The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of a mid-season slide yet again, and despite getting one game from the White Sox over the weekend, they were nearly swept. As the July 31 trade deadline rolls around, the Twins are looking to sell off some of the expendable assets. Kurt Suzuki still profiles as a name in the middle.
Over the weekend the Baltimore Orioles were said to have scouts in attendance at Target Field giving the veteran Suzuki a long look. With Matt Wieters on the shelf for the season, the Orioles could use some help behind the plate.
The other likely trade partner for the Twins was the St. Louis Cardinals. However, St. Louis decided to sign A.J. Pierzynski to a deal following his release from the Boston Red Sox.
Right now, the Twins are stuck somewhat in the middle with Suzuki. He has been great for the Twins, both at the plate with a bat, and behind it calling a game. Hitting over .300 while driving in a decent amount of runs (he has shown nearly no power however), it has been a nice surprise.
Suzuki is someone the Twins would like to make an extension offer to, but there are some factors working against that happening. First and foremost, Suzuki is looking to be paid off of this season. He is an aging catcher (they go downhill quick), and is looking to cash in on his strong season.
Also, should the Twins extend Suzuki, they would be blocking Josmil Pinto further behind the plate. He is very raw defensively, and definitely needs to refine his craft, but an extension would signify the Twins believe Pinto is farther off than one would imagine.
Should the Twins not find a strong enough offer for Suzuki, they very well could keep him and work towards an extension in the offseason. Ken Rosenthal tweeted that an extension would be the preferred action by Twins personnel.
Sources: #Twins’ field people pushing to keep Suzuki. Quick extension unlikely, but other catchers in organization much less advanced.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2014
The Orioles are known to be potential suitors right now, but the Twins have to be hoping for a second team in hopes of getting a max return if they do explore a trade. The Mariners could make sense as Mike Zunino has been home run or bust.
Regardless of is Suzuki is dealt in the next few days or not, the Twins will be looking to find the best scenario to move into next year. If they can keep him at the right price, look for them to do so.