The 2023 Minnesota Twins had no catcher until yesterday.
Gary Sanchez, who occupied the position in 2022, left via free agency, and the organization was ready to go in a different direction.
On Monday, the team reached an agreement with catcher Christian Vazquez on a contract to play in Minnesota.
“Source confirms a three-year agreement between the #MNTwins and catcher Christian Vázquez, pending physical, as first reported by @JonHeyman. Vázquez is a 32-year-old veteran with two World Series rings. The second of those came last season with the Astros,” Twins insider Do-Hyoung Park tweeted.
Vázquez is a 32-year-old veteran with two World Series rings. The second of those came last season with the Astros.
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) December 13, 2022
Sanchez started off his career as one of the most promising hitters of the American League, but hasn’t been the same for a while now.
In Vazquez, the team found an improvement, an upgrade over what they had in 2022.
He didn’t quite play every day with the Astros during their World Series run, but was an important contributor nonetheless.
He did play a lot for the 2018 Boston Red Sox, a team with which he won the Fall Classic that season.
Vazquez Brings A Solid Skillset To Minnesota
Vazquez has a winning pedigree.
He usually doesn’t offer too much in terms of game power (besides the outlier 2019 season in which he hit 23 home runs), but is usually good for a solid batting average in the .250-.270 range.
Between the Red Sox and Astros last season, he hit .274/.315/.399 with nine homers and a 99 wRC+.
League-average offensive performance coupled with his excellent defensive skills behind the plate made him the owner of a three-year, $30 million contract by the Twins.
He should bring some stability to the team’s catching corps and help them contend in 2023 after a disappoiting ending in 2022.