Kurt Suzuki gets $12m over two years in an extension from the Twins, plus vesting option for 2017 based on PAs.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 31, 2014
That's a contract I can live with. It requires Suzuki to be worth about 2.0 wins above replacement total over the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which is something he's capable of doing even if he does turn back into a pumpkin as a hitter.
Suzuki will be in his age-31 season in 2015 and 32 in '16, hitting his age-33 season if his option vests and he's still in Minnesota for 2017. Over the last five years, his OPS+ has been 93, 83, 89, 67, and 73. This season it currently sits at 111, and so in some sense you could say that the Twins are buying high - but this isn't a contract that will stop them from doing anything.
The contract does say that the front office continues to have some concerns about the defense of Josmil Pinto, and rightfully so. He's thrown out just two of ten base stealers in Triple-A since his demotion. But if Pinto somehow turns it around, or if another catcher arrives on the scene, a $6 million dollar deal isn't going to keep him out of the position.
The Twins actually made a prudent choice here. There were no better guarantees in free agency. Trades don't have to happen, as good catchers are typically exceptionally difficult to acquire. There is no catcher currently in the system who is on the radar that could start 130 games behind the plate in 2015.
And, most importantly, the Twins didn't overpay - in years, or in dollars.
Per Jon Heyman on Twitter, the Minnesota Twins have signed Kurt Suzuki to an extension.
Source: #Twins sign Suzuki to extension.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2014
Suzuki, 30, has hit .304/.367/.386 this season in what has been his first year as an above average hitter. His career OPS+ is just 89, but in spite of his lack of a track record his agents have been pulling for an extension with terms on par with what free agent catchers were awarded this past off-season; that meant a contract worth $7 to $9 million annually, and we also know that Suzuki's agents wanted more than two years.
Kurt Suzuki extension with Min is for two years with a vesting option. @Ken_Rosenthal had agreement.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 31, 2014
Terms have yet to be disclosed, but the good news is that the Twins aren't bound to a three-year agreement. The third year vests based on plate appearances in 2016.