July 21, 2024

Common Wealth Geography

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Determined Twins Twins Pursuing Aggressive Plan to Offload Catcher in Payroll Reduction Efforts

Minnesota Twins catcher Christian Vazquez finished the 2023 season with some of the worst offensive numbers of his career. With his team looking to trim some extra fat this offseason, it appears as though the Puerto Rican could be one of the first casualties.

The 33-year old is just one year into the three-year, $30 million deal he signed with the Twins ahead of the season. In 102 games this season, Vazquez hit just .233/.280/.318 with 6 home runs and 30 RBIs. A nine-year MLB vet, the showing was the poorest of any full season in his career.

“Per @ByRobertMurray’s ‘s sources: The Twins are looking to cut payroll and have aggressively tried to move certain players, including Christian Vázquez.” – Foul Territory

According to analyst Robert Murray’s recent comments on the Foul Territory podcast, the Twins are proactively looking to reduce their payroll heading into the 2024 season. With Christian Vazquez seemingly not providing value for money, he and one other player appear to be at the top of the Twins’ trading block, per Murray.

While 2023 was indeed a poor showing for Vazquez, the 5-foot-9 backstop has shown promise in the past. Vazquez is 2018 World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros in 2022. Christian Vazquez hit 23 home runs and 72 RBIs during the 2019 season in which he appeared in a career-high 138 games.

Vazquez’ future in Minnesota looks increasingly bleak when one considers Ryan Jeffers, his potential replacement at the catcher position. Despite making only $742,000 this year, Jeffers hit .276/.369/.490 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs this season. With Jeffers providing significantly more value at a fraction of the costs, the Minnesota Twins do not have a very difficult decision on their hands.

“Twins Have Discussed Christian Vázquez Trades” – Tim Dierkes

The Twins have come under criticism for concentrating a large portion of their payroll on just one man, shortstop Carlos Correa. After opting out of his contract after the 2022 season, the All-Star infielder and former Rookie of the Year failed physical tests for both the Giants and New York Mets. Subsequently, Correa returned to the Twins cap-in-hand, and was given a brand new deal worth $200 million over six seasons.

Christian Vazquez’ days with the Minnesota Twins are numbered

With a less expensive, more productive option emerging with Ryan Jeffers, it is difficult to see a scenario in which Christian Vazquez sticks around. More still, after such a dismal showing in 2023, the catcher may have a difficult time finding playing time with any other team at this point.