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  1. Ryan Jeffers is the lone catcher on the Twins' 40-man roster, so it's a clear need for the team. What are some available trade options as the hot stove begins to heat up? Image courtesy of Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports The Twins still have plenty of confidence in Ryan Jeffers, but the club prefers to have catchers split time behind the plate. Last season, Jeffers hit .208/.285/.363 (.648) with ten doubles and seven home runs. However, those numbers only tell part of the story. Jeffers destroys left-handed pitching with a .909 OPS against lefties in 2022. The Twins will still use Jeffers against right-handed pitchers, but adding a left-handed hitting catcher would be the team's preference. Finding a southpaw backstop might be a challenging proposition. MLB's Winter Meetings allow front offices to continue trade conversations, and the Twins have already discussed trading for catching depth. According to KSTP's Darren Wolfson, Minnesota has spoken to the Athletics, Blue Jays, and Braves about their catching depth. Let's reevaluate the trade options on each of these clubs. Oakland: Sean Murphy Murphy's name has swirled in the rumor mill over the last couple of days, with reports saying a deal was getting close. Atlanta (see below) was rumored to be involved, but the Braves have made it clear they are out of the running. Oakland wants to get major league ready players instead of prospects for Murphy, and they have shown the ability to be patient in the past. In 2022, Murphy hit .250/332/.426 (.759) with 37 doubles and 18 home runs in 148 games. He started 111 games at catcher last season and ranked ninth in SABR's Defensive Index. Murphy also ranks in the 96th percentile for pop time to second base and in the 86th percentile for framing. He is under team control for three more seasons, so acquiring him will take quite the offer. Blue Jays: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno The Blue Jays have a surplus of big-league-caliber catchers on their roster, so it makes sense for the club to deal one of them. Jansen posted a 141 OPS+ in 72 games last season, but he isn't as strong behind the plate as some of the other trade options. Kirk is coming off an All-Star season where he accumulated 3.9 WAR, so it will be hard to pry him away from the Blue Jays. Moreno had an .806 OPS at Triple-A last season and hit .319/.356/.377 (.733) in 25 big-league games. The Blue Jays may want to hang on to their young catchers if a player becomes injured, but the Twins may have something to help Toronto's roster. Atlanta: Travis d’Arnaud Like the Blue Jays, the Braves have three MLB-caliber catchers on their 40-man roster. William Contreras broke out last season, which might allow the team to trade a veteran like d'Arnaud. Atlanta owes him $8 million in 2023, and there is an $8 million team option for 2024. Last season, he hit .268/.319/.472 (.791) with 25 doubles and 18 home runs on the way to his first All-Star selection. He is an above-average pitch framer (76th percentile) and ranked second among NL catchers in SABR's Defensive Index. If Atlanta acquired Murphy, d'Arnaud might be easier for another team to acquire. The Twins clearly need to add to the organization's catching depth. Of the names mentioned above, d'Arnaud is a good target for the Twins. He doesn't form a natural platoon with Jeffers, but left-handed catchers can be rare. His years of team control and past offensive performance make him intriguing, especially if the Twins want an upgrade behind the plate. Will the Twins trade for a catcher? Which name is the most logical trade target? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  2. The Twins still have plenty of confidence in Ryan Jeffers, but the club prefers to have catchers split time behind the plate. Last season, Jeffers hit .208/.285/.363 (.648) with ten doubles and seven home runs. However, those numbers only tell part of the story. Jeffers destroys left-handed pitching with a .909 OPS against lefties in 2022. The Twins will still use Jeffers against right-handed pitchers, but adding a left-handed hitting catcher would be the team's preference. Finding a southpaw backstop might be a challenging proposition. MLB's Winter Meetings allow front offices to continue trade conversations, and the Twins have already discussed trading for catching depth. According to KSTP's Darren Wolfson, Minnesota has spoken to the Athletics, Blue Jays, and Braves about their catching depth. Let's reevaluate the trade options on each of these clubs. Oakland: Sean Murphy Murphy's name has swirled in the rumor mill over the last