Minnesota Twins sign catcher Christian Vazquez
December 13, 2022
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins made their first significant move of the offseason by adding Christian Vázquez on Monday night, agreeing to a $30 million, three-year contract with the veteran catcher.
Two people with knowledge of the contract confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending the completion of a physical exam.
Vázquez played for Boston and Houston this season, hitting .274 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in 119 games. The native of Puerto Rico was traded to the Astros on Aug. 1.
The 32-year-old Vázquez also appeared in six postseason games, batting .235 with three RBIs while helping Houston win the World Series. He was the catcher in Game 4 when the Astros combined to pitch a no-hitter against the Phillies.
Vázquez broke into the majors with the Red Sox in 2014. He hit .262 with 54 homers and 266 RBIs in 698 games for Boston and won a World Series ring there in 2018.
The biggest prize on the catcher market, Willson Contreras, signed a five-year, $87.5 million contract with St. Louis last week. After trading Mitch Garver to Texas prior to last season, the Twins failed to replace his production at the plate on their way to a 78-84 finish for third place in the AL Central after leading the division for most of the summer.
Gary Sánchez, who made 80 starts at catcher after arriving in a deal with the New York Yankees, became a free agent after hitting 16 home runs in 419 at-bats with a dismal .659 OPS.
Ryan Jeffers remains under club control, entering his fourth year in the majors. His 2022 season was spoiled by injury, and his batting output — seven homers in 212 at-bats and a .648 OPS — was no better than Sánchez’s.
The Twins have been in pursuit of star shortstop Carlos Correa, who opted out of his contract after one year in Minnesota to become one of the most sought-after free agents on the market this winter. While many of the other big stars have been snatched up, the Twins have stayed patient while waiting for Correa. Prior to landing Vázquez, they acquired shortstop Kyle Farmer in a trade with Cincinnati.