The Minnesota Twins started the winter with only one catcher on their 40-man roster. It was apparent that it would be a need for the hometown team before Spring Training ‘23 commenced. Tonight, the Twins have reportedly shored up their catching corps by signing Christian Vázquez.
Christian Vazquez to Twins— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2022
Short, to the point, and hopefully true, coming from Jon Heyman. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe had it first that the deal is for three years and it’s been confirmed by multiple sources (including Betsy Helfand of the St Paul Pioneer Press) that the deal is worth $30 million.
As mentioned, the signing fills a gaping hole in the Twins’ roster - a second catcher. That’s not to say that Vázquez will be the backup, but probably far from it, which lands current catcher Ryan Jeffers in some interesting waters. I’ll have a better writer than me expand on that topic at a later time.
Vázquez has spent all but 35 games of his eight-year major league career with the Boston Red Sox. The 32-year-old was traded at the trade deadline this past season to the Houston Astros, winning a World Series ring. Vázquez owns a .261/.310/.386 triple-slash with 55 homers and 276 RBI. In 119 games total between the Red Stockings and the Astros, he hit .274/.315/.399 with 9 homers (his most since 2019) and 52 RBI (also his most since 2019). He’s spent limited time in the infield as well (20 games at first base, six games at second base, and 10 games at third base), so there’s some slight flexibility as well, albeit probably in an emergency scenario.
Of course, the most important part is the catching ability. The righty is known for his quick exchange time and his pitch framing. Minnesota was absolutely terrible in catching base-stealers last year, and hopefully having Vázquez will help catch more of them in the next campaign.
Something else to note: Vázquez comes from Puerto Rico, just like Carlos Correa. And hey, they both graduated from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. So maybe Carlos Correa is the next signing Minnesota makes. Just sayin’. One can hope.
Welcome to Twins Territory, Christian Vázquez!
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