couple of days, with reports saying a deal was getting close. Atlanta (see below) was rumored to be involved, but the Braves have made it clear they are out of the running. Oakland wants to get major league ready players instead of prospects for Murphy, and they have shown the ability to be patient in the past. In 2022, Murphy hit .250/332/.426 (.759) with 37 doubles and 18 home runs in 148 games. He started 111 games at catcher last season and ranked ninth in SABR's Defensive Index. Murphy also ranks in the 96th percentile for pop time to second base and in the 86th percentile for framing. He is under team control for three more seasons, so acquiring him will take quite the offer. Blue Jays: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno The Blue Jays have a surplus of big-league-caliber catchers on their roster, so it makes sense for the club to deal one of them. Jansen posted a 141 OPS+ in 72 games last season, but he isn't as strong behind the plate as some of the other trade options. Kirk is coming off an All-Star season where he accumulated 3.9 WAR, so it will be hard to pry him away from the Blue Jays. Moreno had an .806 OPS at Triple-A last season and hit .319/.356/.377 (.733) in 25 big-league games. The Blue Jays may want to hang on to their young catchers if a player becomes injured, but the Twins may have something to help Toronto's roster. Atlanta: Travis d’Arnaud Like the Blue Jays, the Braves have three MLB-caliber catchers on their 40-man roster. William Contreras broke out last season, which might allow the team to trade a veteran like d'Arnaud. Atlanta owes him $8 million in 2023, and there is an $8 million team option for 2024. Last season, he hit .268/.319/.472 (.791) with 25 doubles and 18 home runs on the way to his first All-Star selection. He is an above-average pitch framer (76th percentile) and ranked second among NL catchers in SABR's Defensive Index. If Atlanta acquired Murphy, d'Arnaud might be easier for another team to acquire. The Twins clearly need to add to the organization's catching depth. Of the names mentioned above, d'Arnaud is a good target for the Twins. He doesn't form a natural platoon with Jeffers, but left-handed catchers can be rare. His years of team control and past offensive performance make him intriguing, especially if the Twins want an upgrade behind the plate. Will the Twins trade for a catcher? Which name is the most logical trade target? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  3. 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 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. View full article
  4. 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.
  5. The World Series remains in motion, at least for a time, so what better thing to do than to analyze postseason catchers? You know it will be fun. Image courtesy of Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports I looked at the playoff catchers—no need to thank me, it’s all in a day’s work—and one glaring, obvious, apparent, unmistakable, overt trend exists: framing wins ballgames. This isn’t news. At least, it shouldn’t be. Through a combo platter of decreased stealing, increased stuff, and the realization that those extra strikes actually do matter, the catching position has evolved to fit the framing niche. MLB has shifted towards a homogenized framing aesthetic so dominant that the Houston Astros actively happily stomach watching Martin Maldonado hit just to enjoy his defense rewards. If you’ve stumbled onto a broadcast, any broadcast over the last few seasons, you’ve likely noticed the catcher kneeling in a position that would give Sparky Anderson a heart attack. Even with a man on first base, the catcher will remain touching the ground, utterly unphased by whatever threat the runner poses while focusing on receiving the ball with masterful precision. A stolen base is palatable; a missed strike is not. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that eight of the top nine catchers by Baseball Prospectus’ framing stat belong to playoff teams. The tenth was a 27-year-old rookie in Colorado named Brian Serven. Hi, Brian. In contrast, only two of the worst 10 framers—Austin Nola and Francisco Mejia —started for a playoff team. The other fascinating trend had to do with playing time: almost no team relies on a singular catcher anymore. Outside of J.T. Realmuto, a true athletic freak who can do everything well, Alejandro Kirk, a well-rounded youngster in Toronto, and Cal Raleigh, the big dumper, playoff teams rely on a tandem of framers, eschewing ideas of one star in favor of a two-headed team. Although, the star-catcher approach may have returned somewhat