Maui’s Suzuki Agrees to 1-Year-Deal With Twins
By Rodney S. Yap
Maui’s Kurt Suzuki will be taking his baseball skills to Minnesota.
The veteran catcher reportedly agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million on Friday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was the first to report the two had reached an agreement.
Baseball sources close to The Associated Press have also confirmed to MLB.com that Suzuki will replace Joe Mauer, who the club planned to move to first base next year. The Baldwin High School graduate has to pass a physical before the contract can be signed.
Suzuki, 30, gives the Twins a veteran backstop who can help mentor rookie Josmil Pinto, who got his first taste of the Majors in September. The Twins were in the market for a catcher this offseason with Mauer moving away from the position because of a season-ending concussion suffered while catching on Aug. 19.
Minnesota went after A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in free agency, but failed to sign them, as Pierzynski went to the Red Sox and Saltalamacchia signed with the Marlins.
They’d been linked to Suzuki since the Winter Meetings and finally came to an agreement with him on Friday.
Suzuki hit .232/.290/.337 with five homers, 13 doubles and two stolen bases in 94 games split between the Nationals and A’s. He’s a career .253/.309/.375 hitter in 840 games with the A’s and Nationals in a seven-year career.
Regarded as a strong defensive catcher, Suzuki struggled with attempting base-stealers last season, as he only threw out eight of 65 potential base-stealers. It was a drop from his career norm, as he has a caught stealing percentage of 26% for his career, but was at just 12% last season.
Suzuki, who is represented by agent Dan Lozano, was originally selected by the A’s in the second round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Fullerton.