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Twins make deals with Suzuki, Pelfrey official

Twins make deals with Suzuki, Pelfrey official

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Twins make deals with Suzuki, Pelfrey official

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins officially announced on Monday that they've signed catcher Kurt Suzuki and Mike Pelfrey to one- and two-year deals, respectively. In a corresponding move, Darin Mastroianni was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester.

Suzuki will make $2.75 million next season, while Pelfrey's deal is for $11 million.

The addition of Suzuki means Minnesota has found a veteran catcher to replace Joe Mauer, who will be moving to first base next year.

After inking Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes this offseason, the Twins were able to strenghten their rotation by re-signing Pelfrey, who posted a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts with the Twins last season after joining the club on a one-year deal worth $4 million.

Pelfrey was better in the second half of the season with a 3.25 ERA in five June starts and a 3.60 ERA in six August starts, but he faltered in September with a 7.45 ERA in four outings.

Suzuki, 30, gives the Twins a veteran backstop who can help mentor rookie Josmil Pinto, who shined in his first taste of the Majors in September. The Twins were in the market for a catcher this offseason with Mauer moving away from the position because of a season-ending concussion suffered while catching on Aug. 19.

They went after A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in free agency, but failed to sign them, as Pierzynski went to the Red Sox and Saltalamacchia signed with the Marlins.

Suzuki hit .232/.290/.337 with five homers, 13 doubles and two stolen bases in 94 games split between the Nationals and A's. He's a career .253/.309/.375 hitter in 840 games with the A's and Nationals in a seven-year career.

Suzuki is generally regarded as a strong defensive catcher, but struggled with attempting basestealers last season, as he only threw out eight of 65 potential basestealers. It was a drop from his career norm, as has a caught stealing percentage of 26 percent for his career, but was at just 12 percent last season.

Suzuki, who is represented by agent Dan Lozano, was originally selected by the A's in the second round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Fullerton.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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