amongst the MLB landscape as a whole; there were five primary catchers with more than 500 plate appearances in 2022, the highest total in a full season since 2018. That’s great and all, but what can the Twins glean from this? They may already have one of their pieces in Ryan Jeffers. He can frame with the best of them (24th out of 120 catchers, according to Baseball Prospectus), and his .208/.285/.363 slash line in 2022 is in the ballpark of your average major league catcher, as backstops collectively hit .226/.295/.363. He may have more in his bat; Baseball Savant thinks he underperformed his batted-ball data, and his top-end exit velocity is elite. Still, he’s just one player—one not nearly good enough to carry a team like Realmuto. The Twins need a sidekick. There are a few names available at the peak—Omar Narvaez, Christian Vazquez , Sean Murphy if they’re feeling spicy—who can provide varying degrees of batting prowess, but the middle of the free-agent pack provides defensive gurus like Tucker Barnhart and Austin Hedges. Although, offensive capabilities in this group drop from “acceptable” to “Lovecraftian horror.” Of course, there’s a wrench that MLB will toss into this: new rule changes next season will encourage and likely boost the run game. With bigger bases and a pitch clock entering the fold, players might release their inner Vince Coleman, pushing teams to find a happy medium between hyper-focused framing and stolen base watchdogging. Or maybe stolen bases remain stagnant. Baseball moves like that sometimes. If the steal does return, the Twins may be wise to anticipate the trend and sign a gun-slinger to catch beside Jeffers. Really, this entire article could read as “Gary Sanchez was not the answer.” Backstops with offensive upside—and only offensive upside—must reach some sort of Willson Contreras plateau before serious playoff teams consider them a legitimate option. That’s just the game these days. Sanchez was a potentially explosive addition—ushering him away from the New York media seemed wise—but the move didn’t work, and the team should learn that lesson. The Twins will probably need to find Jason Castro 2.0 if they want to play meaningful baseball beyond September. View full article
  6. I looked at the playoff catchers—no need to thank me, it’s all in a day’s work—and one glaring, obvious, apparent, unmistakable, overt trend exists: framing wins ballgames. This isn’t news. At least, it shouldn’t be. Through a combo platter of decreased stealing, increased stuff, and the realization that those extra strikes actually do matter, the catching position has evolved to fit the framing niche. MLB has shifted towards a homogenized framing aesthetic so dominant that the Houston Astros actively happily stomach watching Martin Maldonado hit just to enjoy his defense rewards. If you’ve stumbled onto a broadcast, any broadcast over the last few seasons, you’ve likely noticed the catcher kneeling in a position that would give Sparky Anderson a heart attack. Even with a man on first base, the catcher will remain touching the ground, utterly unphased by whatever threat the runner poses while focusing on receiving the ball with masterful precision. A stolen base is palatable; a missed strike is not. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that eight of the top nine catchers by Baseball Prospectus’ framing stat belong to playoff teams. The tenth was a 27-year-old rookie in Colorado named Brian Serven. Hi, Brian. In contrast, only two of the worst 10 framers—Austin Nola and Francisco Mejia —started for a playoff team. The other fascinating trend had to do with playing time: almost no team relies on a singular catcher anymore. Outside of J.T. Realmuto, a true athletic freak who can do everything well, Alejandro Kirk, a well-rounded youngster in Toronto, and Cal Raleigh, the big dumper, playoff teams rely on a tandem of framers, eschewing ideas of one star in favor of a two-headed team. Although, the star-catcher approach may have returned somewhat amongst the MLB landscape as a whole; there were five primary catchers with more than 500 plate appearances in 2022, the highest total in a full season since 2018. That’s great and all, but what can the Twins glean from this? They may already have one of their pieces in Ryan Jeffers. He can frame with the best of them (24th out of 120 catchers, according to Baseball Prospectus), and his .208/.285/.363 slash line in 2022 is in the ballpark of your average major league catcher, as backstops collectively hit .226/.295/.363. He may have more in his bat; Baseball Savant thinks he underperformed his batted-ball data, and his top-end exit velocity is elite. Still, he’s