slow to change. I mean the Selig ball lasted 20 years. The NFL used replay and challenges for 15 years before MLB did. If you think robo-umps are coming next year, I love your optimism, but do not share it. I believe it will be 5 years or more.

    Don't think I said next year, and if I did that was an error.  Didn't they experiment with a challenge system in the AFL?  Wouldn't surprise me if that is the route they take as opposed to turning it over to technology.  Hopefully, they will be smart if they do it and do it soon.  

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Don't think I said next year, and if I did that was an error.  Didn't they experiment with a challenge system in the AFL?  Wouldn't surprise me if that is the route they take as opposed to turning it over to technology.  Hopefully, they will be smart if they do it and do it soon.  

    If not next year or two years, then why worry about Jeffers relative to automated strike zone? Jeffers likely won’t be a Twin in 4 years anyways. Unless you have Joe Mauer generational talent, you churn and burn catchers like relievers. Too many injuries 

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    I've always felt having a quality catcher, or two, is very important, and an under rated position over the years for reasons I've never understood. Maybe it's because for so many decades they were defense first players and only a few were ever good/great offensively. Much like SS until the position was almost re-inveted in the 90's. But the #1 job for any catcher has been to handle the pitching the staff! That includes calling the game, even though the dugout has some say, communicating with the pitcher to keep them calm, listen to them, recognize what is working, making adjustments, providing a good target, etc. Jeffers does this part quite well.

    Does Jeffers throw out a lot of baserunning? No. He was right about league average in 2021, his only full season. He was not as good in the abbreviated 2020 or his sort season in 2022. And the Twins, as an organization, concentrate more on catching the low strikes with their catcher stance, vs defending the SB. That might not help. Does Sanchez have a gun? Yes. But despite reported defensive improvement, he still didn't do all the other things as well as Jeffers. 

    RALLY GOAT has already laid out the various statistics regarding SB and runs scored and other notable numbers. And while defensive statistics are always a mixed bag to interpret, especially for catchers, it's been pointed out in previous OP's that the Twins ERA was better with Jeffers behind the plate than Sanchez last season.

    And BTW, where did this whole pitch framing idea become about "stealing" strikes? I'm sure it happens. But pitch framing is about exactly that; framing those "edge" pitches securely for a good look from the ump vs snatching/grabbing at them, in order to have a close strike called as a strike. When did that become "stealing" strikes?

    All of this to say I've watched Jeffers A LOT since he came up. He's lacking in a few area I'd like to see cleaned up and improved on, but I like what he does behind the plate, how he handles the staff, the general results from the staff when he's receiving, and feel he's at least "quality", if not good behind the dish. And nothing in my personal opinion is going to change anyone's mind. And that OK. We can agree to disagree.

    The biggest issue with Jeffers, IMO, has been his offense. I never bought in to the 2021 Twins having this league best catching idea, though I liked Garver a lot, (very similar to Jeffers in many respects), as I wasn't sure the rushed Jeffers, and his 2020 numbers, was sustainable. You have to remember, he was drafted in 2018 and appeared in 64 games. In 2019, his first full season, he appeared in 103 games split between A+ and AA. And YES, just like in college, he hit and produced. So as a 23yo, with 24 games played at the AA level, he was up with the Twins in 2020 sharing catching duties with Garver. And he produced in his SSS of 26 games. His 2021 wasn't good at the plate, despite 25 XBH. His 2022 got off to a poor start, but as previously listed above in a previous post, he was starting to shine and getting on a roll before the broken thumb basically finished his year.

    At 25yo, and a quality hitter/producer in college, his first couple of milb seasons, his debut in 2020, and his hot streaks before being hurt last year, I'm just not giving up on him at this point. I don't know how good he might yet be, but I do know there's still a lot of potential there. But regardless, he needs help. And unless the Twins are going to make a major FA or trade move...and there are other spots that I think need to be addressed as a greater priority...Narvaez is an ideal candidate to add. He's a decent, sold LH hitter and experienced backstop who helps make a nice combination for game calling and pitcher handling. I believe he should have already been signed. The whole 1 in the hand vs 2 in the bush scenario.

    After adding SOMEONE, the "desperation" in regard to catching is "what's next"? The FO has never ignored catching, drafting a few and acquiring a few, but Banuelos can't hit. Williams and Isola have bats, and potential, but appear to be #3 options at best, and probably #4. Camargo has a shot, but I believe is only going to be entering AAA for the first time in 2023. The rest of the Twins options were all drafted in 2021 and 2022. Five of them, and while there's talent and projection there, they're all 2-3yrs away.

