Heading into the 2023 season, the Minnesota Twins have one clear need after a brutal end to last season: catcher. Sure, the team could use a lot of help in the bullpen, outfield, and at shortstop, but at each of those positions they have a feasible option to play.
The bullpen has similar options to last year. Alex Kirilloff, Byron Buxton, and Trevor Larnach can start in the outfield with Gilberto Celestino, Matt Wallner, Kyle Garlick, and Nick Gordon backing up. Kyle Farmer can play short until Royce Lewis gets back. Catcher is the one position with no clear answer.
We break down three catchers for the Minnesota Twins to trade for ahead of 2023.
Ryan Jeffers is good, but he can’t be the only catcher on the roster. Most teams want three catchers on the roster, especially on the 40-Man, but it’s concerning that the Twins currently only have one. Worse still, the only options anywhere close are Alex Isola, David Banuelos, and Jair Camargo. Worse even still, Isola might get plucked in the Ruler 5 Draft.
With that in mind, the team needs to add another veteran to the roster. We’ve gone over some of the best options available in free agency, but the other option is to swing a trade, and there are three really strong options available: Sean Murphy, Luis Campusano, and Danny Jansen.
For the Twins, the team has plenty of high-level options in Triple-A and Double-A who need to be moved, so deal could work. The team could easily move some of them (and/or some major league talent) to pull in one of these catchers. Let’s break down these options.
The third-best option is Luis Campusano. Campusano, one of the top prospects in the San Diego Padres system for a long time, has nothing left to prove at the minor league level. He’s got solid defense, but his bat is his real calling card. With Austin Nola as their main catcher, the Padres could be willing to deal him.
Sure, he’d be extremely expensive, but if the Twins were willing to move a few prospects (pitching especially), an outfielder, and more, the Padres might be willing to send him to Minnesota. He would immediately lock down the position long term. The reason he’s ranked third is solely based on the fact that he’s probably going to be tough to pry without the right package.
The second option is Danny Jansen. Jansen plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. Over the past two years, here’s Jensen’s slashline:
- 142 G, .243/.321/.496, 124 OPS+, 26 HR, 72 RBI
He’s also a very solid defender, and with two years remaining on his deal, he’d be a great primary catcher to pair with Jeffers. Similar to Campusano, the question becomes: why is he available? His path is blocked by Alejandro Kirk (an All-Star last season) and Gabriel Moreno, one of the game’s best prospects. He’d be a huge get.
The top player available is Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy. Murphy plays for Oakland, a team in the process of a fire sale. To make things better for Oakland, former top prospect Shea Langeliers is ready to take over as the full-time catcher and new top prospect Tyler Soderstrom is set to play full-time at Triple-A.
Murphy on the other hand, won a Gold Glove in 2021, produced offensively, and was very reliable, playing 81% of possible games since 2020 and 148 games last season. He’s put up a career 114 OPS, and he’d be a clear number one catcher.
He’d be expensive, as he doesn’t hit free agency until after the 2025 season and has multiple suitors, but if the Twins can find the right package, he’d be the best catcher the Minnesota Twins could land outside of Willson Contreras. If the team can get him, it’s worth a run.