If the Minnesota Twins were on the fence about trading Kurt Suzuki a couple of weeks ago, the fact that they have decided to be sellers, and his extension price is rising may have helped them reach a conclusion. Kurt Suzuki is likely on his way out of Minnesota, the question now becomes where, and for what.
Recently this week, the Twins were said to be in extension talks with their All Star catcher, however, they went absolutely nowhere. While Kurt Suzuki is batting .312 for the Twins, he also has just two home runs (the second least in his career), at a position expected to be a run producer.
Suzuki is trying to cash in on his solid season handling the bat at the plate. At 30 years old, he likely will not have many more opportunities for a payday, and with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, A.J. Pierzynski, and Carlos Ruiz all cashing in last offseason, he knows the market is there.
The Twins however have Josmil Pinto waiting in the wings, and if they believe in promoting him at some point, Suzuki will have to cede the way, something an extension (especially a high-priced one), would be counterproductive towards.
Both St. Louis and Baltimore remain the most likely landing spots for Suzuki, as they have both lost All Star caliber catchers and are playoff teams.
Talking with Darren Wolfson earlier this week however, it appears that the Orioles need seems more desperate. Yadier Molina‘s timetable for return remains at around 12 weeks, something he could beat. Matt Wieters is done for the year however.
Wolfson suggested an intriguing return earlier this week however. “I’d aim for a top-20 prospect in Baltimore’s system, or even two. Something comparable to what the Twins got for Francisco Liriano a couple of years ago. Probably aim slightly higher,” Wolfson said.
In return for Liriano, the Twins got Pedro Hernandez (now currently in Triple-A for the Rockies pitching to a 6.05 ERA), and Eduardo Escobar. At the time of the trade, Escobar was the 10th best prospect in the White Sox organization.
Escobar isn’t anything to write home about, but he has a serviceable bat and is an above average utility man (career high 1.1 WAR).
While a pipe dream like Oscar Taveras from the Cardinals isn’t going to happen, the Orioles are absolutely loaded with pitching in their farm system. Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey, and Dylan Bundy aren’t going anywhere, but anyone else may be fair game.
Hopefully the Twins can find a good enough return to make the one year run on Suzuki well worth the investment, building with next year’s talent would be a great strategy.