    They should have already signed Narvaez, and then been knocking on Leon's door. "Hello, did you enjoy being in the Twins organization last year? Would you like to sign a split deal and be with us in 2023 as you were with Cleveland last year? We'd love to have you!" And if not Leon, then someone similar. I want a good catcher at St Paul to work with the pitchers and not have to feel FORCED to trust in Bechtold, Williams, or Isola if injury hits.

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    41 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    I've always felt having a quality catcher, or two, is very important, and an under rated position over the years for reasons I've never understood. Maybe it's because for so many decades they were defense first players and only a few were ever good/great offensively. Much like SS until the position was almost re-inveted in the 90's. But the #1 job for any catcher has been to handle the pitching the staff! That includes calling the game, even though the dugout has some say, communicating with the pitcher to keep them calm, listen to them, recognize what is working, making adjustments, providing a good target, etc. Jeffers does this part quite well.

    Does Jeffers throw out a lot of baserunning? No. He was right about league average in 2021, his only full season. He was not as good in the abbreviated 2020 or his sort season in 2022. And the Twins, as an organization, concentrate more on catching the low strikes with their catcher stance, vs defending the SB. That might not help. Does Sanchez have a gun? Yes. But despite reported defensive improvement, he still didn't do all the other things as well as Jeffers. 

    RALLY GOAT has already laid out the various statistics regarding SB and runs scored and other notable numbers. And while defensive statistics are always a mixed bag to interpret, especially for catchers, it's been pointed out in previous OP's that the Twins ERA was better with Jeffers behind the plate than Sanchez last season.

    And BTW, where did this whole pitch framing idea become about "stealing" strikes? I'm sure it happens. But pitch framing is about exactly that; framing those "edge" pitches securely for a good look from the ump vs snatching/grabbing at them, in order to have a close strike called as a strike. When did that become "stealing" strikes?

    All of this to say I've watched Jeffers A LOT since he came up. He's lacking in a few area I'd like to see cleaned up and improved on, but I like what he does behind the plate, how he handles the staff, the general results from the staff when he's receiving, and feel he's at least "quality", if not good behind the dish. And nothing in my personal opinion is going to change anyone's mind. And that OK. We can agree to disagree.

    The biggest issue with Jeffers, IMO, has been his offense. I never bought in to the 2021 Twins having this league best catching idea, though I liked Garver a lot, (very similar to Jeffers in many respects), as I wasn't sure the rushed Jeffers, and his 2020 numbers, was sustainable. You have to remember, he was drafted in 2018 and appeared in 64 games. In 2019, his first full season, he appeared in 103 games split between A+ and AA. And YES, just like in college, he hit and produced. So as a 23yo, with 24 games played at the AA level, he was up with the Twins in 2020 sharing catching duties with Garver. And he produced in his SSS of 26 games. His 2021 wasn't good at the plate, despite 25 XBH. His 2022 got off to a poor start, but as previously listed above in a previous post, he was starting to shine and getting on a roll before the broken thumb basically finished his year.

    At 25yo, and a quality hitter/producer in college, his first couple of milb seasons, his debut in 2020, and his hot streaks before being hurt last year, I'm just not giving up on him at this point. I don't know how good he might yet be, but I do know there's still a lot of potential there. But regardless, he needs help. And unless the Twins are going to make a major FA or trade move...and there are other spots that I think need to be addressed as a greater priority...Narvaez is an ideal candidate to add. He's a decent, sold LH hitter and experienced backstop who helps make a nice combination for game calling and pitcher handling. I believe he should have already been signed. The whole 1 in the hand vs 2 in the bush scenario.

    After adding SOMEONE, the "desperation" in regard to catching is "what's next"? The FO has never ignored catching, drafting a few and acquiring a few, but Banuelos can't hit. Williams and Isola have bats, and potential, but appear to be #3 options at best, and probably #4. Camargo has a shot, but I believe is only going to be entering AAA for the first time in 2023. The rest of the Twins options were all drafted in 2021 and 2022. Five of them, and while there's talent and projection there, they're all 2-3yrs away.

    They should have already signed Narvaez, and then been knocking on Leon's door. "Hello, did you enjoy being in the Twins organization last year? Would you like to sign a split deal and be with us in 2023 as you were with Cleveland last year? We'd love to have you!" And if not Leon, then someone similar. I want a good catcher at St Paul to work with the pitchers and not have to feel FORCED to trust in Bechtold, Williams, or Isola if injury hits.

    Narvaez is another run-at-will catcher, other teams would love that; if you want to steal bases ,play the Twins.

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    19 minutes ago, dxpavelka said:

    Jansen's a nice player but if you're gonna deal with Toronto let's get Gabriel Moreno.  If you're gonna get something, get something.

