MLB Insider: Enjoy Suzuki in a Twins uniform while you can

It would be smart to shop him around, but he would leave a significant hole.

Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki is a hit among the pitchers, but he may not be long for the team.

Photo: DAVID ZALUBOWSKI • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Twins appeared to swing and miss last offseason during their search to replace first base-bound Joe Mauer behind the plate.

A.J. Pierzynski turned down their two-year offer to sign with Boston. Jarrod Saltala­macchia turned down a two-year deal to sign with his home-state Miami Marlins.

Kurt Suzuki was, at least, their third option. And did they ever luck out, as he made the All-Star team while Pierzynski was released and Salty started slow. Suzuki is a hit among pitchers for his soft hands, solid game-calling skills and just for being an all-around great guy.

At the plate, he has been Kurt Clutch more than a few times, driving in runs no matter where he was slotted in the batting order.

With prospect Josmil Pinto taking more time to smooth out his rough edges than the Twins might have anticipated, Suzuki has stabilized the position.

Enjoy the one year.

Indications are that the Twins will trade Suzuki after recent discussions between them and agent Dan Lozano revealed that the sides are canyons apart. This is from a person with knowledge of those meetings.

Describing the meetings as “negotiations” would be too strong. The Twins and Lozano, who was in town during All-Star week, had two very brief encounters that got nowhere.

It’s easy to understand why the Twins would shop Suzuki. He’s had a career year, batting 50 points higher than his career average. He has a good reputation and could help a contending team looking for catching. The Orioles, missing All-Star Matt Wieters to injury, reportedly are interested. The Cardinals might have been, too, but they signed Pierzynski on Saturday.

But with the Pinto project ongoing (his catching skills and game-calling need refinement), the Twins could be back at the free-agent market next offseason looking for a catcher, and they might not make out as well after missing out on their first two targets last offseason. The in-house options aren’t great, as Eric Fryer is trying to stick as a backup and Mitchell Garver is at Class A Fort Myers.

The catching market will be thin, very thin. The top two free-agent catchers are expected to be Suzuki and Russell Martin. And, after signing with the Twins for $2.75 million this year, Suzuki will be looking to cash in. The Twins won’t have the options they had last season. They could be forced to trade for a catcher, which would require them to dip into their farm system for trade chips.

Catcher is one of the most vital spots on the field. The Twins should explore trades for Suzuki if they get something nice in return. But the hole his departure would leave would be significant.

Central Intelligence

Danny Salazar is the future of the Indians rotation, but he was sent down earlier in the season for fine-tuning. He was called up Tuesday to face the Twins and held them to one run over five innings in a game the Indians eventually won 8-2.

It wasn’t all good, as he walked three batters in the second inning, but he settled down after that. “But if you look at a 16-batter stretch, with those three walks included, he threw 10 balls to the other 13 batters. So that’s not too bad,” Cleveland pitching coach Mickey Callaway said.

Salazar’s fastball averaged 94.9 miles an hour.

• • •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Detroit «2003100028160
Minnesota0000130206100
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Ryan(2-0) L:C.Fien(5-6) S:J.Soria (18)
HR: DET- T.Hunter (16), M.Cabrera (23) MIN- O.Arcia (18)

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close