The Twins’ spring competition to back up new catcher Jason Castro became a three-man battle on Thursday when Chris Gimenez, a veteran of four major-league teams, agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Gimenez, who batted .216 with four home runs in 68 games last season for Cleveland, joins John Ryan Murphy and Mitch Garver in a three-way race for a backup job. Castro, who signed a three-year contract as a free agent in November, is the heavy favorite to claim the starter’s role.
Gimenez, 34, 19th-round pick in the 2004 draft by Cleveland, and he debuted five seasons later for the Indians. He’s also played for the Mariners, Rays and Rangers, batting a career .218 with 15 home runs in 289 games. Nine of his 15 home runs have come in the past two seasons, however, which he spent with Texas and Cleveland — teams that new Minnesota leaders Thad Levine and Derek Falvey worked for before being hired by the Twins.