The Twins announced that they’ve signed veteran catcher Chris Gimenez to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training.
That the Twins would sign Gimenez isn’t exactly a surprise, as catching has been a priority for them this season, and John Ryan Murphy isn’t a lock to open the year as the backup to newly signed Jason Castro (who inked a three-year, $24.5MM deal). Minnesota’s new front office is also highly familiar with the 33-year-old Gimenez, who spent time with both the Indians (where new chief baseball officer Derek Falvey was an assistant GM) and the Rangers (where new GM Thad Levine was an assistant GM) in 2016. Gimenez was also with both teams back in 2014.
Gimenez didn’t do much at the plate in 2016, hitting just .216/.272/.331 in 155 trips to the dish. However, his framing marks are solid, and Indians manager Terry Francona lauded Gimenez for the manner in which he helped Trevor Bauer produce improved results beginning last May (as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote at the time). The well-traveled Gimenez has spent parts of four seasons in the Majors with the Indians, Rangers, Rays and Mariners, producing a .218/.297/.335 batting line in 776 plate appearances.