Catcher Christian Vázquez, Twins finalize 3-year, $30M deal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Having won a pair of World Series titles, Christian Vázquez hopes to win another with the Minnesota Twins.

“A great opportunity,” he said Friday on the MLB Network after finalizing a $30 million, three-year contract. “They have a great team. Let’s see where we go. I’m looking for another ring.”

The 32-year-old Vázquez, who gets annual salaries of $10 million, played for Boston from 2014 until Aug. 1, when he was traded to Houston. He won titles with the Red Sox in 2018 and with the Astros this season.

A native of Puerto Rico who plans to play in the World Baseball Classic, he faces chilly weather for home games early and late in the season.

“I came from Boston and it was cold, too,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.”

He could return to Fenway Park for the first time since the trade when the Twins play at Boston from April 18-20.

“Maybe I’ll cry,” Vázquez said. “It’s going to be special.”

He hit .274 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in 119 games this year and appeared in six postseason games, batting .235 with three RBIs. He was the catcher in World Series Game 4 when the Astros combined to pitch a no-hitter against the Phillies.

Vázquez broke into the majors with the Red Sox in 2014. He hit .262 with 54 homers and 266 RBIs in 698 games for Boston and won a World Series ring there in 2018.

After trading Mitch Garver to Texas before last season, the Twins failed to replace his production at the plate on their way to a 78-84 finish for third place in the AL Central after leading the division for most of the summer.

Gary Sánchez, who made 80 starts at catcher after arriving in a deal with the New York Yankees, became a free agent after hitting 16 home runs in 419 at-bats with a dismal .659 OPS.

Ryan Jeffers remains under club control, entering his fourth year in the majors. His 2022 season was spoiled by injury, and his batting output — seven homers in 212 at-bats and a .648 OPS — was no better than Sánchez’s.

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