La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins get their catcher, agree to terms with Suzuki

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 20, 2013 - 11:31 AM


The Twins have reached agreement with catcher Kurt Suzuki on a one-year, $2.75 million contract, pending  a physical.

Suzuki, 30, played with Oakland and Washington last season, batting .232 with 5 home run and 32 RBI. He has spent most of his career with the A's, and has a career batting average of .253.

The Twins have searched for catching help throughout the offseason. They made offers to A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia but were turned down. The need for catching grew even more when they traded Ryan Doumit on Wednesday to the Braves in exchange for pitching prospect Sean Gilmartin.

Josmil Pinto is the catcher of the near future for the Twins, but the club wanted an experienced catcher to share duties with him. With Suzuki around to sit in meetings with Pinto - plus the presence of Joe Mauer and coach Terry Steinbach - Pinto won't be hurting for mentors.

Look for this deal to be finalized next week. The Twins have one spot open on their 40-man roster, and that is expected to go to Mike Pelfrey when his two-year, $11 million contract is finalized as early as today. The Twins will have to make room on their 40-man roster for Suzuki.

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