Report: Christian Vázquez, Twins Agree to 3-Year, $30M Contract Amid Red Sox Interest

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22: Christian Vazquez #9 of the Houston Astros reacts after drawing a walk against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning in game three of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 22, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Veteran catcher Christian Vázquez agreed to a three-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, according to the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham.

Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press reported the deal is worth $30 million.

A number of teams had shown interest in the 32-year-old.

Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said the team was open to a reunion. Abraham included the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Guardians and San Diego Padres in the mix.

Vázquez split the 2022 season with the Red Sox and Houston Astros. In 119 games between both stops, he hit .274 with nine home runs, 52 RBI and a .399 slugging percentage. He then posted a .551 OPS during the postseason as the Astros went on to win their second World Series title.

Offense hasn't historically been Vázquez's strength. For his career, he has an 85 OPS+, per Baseball Reference, and a .301 wOBA, per FanGraphs. Both peg him as a below-average hitter.

Vázquez's defense is a slightly different story. He ranked 24th in catcher framing runs at Baseball Savant and saw improvements in his pop time to second (1.94 seconds) and third base (1.5 seconds).

The Twins were in need of a veteran catcher with Gary Sánchez, who played in 128 games, hitting free agency.

The biggest domino, Willson Contreras, fell off the board when he signed a five-year, $87.5 million pact with the St. Louis Cardinals. Vázquez was one of the better alternatives still available, and he gives Minnesota a clear upgrade over Ryan Jeffers, who spelled Sánchez in 2022.

Aaron Gleeman @AaronGleeman

Source: Twins are signing free-agent catcher Christian Vázquez to a three-year deal.<br><br>Twins wanted to find a veteran to pair with Ryan Jeffers and made the 32-year-old Vázquez their top free-agent catcher target.<br><br>Average-ish hitter for the position, good defender, and durable.

Vázquez probably won't provide the Twins with a ton of surplus value, but he offers a high floor for a franchise that wants to rebound after losing 84 games and finishing third in the American League Central.