Thursday amid all the blockbuster trading going on with teams acquiring big pitching, the moves made by the Minnesota Twins were slightly overshadowed. The only exception was the the trade they made when they acquired starting pitcher Tommy Milone from the, very busy, Oakland Athletics for outfielder Sam Fuld.
It wasn’t widely reported until Friday morning that the team had signed their All-Star catcher Kurt Suzuki, who would have been a free agent at the end of the season, to a two-year, $12 million contract extension. The extension also includes a vesting option for the 2017 season.
Suzuki has always been known for being a great catcher in the way he knows how to work with his pitchers. He gained a lot of experience working with young pitchers especially, while both coming up through the A’s organization and while playing two stints with the big league team for a total of five seasons.
Since signing a one-year, $2.75 million dollar contract with the Twins last December, Suzuki has had a career year. Already good defensively and working with the pitching staff, Suzuki has simply excelled at the plate in 2014. He was named to this year’s All-Star team and is currently hitting .306 with 2o doubles and 42 RBI.
In his time with Oakland he averaged .255 and his highest RBI total for a single season was 88 in 2009. While playing for the Washington Nationals, Suzuki batted .239 with 50 RBI, over the course of two seasons.
To say his offensive skills have improved is an understatement. Even if the 30-year old were to go back to hitting between .250 and .260 in the next two, possibly three, seasons the Twins will still have a solid starting catcher for a good price. It was a good move to extend Suzuki’s contract on the Twins part and, from what can be seen from his numbers this season, Suzuki certainly thrives in Minnesota.