The Twins have placed catcher Kurt Suzuki on trade waivers, reports the Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino, who adds that the 32-year-old’s 48-hour waiver period expires midday Sunday. As an impending free agent with reasonable $1.64MM left on his contract this year, there’s a good chance someone will claim Suzuki, according to Berardino. Suzuki has a $6MM option for 2017 that will vest at 485 plate appearances, but he’s still 200 shy of that mark.
The Indians and Mets are among playoff hopefuls looking for help behind the plate, notes Berardino, but it’s unclear if either would have interest in Suzuki. Even if they do, another team could claim Suzuki before he gets to either, as Steve Adams of MLBTR wrote Friday. In the event no one claims Suzuki, the Twins would be free to trade him anywhere.
Suzuki’s in the midst of a respectable offensive season, having hit .283/.324/.438 overall despite a terrible two-month start to the year. Defensively, Suzuki has failed to impress both Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner in the pitch-framing department; further, of the 46 runners who have attempted to steal against Suzuki in 2016, all but 11 have been successful. On the plus side, BP has awarded Suzuki a strong grade this year for his work as a blocker.
Another potential Twins trade candidate, right-hander Ervin Santana, has not yet hit waivers this month, per Berardino (Twitter link). Santana, who’s on a $13.5MM salary through 2018, is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Twins. The 33-year-old has produced quality results this year, having posted a 3.62 ERA, 6.61 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and 42.6 percent ground-ball rate through 126 2/3 innings. Santana drew interest, including from the Blue Jays, before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. However, it reportedly would’ve taken an “overwhelming” offer for the Twins to part with him. While Santana could end up on waivers sometime in August, it’s doubtful the Twins’ bullish opinion of his value has changed since July.