Suzuki Extension Looks Unlikely For Twins

JULY 28: There were no extension talks between the Twins and Suzuki over the weekend, Wolfson tweets. One source tells him that “nothing’s going to get done” by Thursday.

JULY 25: The Minnesota field staff is making the case that the club should hold onto Suzuki, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It is not likely that an extension will come together quickly, however, says Rosenthal.

We looked earlier today at the latest on trade interest in Suzuki.

JULY 24: Extension talks are ongoing, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). Suzuki’s representatives at MVP Sports are seeking a contract commensurate with the annual values given to free agents Carlos Ruiz (three years, $26MM), Jarrod Saltalamacchia ($21MM over three years), and A.J. Pierzynski (one year, $8.25MM) over the last offseason.

JULY 22: There’s mutual interest in an extension, manager Ron Gardenhire told hosts Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio today (Twitter link). Gardenhire’s comments, of course, don’t mean the two sides are any closer to a deal.

JULY 21: The Twins and catcher Kurt Suzuki recently engaged in extension talks, but the two sides aren’t seeing eye to eye in terms of contract parameters, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Berardino characterizes the talks as “exploratory” but notes that establishing fair parameters looks like it will be a challenge.

The news is significant, as Suzuki figures to be a prime trade chip if the Twins aren’t able to secure a new contract with the first-time All-Star. Signed to a one-year, $2.75MM contract (with $500K of incentives), Suzuki seems a highly unlikely candidate to receive a qualifying offer after the season. As such, a trade may be the only way for the Twins to receive long-term value, should Suzuki sign elsewhere as a free agent this winter.

Suzuki, 30, has served as Minnesota’s primary backstop all season and slashed a strong .305/.364/.389. While he’s cracked just a pair of homers, he’s shown the best full-season walk rate of his career (7.5 percent) and is striking out at a career-low rate (8.8 percent). That strikeout rate is currently the sixth-lowest in all of Major League Baseball (among qualified hitters).

Defensively speaking, Suzuki has been a mixed bag. He’s thrown out a solid 24 percent of opposing base-stealers and rates as one of the best in the league at blocking potential passed balls and wild pitches, per Baseball Prospectus. However, he ranks at the bottom of the league in terms of pitch framing, per BP and Matthew Carruth at StatCorner.com.

Both the Cardinals and Orioles have seen their starting catchers go down with serious injuries, while other contenders such as the Dodgers and Blue Jays have also received below-average offense behind the plate.


Leave a Reply

59 Comments on "Suzuki Extension Looks Unlikely For Twins"


twins33
1 year 1 month ago

Anything over 1/5 or 2/9 would be a mistake. I wouldn’t mind having Suzuki as the Twins catcher for 1-2 more years. The catching situation is pretty empty for at least that long. Pinto exists, but he has A LOT to work on defensively and may never be the Twins starting catcher as much as I’d like him to be. Suzuki isn’t amazing defensively either, but it’s very noticeable that Pinto isn’t as good of a catcher as Suzuki is.

Whether it’s as a backup or as a starter, Suzuki is needed, but anything more than that amount isn’t deserved. If they trade him, they trade him, but re-signing him for a reasonable amount is a good thing too…in my eyes.

JacksTigers
1 year 1 month ago

All Star catchers don’t sign deals like that.

twins33
1 year 1 month ago

Then he doesn’t sign with the Twins. No big deal.

Like I said, I’d be happy if he was re-signed for a deal like I mentioned. I’d also be okay if he were traded. There is zero guarantee that he keeps hitting like this for the next 1-2 years. He may, but he also had two of his worst years before he signed with the Twins. That production could return, which would make even 5 million be a big overpay.

The Twins can almost do no wrong in this situation, the only “wrong” would be overpaying. Re-signing him is smart consider what the Twins have…or don’t have in the pipeline. Trading him would be good as well as he’s possibly the best chip to bring back the most out of the Correia/Suzuki/Willingham group. Correia and Hammer should definitely be traded, Suzuki is the only one who makes sense to re-sign.

0vercast
1 year 1 month ago

Correia is worth a prospect or two, but Willingham…not so much. On what team would he even fit?

twins33
1 year 1 month ago

I would assume Hammer would be a PH/DH on whoever trades for him. Don’t see him being a starting OF unless some team gets hit with injuries.

As for Correia. I just don’t know with him. He’s a 4/5. He’s had great moments this season (for about a month) and then he went back to being Correia again. I don’t expect much, but I’ll hope for the best. Either way, a trade needs to happen. He’s not on this team in 2015 so get something for him.

0vercast
1 year 1 month ago

I saw the other day that he’s the league leader in losses with 12 or 13.

buffalonichols
1 year 1 month ago

That’s a bit misleading. Not saying he’s been great, but the Twins weren’t exactly scoring runs for him when he was pitching well over the past several weeks.

Karl Larson
1 year 1 month ago

Remember M’s GM Jack Zuduriencik loves power hitting, corner OF’s. I’m not saying Willingham would fetch a big return, but it is a logical fit.

