Minnesota Twins: Grading the Christian Vazquez Signing
The Minnesota Twins have been patiently waiting for the free agent market to move, biding their time until they found a deal to their liking. MLB Free Agency officially began a month and two days ago, and the team hasn’t signed anyone in those first 32 days. Less than an hour ago, that changed:
The Twins had a desperate need at the catcher position, and signing former Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez fills that need and fills it well. Now that the deal is official, it’s time to once again grade the signing.
We grade the Minnesota Twins’ free agent signing of catcher Christian Vazquez.
As far as catchers go, Christian Vazquez is a great defender. Vazquez is a decent framer, but his big strengths are his decent arm and his very solid pop time. As good as Ryan Jeffers’ framing is, he struggles greatly with throwing out runners. That’s not as much of a problem for Vazquez, who has caught an impressive 34% of runners over his career.
Offensively, he’s fairly average. He doesn’t offer a lot of power (15 homers over 257 games over the past two years), but he’s produced a .261 batting average and a .310 on-base percentage over his career. If the Twins can get that out of their catcher/nine-hole batter, that’s a massive upgrade over their production from the last two years.
In addition to his production, Vazquez is also a veteran with tons of experience and a two-time World Series Champion. The Minnesota Twins are a very young team, and adding someone like Vazquez brings in a leader that might be missing if Carlos Correa returns.
Filling a major need with a player that we had ranked as the third-best at his position is a huge win for the Twins, but does the deal make sense? In short, it’s an overpay, but it’s a good overpay from the Twins’ side.
A three year, $30 million deal puts Vazquez as the sixth-highest paid catcher in baseball, but he’s not the sixth-best catcher in baseball. Instead, the team spent over-value to reel in one of the most sought-after free agents on the market, a fact that should make fans incredibly happy. Despite the deal being an overpay, it’s still a huge win for the Minnesota Twins. Grade: A.