    Reports say that if Toronto deals a catcher it would most likely be Jansen. He'll be 28 shortly after opening day, but still under team control until 2025. Moreno was their top prospect and made his debut last year, and I'm sure the Twins don't have the prospects/players to make a deal for him.

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    Yes, the Twins do need two catchers. According to MLBTraderumos.com, they're looking for a job share with Jeffers and somebody else. I'd like to see someone that compliments Jeffers--LH hiiter, above average throwing out base stealers--but I think other parts of the defensive picture will be important. 

    It is far too soon to give up on Jeffers' offense IMHO, but having someone with offensive upside as an alternative would be prudent. 

    I think there are plenty of options for catcher #3. The Twins had two of them (Godoy and Leon) and had a third banged up with injuries in St. Paul (Sisco). Ideally, such a player should only spend a couple weeks in the majors, but it might be wise to shoot a little higher and have a guy who could step in and provide league average offense. 

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    The catching situation is extremely dire. Jeffers is among a big group of question marks.

    Polanco, Kirilloff, Larnach, Buxton, Left field and right field plus Pagan and Lopez.

    I think maybe Wallner is ready as was Miranda (Kepler has to be moved) but I’d prefer an established hitter to start in RF, then maybe Wallner rises to the top.  

    Jeffers may improve or he may linger around .200 all year, which would be a killer for a big rebound season. They need to sign Contreras or Christian Vázquez or trade for a Danny Jansen. Jeffers should begin season as strictly a backup.

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    3 hours ago, mnfireman said:

    Reports say that if Toronto deals a catcher it would most likely be Jansen. He'll be 28 shortly after opening day, but still under team control until 2025. Moreno was their top prospect and made his debut last year, and I'm sure the Twins don't have the prospects/players to make a deal for him.

    I get that Jansen is the most likely to be traded but they've also got Kirk who is 24, an All-Star and a Silver Slugger winner which means they MIGHT be a little less dependent on Moreno.  Jansen's a nice player but probably peaked last year.  I'd also believe it's less a matter of having the prospects / players to get Moreno and more a matter of being willing to part with what it might take.  We've ALWAYS got prospects.  They don't always pan out.  AND we don't have any catching anywhere in the system even close to what Moreno could become.  If you want to go for it, go for it.  Go big or stay irrelevant.

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    46 minutes ago, dxpavelka said:

    I get that Jansen is the most likely to be traded but they've also got Kirk who is 24, an All-Star and a Silver Slugger winner which means they MIGHT be a little less dependent on Moreno.  Jansen's a nice player but probably peaked last year.  I'd also believe it's less a matter of having the prospects / players to get Moreno and more a matter of being willing to part with what it might take.  We've ALWAYS got prospects.  They don't always pan out.  AND we don't have any catching anywhere in the system even close to what Moreno could become.  If you want to go for it, go for it.  Go big or stay irrelevant.

    I'd think Toronto would start the conversation by asking for Lee, Duran and possibly Arraez, Gordon or Kirilloff. Are you willing to go that big??

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    6 hours ago, mnfireman said:

    I'd think Toronto would start the conversation by asking for Lee, Duran and possibly Arraez, Gordon or Kirilloff. Are you willing to go that big??

    No way it takes Lee and Duran.  But it is going to take Lee and another good piece. 

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    11 hours ago, RpR said:

    Narvaez is another run-at-will catcher, other teams would love that; if you want to steal bases ,play the Twins.

    The Texas Rangers led the league in stolen bases with 128. The Rangers also led the league in caught stealing with 41. 

    The league leading Texas Rangers were caught stealing approximately 25% of the time. 

    128+41 = 169. That's 1 attempt per game. Plus 7 extras. 

    League Average is 110 Stolen Base Attempts per team over 162 games.  .67 Attempts per game

    Omar Narvaez has a career CS% of 22%. Yadier Molina had a career CS% of 40%

     How many bases will be stolen at will? How much do you invest to prevent this specific line item? 

     

     

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    23 minutes ago, Riverbrian said:

    The Texas Rangers led the league in stolen bases with 128. The Rangers also led the league in caught stealing with 41. 

    The league leading Texas Rangers were caught stealing approximately 25% of the time. 

    128+41 = 169. That's 1 attempt per game. Plus 7 extras. 

    League Average is 110 Stolen Base Attempts per team over 162 games.  .67 Attempts per game

    Omar Narvaez has a career CS% of 22%. Yadier Molina had a career CS% of 40%

     How many bases will be stolen at will? How much do you invest to prevent this specific line item? 

     

     

    Not that much.  How many passed balls per game?  How does Narvaez or any other catcher compare in that stat.  I would assume working with pitchers and calling a game is more important than either of these stats but that's a really tough one to quantify.

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