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More on the Twins search for a backup catcher

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • November 15, 2011 - 11:01 AM

MILWAUKEE -- With the Twins searching for a backup catcher, I wrote in this story about two options from the free agent market -- Jason Varitek and Pudge Rodriguez.

Obviously, those aren’t the only two choices the Twins have. Aaron Gleeman highlighted several options here, including Ryan Doumit, who batted .303/.353/.477 last season for Pittsburgh. Besides catcher, Doumit has played first base and right field, which would seem to make him an even better fit for the Twins, considering the questions they uncertainty they currently have at all three positions.

But the Twins put a lot of value on defense at catcher, which is why Drew Butera continued to get chances despite his struggles at the plate. The pitchers love throwing to Butera, and that adds to his value. Doumit is not a good defensive catcher, so perhaps that’s why we haven’t heard more about the Twins being interested.

One name we heard late in the season was Miguel Olivo, who batted .224/.253/.388 with 19 homers in 130 games for the Mariners. But from what I’ve gathered, the Mariners aren’t eager to trade Olivo, who has one year and an option remaining on his contract. That could change if the Mariners acquired another catcher, but for now they have no obvious in-house replacement.

Another option fell off the board for the Twins last week when the Pirates signed Rod Barajas to a one-year, $4 million deal with an option for 2013.

Eventually, the Twins might wind up turning to Varitek or Rodriguez, two former All-Stars who have shifted into backup roles late in their careers.

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