just one player—one not nearly good enough to carry a team like Realmuto. The Twins need a sidekick. There are a few names available at the peak—Omar Narvaez, Christian Vazquez , Sean Murphy if they’re feeling spicy—who can provide varying degrees of batting prowess, but the middle of the free-agent pack provides defensive gurus like Tucker Barnhart and Austin Hedges. Although, offensive capabilities in this group drop from “acceptable” to “Lovecraftian horror.” Of course, there’s a wrench that MLB will toss into this: new rule changes next season will encourage and likely boost the run game. With bigger bases and a pitch clock entering the fold, players might release their inner Vince Coleman, pushing teams to find a happy medium between hyper-focused framing and stolen base watchdogging. Or maybe stolen bases remain stagnant. Baseball moves like that sometimes. If the steal does return, the Twins may be wise to anticipate the trend and sign a gun-slinger to catch beside Jeffers. Really, this entire article could read as “Gary Sanchez was not the answer.” Backstops with offensive upside—and only offensive upside—must reach some sort of Willson Contreras plateau before serious playoff teams consider them a legitimate option. That’s just the game these days. Sanchez was a potentially explosive addition—ushering him away from the New York media seemed wise—but the move didn’t work, and the team should learn that lesson. The Twins will probably need to find Jason Castro 2.0 if they want to play meaningful baseball beyond September.
  7. This offseason the Minnesota Twins will unquestionably add a catcher to their organization. The 40-man roster currently boasts only one, and the free-agent landscape isn’t exactly appealing. So why not consider a trade with the Oakland Athletics? Image courtesy of Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Entering the offseason, only Ryan Jeffers appears as a catcher for the Twins on the 40-man roster. Willson Contreras is out there as a free agent, but it’s quite the cliff when considering the options behind him. The Twins already know they’ll need to replace the production lost when Carlos Correa opts out and signs elsewhere, so looking to make up ground alongside Jeffers could be beneficial. To what level the Twins show aggressiveness when grabbing another backstop will probably indicate plenty as to how Derek Falvey and Thad Levine see 2023 going for Jeffers. If they believe he can be healthy and truly break out, then a middling veteran could probably get the job done. If they want to push for more, someone like the Athletics Sean Murphy makes some sense. Murphy will not come cheap, even from a team like the Athletics where cheap is synonymous with the organization. He’s under team control through the 2025 season and just turned 28 years old. Murphy finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2020, and grabbed a Gold Glove in 2021. His career 114 OPS+ is notable at the position, and his 120 OPS+ in 2022 was impressive with offense being down across the sport. Oakland could also be motivated to move Murphy as they have plenty of prospect depth behind the plate. Top prospect Tyler Soderstrom can play catcher, as does their 4th overall prospect Daniel Susac. Although Susac has yet to play above Single-A, Soderstrom made it to Triple-A this season as a 20-year-old. This is Murphy’s first season of arbitration eligibility, and he is projected to receive $3.5 million for 2023 per MLB Trade Rumors. That would be an absolute steal for a guy that has already produced 10.6 fWAR over his career and was worth a career-best 5.1 fWAR in 2022. One of the best players at the position, still under team control, coming available is something Minnesota will likely need to consider. Another aspect of the Twins front office leaning heavily into a splash at catcher could be the result of their own valuation of the position throughout the farm. Not only are there no other catchers currently on the 40-man, but it’s a position of weakness across the system as a whole. Andrew Bechtold is at Triple-A but not a highly-rated prospect, and despite the solid year for Chris Williams, he falls into the same boat. Both have spent most of their time playing corner infield positions in their careers. Making a move for Murphy would certainly hurt some of the depth within the Twins system, but it could satisfy a need the organization is dealing with as a whole. Jeffers is younger and under team control through the 2026 season, but allowing him more time to play second fiddle may not be the worst move. Maybe the Twins would prefer a situation where their top option isn't challenge, but like the situation when Garver was present, maybe there's benefit to a 1A and a 1B. With a lineup that could use punch, exploiting a position often without if could be beneficial. How the front office attacks the backup role should remain something of intrigue this winter. View full article
