Grading Angels GM Perry Minasian this offseason (Part 1)
By Alfonso Cerna
The Kurt Suzuki gives the Angels a veteran catcher and financial flexibility for more moves.
After it was announced catcher Max Stassi would likely miss the beginning of the season due to hip surgery, the Angels were looking to upgrade the position. There were multiple trade rumors for Willson Contreras and reports of the team going after JT Realmuto, but Minasian went a different direction. The Angels instead signed veteran free-agent Kurt Suzuki to a one-year, $1.5 million deal on Friday.
It’s hard not to respect a 14-year player like Suzuki especially when it’s reported he took a pay-cut to play for the Angels. Suzuki was one of the catching options I suggested the Halos target this offseason. I think it’s another good move by Minasian, and will be great if he continues to improve the roster.
"“Part of bringing in a guy like Kurt Suzuki [is] it’s such a demanding position, not only physically but mentally,” Minasian said. “You’re trusting the person behind the plate to make 150 to 175, 200 decisions a night. They have a huge impact on whether you win or lose the game. So to have two guys like Stassi and Suzuki, we feel really good about that.”"
I already touched on what to expect from this signing moving forward, so I won’t go too in-depth here. I think every team needs a veteran catcher to guide them through the season. Suzuki will improve the rotation and help the growth of Stassi when he’s ready to return as well.
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All of the cost-effective moves by Minasian thus far are setting up the Angels to make a big splash(es) at some point this offseason. One or more impact players will turn this grade from a C+ to an A+. However, if Minasian and the Angels settle for Suzuki being the team’s biggest acquisition, it’s going to be a long season for the new general manager.