While the Minnesota Twins have been vocal about finding help for Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, it's worth noting that after yesterday's trade of Chris Herrmann that the club has exactly one operating catcher on the 40-man roster: Suzuki. Eric Fryer was outrighted in October and he elected free agency.
Josmil Pinto is still on the roster. But his issues as a defender are well-documented and, unfortunately, he also lost a good portion of 2015 to a concussion. The Twins need a reliable player who they know will be available from day one and who will be able to hold his own in the Major Leagues, and as promising as Pinto's bat might be as a catcher he just can't provide the stability the club needs.
Looking at the upper levels of the minor league system, the cupboards are dry.
- Carlos Paulino played 20 games for Chattanooga and 34 games for Rochester this summer, but he doesn't profile as the type of talent the Twins have publicly acknowledged their looking for. Paulino is good organizational depth and could appear as a third catcher, but Minnesota wants a player they can trust long-term if necessary.
- Stuart Turner played well enough for Chattanooga this year, but his offense is still developing. Neither the club nor scouts have indicated that he's ready to take on Major League duties, even if his game calling and defensive skill set look good.
Voluntarily losing both Eric Fryer and Chris Herrmann eliminates catching depth for the Twins. We knew they would be going outside the organization for help at the position, but seeing both players go really drives that point home. If there's another way of signaling to other clubs that you want a catcher, without building yourself a sign or writing a message in the sky or sending up flairs, I don't know what it is.
Minnesota has seven spots open on the 40-man roster after the trade of Herrmann.