  8. Entering the offseason, only Ryan Jeffers appears as a catcher for the Twins on the 40-man roster. Willson Contreras is out there as a free agent, but it’s quite the cliff when considering the options behind him. The Twins already know they’ll need to replace the production lost when Carlos Correa opts out and signs elsewhere, so looking to make up ground alongside Jeffers could be beneficial. To what level the Twins show aggressiveness when grabbing another backstop will probably indicate plenty as to how Derek Falvey and Thad Levine see 2023 going for Jeffers. If they believe he can be healthy and truly break out, then a middling veteran could probably get the job done. If they want to push for more, someone like the Athletics Sean Murphy makes some sense. Murphy will not come cheap, even from a team like the Athletics where cheap is synonymous with the organization. He’s under team control through the 2025 season and just turned 28 years old. Murphy finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2020, and grabbed a Gold Glove in 2021. His career 114 OPS+ is notable at the position, and his 120 OPS+ in 2022 was impressive with offense being down across the sport. Oakland could also be motivated to move Murphy as they have plenty of prospect depth behind the plate. Top prospect Tyler Soderstrom can play catcher, as does their 4th overall prospect Daniel Susac. Although Susac has yet to play above Single-A, Soderstrom made it to Triple-A this season as a 20-year-old. This is Murphy’s first season of arbitration eligibility, and he is projected to receive $3.5 million for 2023 per MLB Trade Rumors. That would be an absolute steal for a guy that has already produced 10.6 fWAR over his career and was worth a career-best 5.1 fWAR in 2022. One of the best players at the position, still under team control, coming available is something Minnesota will likely need to consider. Another aspect of the Twins front office leaning heavily into a splash at catcher could be the result of their own valuation of the position throughout the farm. Not only are there no other catchers currently on the 40-man, but it’s a position of weakness across the system as a whole. Andrew Bechtold is at Triple-A but not a highly-rated prospect, and despite the solid year for Chris Williams, he falls into the same boat. Both have spent most of their time playing corner infield positions in their careers. Making a move for Murphy would certainly hurt some of the depth within the Twins system, but it could satisfy a need the organization is dealing with as a whole. Jeffers is younger and under team control through the 2026 season, but allowing him more time to play second fiddle may not be the worst move. Maybe the Twins would prefer a situation where their top option isn't challenge, but like the situation when Garver was present, maybe there's benefit to a 1A and a 1B. With a lineup that could use punch, exploiting a position often without if could be beneficial. How the front office attacks the backup role should remain something of intrigue this winter.
  9. Minnesota’s trade deadline shopping list should include multiple pitchers, but that doesn’t mean other parts of the roster can’t be addressed. Here are five veteran catchers expected to be available at the deadline. Ryan Jeffers’ recent thumb surgery will sideline him for up to two months, which may force the Twins to seek a veteran catcher to join Gary Sanchez. Caleb Hamilton will get the first chance to serve in a backup role, but the Twins may want someone with more big-league experience for the stretch run. Each of the catchers below comes with a different cost, and that is certainly something the team will have to factor into any decision. Tucker Barnhart, Tigers Sometimes trades in the same division can be challenging, but Tucker Barnhart isn’t going to cost a lot to acquire. He is a pending free agent, but he’s caught most of his team’s games for six of the last seven seasons. In 2022, he has hit .211/.270/.246 (.516) with six doubles across 61 games. Behind the plate, his framing ranks in the 72nd percentile. He is a backup at this point in his career, but he should be cheap for a team to acquire. Willson Contreras, Cubs Willson Contreras will likely be the best catcher dealt before the deadline. He’s a three-time All-Star, and he’s having arguably his best offensive season. In the