Suzuki is earning $6MM in 2016 and has a vesting option for the same amount in 2017 — though that is highly unlikely to be triggered since Suzuki is not on pace to reach 485 plate appearances. Teams weighing an addition, then, will be looking at a tab of about $1.54MM through the end of the season.
Even with that fairly modest payroll obligation, no contender placed a claim on the 32-year-old Suzuki. That would suggest that Minnesota will need to keep some of the cash on its books in order to strike a deal.
It is somewhat surprising that Suzuki wasn’t snagged on the wire. Though he never seemed to draw significant interest before the trade deadline, Suzuki has been quite productive for a backstop this year. He’s running out a .283/.323/.435 batting line with six long balls over 289 plate appearances.
Of course, Suzuki has never been very highly regarded with the glove, and Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that defensive limitations played a role in the lack of market development. Still, contenders in need of an upgrade or even just additional depth behind the plate will surely need to consider a move on Suzuki.
All told, then, there’s still time for interest to grow. With rosters expanding in two weeks’ time, it would be easy to carry three catchers. Suzuki’s remaining salary will continue to dwindle. Other market factors — such as the still-unknown fate of Derek Norris on the waiver wire — may intervene. And an injury or two could change the calculus quite a bit.