JacksTigers
1 year 1 month ago

He will sign a deal very similar to Salty. There’s now way a FA catcher coming off a career year signs with a bad team for one year and five million. This is his opportunity to cash in. That’s what will happen.

twins33
1 year 1 month ago

Then they trade him and get something for him. Let some other team make a mistake. I’m okay with that after watching the Twins make mistakes for several years now.

Farid Rushdi
1 year 1 month ago

I still remember the day the Matt Capps for Wilson Ramos trade was announced. I understand the whole “giving up the future for the present” scenario, but man, Ramos looked to be a stud then. Were it not for all the injuries the past three years, I think Ramos would be a top-3 NL catcher.

0vercast
1 year 1 month ago

Injury-prone, 30-year-old, .250 career-hitting catchers sign deals just like that.

JacksTigers
1 year 1 month ago

Not when they come off a season where they hit .305/.364/.389.

0vercast
1 year 1 month ago

We’ll see. Someone will overpay him and regret it. I just hope it’s not the Twins.

0vercast
1 year 1 month ago

Watching Pinto try to catch is almost tragic. I don’t think he’ll ever be a solid defensive catcher. He looks like a career DH ala Kendry Morales.

twins33
1 year 1 month ago

Yeah, I’m thinking the same. He’s had a ton of years to work on catching and he’s still this bad.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

I wouldn’t even extend him at all, even at 3/25mil I can’t see it as a good idea for MIN. He will regress offensively and his defense is pretty bad too. They won’t be going anywhere the next couple of years so trade him and get something for him.

twins33
1 year 1 month ago

I said I wouldn’t want the Twins to go over 2/9 and you throw out a 3/25? Yeah, obviously I agree to not do that, since I think ANYTHING over 2/9 is a mistake.

Travis2014
1 year 1 month ago

Yah I actually threw out a realistic extension number.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

The Blue Jays, Oriels, Dodgers, Nationals and Mariners could all use some short term catching help. The Twins should take a page from the Cubs book and sell high on Suzuki now.

Light_tower_power
1 year 1 month ago

The White Sox as well

brian310
1 year 1 month ago

No they should not give up anything for Suzuki.

Light_tower_power
1 year 1 month ago

Not in trade…I think he will hit free agency

brian310
1 year 1 month ago

I agree especially if Hahn wants to possibly contend next season. Then he could be a trade chip if he’s doing good and the team is not in contention.

docmilo5
1 year 1 month ago

The M’s are just fine with regards to their catching. In fact, the M’s have a nice backstop in AAA in John Hicks who is very nice behind the plate and ran an OPS of .780 in AA Jackson and .804 OPS in AAA Tacoma. Hicks could be a nice piece to bring Morales to the M’s if the M’s go that way. The M’s will likely give Hart another 2 weeks to see if he can cut the DH mustard, then he should be gone.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

Zunino has done the majority of the catching for the Mariners this year and he has played good defense but has failed to swing even a league average bat. The Mariners may well be happy with Zunino behind the plate since they view him as their catcher of the future; but, the fact of the matter is the M’s are in contention and they need to upgrade their offense if they hope to survive the post-season. Catcher is one of many places the M’s could upgrade their offense.

docmilo5
1 year 1 month ago

The M’s just brought up Jesus Sucre who is pretty darn good on defense and ok with the bat as far as a 2nd catcher goes. Zunino has been wearing out with his catching load. He’s caught more innings than any catcher in the majors and he’s only 23. With more rest his bat will come around. He got a day off in Anaheim and responded the next day with 2 hits and a game tying double.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 1 month ago

Fair enough, that may well be the M’s thinking as well. My point was more that the Twins shouldn’t have too much trouble drumming up interest in Suzuki since plenty of contenders have thus far received lackluster production from their catchers.

docmilo5
1 year 1 month ago

Zunino with an upper deck blast at Safeco tonight off Niese. Kid has some crazy pop.

Donskoy
1 year 1 month ago

I wouldn’t want to extend him for more than two years and it’s unlikely the Twins will be competitive next year either. I’d rather just sell high, see if Pinto/Fryer develops and maybe sign an alright catcher if necessary in 2016.

buffalonichols
1 year 1 month ago

Good. I like him and he’s been a pleasant surprise, but the Twins shouldn’t even be considering an extension with him. Deal him for what you can get.

0vercast
1 year 1 month ago

Suzuki has been a pleasure to watch (rare in Twins Territory nowadays), but it’s highly unlikely he’ll match this level of performance next year or the year after, or ever again, for that matter. Though I wouldn’t mind seeing him extended for a year or two on the cheap, anything more than 2/10 would be a major mistake.

Suzuki will likely want to cash in one last time after this All-Star first half, but he’d be wise to remember how slim the market was for him prior to this season. Teams weren’t exactly lining up to sign him after two bad years getting hot-potatoed around the MLB. His options were basically to sign with the Twins as a 300-500 AB platoon catcher/DH or roll the dice with a backup job or AAA assignment elsewhere.

