March 8, 2021

Kurt Suzuki Returns to the AL West, Now As an Angel (FanGraphs)

The Angels added some catching depth over the weekend, signing Kurt Suzuki to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. This will be the 15th season of Suzuki’s career, his longevity the result of an unusually late offensive peak in his mid-30s that has largely compensated for his defensive shortcomings. In 129 plate appearances in 2020, Suzuki hit .270/.349/.396, a respectable triple-slash but also amounting to his lowest wRC+ since 2016, his final season with the Twins.

As I showed through projections last week, the Angels look like they’re in that zone where each additional win or loss has a larger-than-average effect on a team’s playoff destiny. Add in the general desire for a team with a $180 million luxury tax number — more than half from just four players — not to have that payroll go to waste, and you have a formula for being aggressive in adding plausible Plans B to the roster. And really, $1.5 million is just about peanuts, no matter how MLB will suggest otherwise.

For the Angels, their choice of a Plan B catcher is an essential one. Max Stassi, who would likely have gotten the lion’s share of the playing time after Jason Castro’s departure,…

Read “Kurt Suzuki Returns to the AL West, Now As an Angel” at FanGraphs