News Thursday that the Twins have signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to a two-year extension (with a third-year vesting option) obviously says a lot about what they think of Suzuki.
He’s having a very good season, and they’re banking on at least some semblance of that production — and handling of pitchers — for the duration of Suzuki’s contract.
But perhaps the move says just as much, of not more, about the stalled progress of Josmil Pinto. We presumed going into the season that Pinto was the team’s catcher of the future. He showed plenty of pop in a brief stint in 2013. He hit well again this year before slumping and ultimately being sent down.
But if his defense — all phases: handling pitchers, blocking balls, throwing runners out — isn’t close to major-league ready, and the team doesn’t have confidence it will get there … well, that’s when they make a move like today with Suzuki.
The free agent catching market figures to be barren, and with a bunch of young arms waiting in the wings, there is value in having a catcher who can work with them. Did the Twins overpay? A little. Have they been swayed by four good months from Suzuki? Probably. Is it worth it? Quite possibly. Does it tell us Pinto isn’t ready for prime time? Definitely.