season’s first half, he hit .253/.366/.455 (.821) with 17 doubles, 13 home runs, and a career-high 130 OPS+. He is not known as a strong defensive catcher, but his bat makes up for any defensive flaws. Contreras is a pending free agent, so a team is acquiring two months of his services. He will likely cost more prospect capital than the Twins are willing to use. Yan Gomes, Cubs Another catcher to consider on the Cubs is Yan Gomes. Unlike Contreras, he is under team control through 2024 for $6 million per season. Gomes has been an above-average catcher throughout his career, but he is 34 years old and might be relegated to backup duties. His pop time to second base ranks in the 71st percentile, and his framing ranks in the 55th percentile. During the 2022 season, he is hitting .213/.231/.311 (.542) with seven doubles and three home runs in 51 games. Sean Murphy, Athletics Sean Murphy might be the most intriguing name on this list, especially if the Twins are also interested in acquiring Oakland’s Frankie Montas. Murphy is pre-arbitration eligible and is under team control through the 2025 season. In 87 games this season, he is hitting .241/.314/.413 (.726) with 22 doubles and ten home runs. Defensively, he is one of baseball’s best backstops as his pop time and framing rank in the 88th percentile or higher. Kurt Suzuki, Angels Another cheap catching option is old friend Kurt Suzuki. In his age-38 season, he has a .546 OPS and a 56 OPS+, so it’s not clear home much he has left in the tank. Defense has never been his calling card, but he’s a familiar name to this organization. Suzuki should cost very little to acquire. Do you think the Twins should target any of these catchers before the deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  10. Ryan Jeffers’ recent thumb surgery will sideline him for up to two months, which may force the Twins to seek a veteran catcher to join Gary Sanchez. Caleb Hamilton will get the first chance to serve in a backup role, but the Twins may want someone with more big-league experience for the stretch run. Each of the catchers below comes with a different cost, and that is certainly something the team will have to factor into any decision. Tucker Barnhart, Tigers Sometimes trades in the same division can be challenging, but Tucker Barnhart isn’t going to cost a lot to acquire. He is a pending free agent, but he’s caught most of his team’s games for six of the last seven seasons. In 2022, he has hit .211/.270/.246 (.516) with six doubles across 61 games. Behind the plate, his framing ranks in the 72nd percentile. He is a backup at this point in his career, but he should be cheap for a team to acquire. Willson Contreras, Cubs Willson Contreras will likely be the best catcher dealt before the deadline. He’s a three-time All-Star, and he’s having arguably his best offensive season. In the season’s first half, he hit .253/.366/.455 (.821) with 17 doubles, 13 home runs, and a career-high 130 OPS+. He is not known as a strong defensive catcher, but his bat makes up for any defensive flaws. Contreras is a pending free agent, so a team is acquiring two months of his services. He will likely cost more prospect capital than the Twins are willing to use. Yan Gomes, Cubs Another catcher to consider on the Cubs is Yan Gomes. Unlike Contreras, he is under team control through 2024 for $6 million per season. Gomes has been an above-average catcher throughout his career, but he is 34 years old and might be relegated to backup duties. His pop time to second base ranks in the 71st percentile, and his framing ranks in the 55th percentile. During the 2022 season, he is hitting .213/.231/.311 (.542) with seven doubles and three home runs in 51 games. Sean Murphy, Athletics Sean Murphy might be the most intriguing name on this list, especially if the Twins are also interested in acquiring Oakland’s Frankie Montas. Murphy is pre-arbitration eligible and is under team control through the 2025 season. In 87 games this season, he is hitting .241/.314/.413 (.726) with 22 doubles and ten home runs. Defensively, he is one of baseball’s best backstops as his pop time and framing rank in the 88th percentile or higher. Kurt Suzuki, Angels Another cheap catching option is old friend Kurt Suzuki. In his age-38 season, he has a .546 OPS and a 56 OPS+, so it’s not clear home much he has left in the tank. Defense has never been his calling card, but he’s a familiar name to this organization. Suzuki should cost very little to acquire. Do you think the Twins should target any of these catchers before the deadline? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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