Twins are busy at trade deadline

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 1, 2014 - 1:08 AM

Sam Fuld was traded to the A’s, Kurt Suzuki got an extension, and Kennys Vargas got a call-up.

– The Twins came up with an unusual answer to the annual “buyers-or-sellers” debate at the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday.

They were both.

Minnesota made a classic veteran-for-prospect deadline deal Thursday morning, but then chose not to do the same with All-Star catcher Kurt Suzuki. Instead, the Twins cemented him in place behind the plate for a few more years by agreeing to a contract extension that will pay him $6 million in each of the next two seasons, and an additional $6 million in 2017 if he plays enough in 2016.

“We’re going to have some good young pitchers coming up here,” manager Ron Gardenhire said, “and we need a catcher like him to handle them.”

One of those pitchers might be Tommy Milone, a 27-year-old lefthanded breaking-ball specialist who already has won 32 big-league games. The Twins added Milone by returning outfielder Sam Fuld to Oakland, where he started this season before being waived in April, in their only deadline deal of the day. The Twins also called up Class AA first baseman Kennys Vargas to fill Fuld’s spot.

Milone, who was optioned to Class AAA Sacramento on July 5, will be assigned to Class AAA Rochester for the time being. Milone was likely available, and Fuld coveted by Oakland, after the A’s acquired lefthander Jon Lester from Boston on Thursday in a deal that sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox.

The Twins are happy to accept the fallout from that deal, because Milone, drafted in the 10th round by the Washington Nationals in 2010, already has had major league success. He has a 3.84 ERA in 78 starts over four big-league seasons, winning 13 games in 2012 and 12 more last season.

“He’s a competitor. He’s not going to light up the radar gun, but this kid knows how to pitch,” Suzuki said of Milone, his teammate with the A’s in 2012, whose fastball tops out in the mid- to high 80s. “He knows how to get guys out.”

And Suzuki knows how to help pitchers do it, which is why, when the Twins received inquiries from other teams about their starting catcher, they declined to even discuss potential trades. They wanted to see if Suzuki, who signed for just $2.75 million in December after Minnesota failed to attract one of their other catching targets, would agree to an extension rather than choose free agency again.

“He’s done a nice job behind the plate, he has a good rapport with the pitchers, and they like throwing to him. He calls a good game, he works hard, he prepares well,” assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “Rather than going into the next offseason looking for a veteran catcher and hoping to get lucky again and find somebody like Suzuki, we would rather keep the known commodity.”

Suzuki said both sides compromised on their original positions to reach the $12 million guarantee. “I made it pretty clear I was happy here, comfortable,” he said. “I love this place.”

And Twins pitchers love having him. “I know everyone on the pitching staff was excited to hear the news,” said closer Glen Perkins. “He knows all the hitters, he runs our meetings. He’s just a great guy to work with.”

Now he’ll get to work with Milone again, assuming he returns to the majors this season. Milone lost his starting job not because of poor pitching, but because the A’s, loading their pitching staff with veteran stars for a postseason run, acquired All-Star righthander Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs earlier this month. After starting the season 0-3, Milone had won six consecutive decisions, and in his final start for Oakland, he shut out Toronto on four hits over six innings July 4.

Milone hasn’t been as good since being demoted to Sacramento, posting a 6.43 ERA in 21 innings over four starts, which is why he is being assigned to Rochester rather than joining the Twins right away. But “if they trade a guy like [Fuld], you know how valuable Sam’s been to this club, they probably got a guy they want in the big leagues right away,” Suzuki theorized. “The way Tommy’s pitched, I expect he’ll be here sooner rather than later.”





 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Kansas City 6, Twins 3

    Thursday July 31, 2014

  • Busy day ends with a Twins loss

    Friday August 1, 2014

    The Twins were limited to three runs by the Royals, but these days that practically rates as an outburst. Kansas City scored six times in its 6-3 victory, something the...

  • Souhan blog: What Suzuki deal means

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    Means more regarding Pinto

  • Postgame: Correia delivers quality again

    Friday August 1, 2014

    Righthander leads Twins in quality starts; Dozier's thumb is sore; Plouffe in an ugly slump

  • Chart: Meet the new Twins

    Friday August 1, 2014

    ONE TRADE, ONE CALL-UPWho’s Tommy Milone? A 27-year-old lefthander the Twins acquired from Oakland. He was 6-3 in 16 starts...

  • Video: SidCast: Twins making interesting moves

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    The Twins acquire Tommy Milone, Sam Fuld returns to Oakland and catcher Suzuki gets a contract extension.

  • Video: Milone: Not overpowering, but a winner

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony says Tommy Milone has interested Twins for years, because he's been a winner...

  • Video: Twins hope Vargas adds power threat

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony says team decided to give slugger Kennys Vargas a chance in hopes of...

  • Video: Correia: Getting ahead the key

    Friday August 1, 2014

    Twins starting pitcher Kevin Correia says getting ahead in the count helped him limit the Royals to two runs...

  • Video: Twins keep known commodity in Suzuki

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said catcher Kurt Suzuki represented the best long-term option at a position that's...

  • Video: Vargas excited, even on deck

    Friday August 1, 2014

    New Twin Kennys Vargas says he got excited waiting on deck Thursday to make his debut, but the game...

  • Twins Insider: Trade deadline day update

    Thursday July 31, 2014

    The MLB trade deadline is at 3 p.m. The Twins have made one move and could make more before the day is over

  • Chart: Deadline deals

    Friday August 1, 2014

    DEADLINE DEALSThere was a flurry of trade activity in Major League Baseball on Thursday. Here are some of the bigger...

  • Thursday's Twins-Kansas City game recap

    Friday August 1, 2014

    IMPACT PLAYERAlcides Escobar, RoyalsBroke a 2-2 tie with a two-run triple in the seventh inning.BY THE NUMBERS1 Extra-base hits allowed...

  • Twins-Chicago White Sox series preview

    Friday August 1, 2014

    Three-game series at U.S. Cellular FieldFriday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FMLHP Logan Darnell (0-1, 7.88) vs. LHP Chris Sale (10-1,...

  • Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki at the 2014 All-Star Game.

  • Tommy Milone will begin his Twins career at Class AAA Rochester, but he might not be there for long.

  • Milone:  6-3 with a 3.55 ERA for the A’s in 2014.

  • Kennys Vargas has never played above Class AA.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close