The Twins have filled their backup catcher vacancy. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, they have reached agreement on a one-year deal with veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki. The signing addresses the last obvious need on the roster, although Terry Ryan will likely continue to monitor potential upgrades over the coming weeks.
Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but Suzuki is not expected to earn a large salary. He has struggled at the plate over the past four seasons, hitting just .237/.294/.357 while spending time with the Athletics and Nationals.
Suzuki might have a chance to compete for a starting job in spring training, but given his lack of offensive production in recent years, the Twins are probably hoping that Josmil Pinto will be able to establish himself, allowing the new acquisition to serve in a part-time role.
Although he is generally considered a strong defender, Suzuki really struggled to control the run game this past season, catching just eight base-stealers on 65 attempts (12 percent) in 93 games. That's a concern, since defensive aptitude will be the most important thing for him to bring to the table.
Suzuki, 30, is a Hawaii native who played college ball at Cal State Fullerton. He was a second-round draft choice of the A's in 2004. Expect more analysis of the signing here at Twins Daily over the weekend.