Personally, I think the Twins should try to sell high on him ASAP before he gets injured or hits a major slump again.

CrisE
1 year 1 month ago

Sell high and tell him he’s always welcome back here once he tests the market. There’s no way he gets what this year’s .300 avg hints at: he’s got too much history of not doing this to justify a big contract. But he’s got a job if he comes back, and that’s pretty important when you’re a 30-something catcher.

brewersfan729
1 year 1 month ago

Suzuki wants to be paid based on what he’s done this year. The Twins are looking at the whole track record and want something more in line with that which is completely reasonable. The Twins shouldn’t cave here.

Karl Larson
1 year 1 month ago

The Twins should sell high and trade him now especially with the lack of tradable commodities we have. Offering him more than a 5mil/yr. extension would be a mistake. His BABIP this season is 50 points above his career ave. So, he will regress to the mean eventually.

Danielle Rennifer
1 year 1 month ago

Mariners should acquire Suzuki & Morales for catcher John Hicks, Stefan Romero, Dustin Ackley, and a player to be named that’s a mid tier prospect ranked in the top 20 but not getting too much publicity. Ackley could replace Willingham (involved in other trade) in the outfield batting bottom of the starting lineup. What do you think about this trade proposal?

buffalonichols
1 year 1 month ago

I like it as a Twins fan, but I would think the Mariners are giving up a bit too much for Suzuki and Morales.

buffalonichols
1 year 1 month ago

I like it as a Twins fan, but I would think the Mariners are giving up a bit too much for Suzuki and Morales.

Karl Larson
1 year 1 month ago

That’s a fair deal. I would prefer a pitching prospect over Ackley. The Twins have a lot of 2B/OF depth in their system already

Danielle Rennifer
1 year 1 month ago

Instead of Ackley, Carson Smith/Logan Bawcom (pitcher) would make more sense.

sgtschmidt11
1 year 1 month ago

Twins have no need for Ackley, but honestly the deal without him would probably stand. I would counter with Diaz, Romero, & Hicks for Suzuki & Morales.

twins33
1 year 1 month ago

Sounds like a massive overpay by the M’s. Even if you remove a name or two, it sounds like an overpay. Obviously as a Twins fan I’d take it.

Danielle Rennifer
1 year 1 month ago

With Morales on board in Seattle, the Twins should move Willingham or pitcher Correia w/ Suzuki to the Mariners for Diaz, Romero, Pike, and Hicks. Pike may be ready by 2016 Opening Day in the starting rotation.

orangeoctober
1 year 1 month ago

I wouldn’t mind seeing Suzuki on the O’s

Dave Pierce
1 year 1 month ago

Trade him, not like he’s the “missing piece” or “the answer” for the rebuilding Twins.

Tyler Jedrzejak
1 year 1 month ago

No way the Twins offer 3 years 26 mil….right?

cman
1 year 1 month ago

I hope not. That’s too much money for Suzuki. I wouldn’t offer 3 years period.

cman
1 year 1 month ago

Twins are going to overpay. I can see it happening already.

Donskoy
1 year 1 month ago

There has to come a point when you don’t care about what the field staff wants. I really hope it’s after three seasons of 90+ losses.

Sky14
1 year 1 month ago

If Suzuki cannot be extended at a reasonable rate the Twins should sell high on Suzuki and not overpay on an extension. I understand the desire to keep him, he has played well and they lack other ready options, but Ryan needs to tune out the coaches and make the best decision for the ball club. It is unlikely he will repeat this performance and they would do well to remember that he was their third or fourth option this winter, so if a team is willing to give up a decent prospect or two then the Twins should accept and let Pinto develop with the big league club.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 1 month ago

Suzuki knows the Twins like giving enormous contracts to catchers.

Sky14
1 year 1 month ago

He should remember they also like trading catchers for big hauls…

Dane
1 year 1 month ago

Trade him while his value is the highest it’s ever been!

orangeoctober
1 year 1 month ago

lol I’d love to have him on the O’s if he could be had for a reasonable price. I tried to have this discussion on an O’s site, and one guy said he would “absolutely never trade Caleb Joseph for Kurt Suzuki” lol like Joseph is some prized prospect that they could move by himself for Suzuki in the first place.

cman
1 year 1 month ago

Looks like the Twins have burned one bridge already. AJ Pierzynski signs with Cardinals.

Farid Rushdi
1 year 1 month ago

I would love it if the Nationals would make a trade and get Suzuki for the pennant run. As a Nats fan, I saw first-hand that it was Suzuki–filling in for injured Wilson Ramos–that helped lead the Nats to the NL East crown in 2012. Jose Loboton hasn’t worked out as Ramos’ backup this year.

koufaxblue
1 year 1 month ago

Dodgers should be interested in a catcher. AJ Ellis not cutting it. No offense and avg. defense