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.


59 Responses to Suzuki Extension Looks Unlikely For Twins Leave a Reply

  1. twins33 12 months 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 12 months ago

      All Star catchers don’t sign deals like that.

      • twins33 12 months 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 12 months ago

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

          • twins33 12 months 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 12 months ago

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

          • buffalonichols 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 11 months 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 12 months ago

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

        • JacksTigers 12 months ago

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

          • 0vercast 12 months ago

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

    • 0vercast 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months ago

          Yah I actually threw out a realistic extension number.

  2. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 12 months 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 12 months ago

      The White Sox as well

      • brian310 12 months ago

        No they should not give up anything for Suzuki.

        • Light_tower_power 12 months ago

          Not in trade…I think he will hit free agency

          • brian310 12 months 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 12 months 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.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 12 months 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 12 months 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.

          • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 12 months 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 12 months ago

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

  3. Donskoy 12 months 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.

  4. buffalonichols 12 months 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.

  5. 0vercast 12 months 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 12 months 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.

  6. brewersfan729 12 months 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.

  7. Karl Larson 12 months 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.

  8. Danielle Rennifer 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months ago

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

    • SgtSchmidt11 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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.

  9. orangeoctober 12 months ago

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

  10. Dave Pierce 12 months ago

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

  11. Tyler Jedrzejak 12 months ago

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

    • cman 12 months ago

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

  12. cman 12 months ago

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

  13. Donskoy 12 months 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.

  14. Sky14 12 months 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.

  15. westcoastwhitesox 12 months ago

    Suzuki knows the Twins like giving enormous contracts to catchers.

    • Sky14 12 months ago

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

  16. Dane 12 months ago

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

  17. orangeoctober 12 months 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.

  18. cman 12 months ago

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

  19. Farid Rushdi 11 months 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.

  20. koufaxblue 11 months ago

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

  21. Danielle Rennifer 11 months ago

    Kurt Suzuki will bring veteran experience to the Seattle Mariners by mentoring Mike Zunino, esp. For the last couple months of the season and possibly in the playoffs. He would reunite w/ fellow former Twins Kendry Morales by sending Dustin Ackley and a player to be named to Minnesota (Ackley & Pryor reunite once again) if both Jack Z & Terry Ryan can agree on making the deal.

  22. cman 11 months ago

    Trade him now and maximize the return. No more fooling around. Get a top pitching prospect, low A ball. If they need to sweeten the pot throw in a reliever, Duensing, Fien or Burton come to mind. But deal him.

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