Twins sign C Avila to one-year deal

Tanya Simon
December 8, 2019

The only former Alabama player with more Major League Baseball home runs than Avila is Jim "Rawhide" Tabor.

Free-agent catcher Alex Avila will join the Minnesota Twins for the 2020 season. ESPN reported on Friday that the former Alabama standout and the Twins had agreed on a one-year, $4.25 million contract. He missed the 1945 season because of military service.

Avila is a career.235 hitter, with a.348 on-base percentage over 995 games, also playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs.

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Avila is no stranger to the AL Central, as he spent the first seven years of his career with the Tigers, was with the White Sox in 2016 and then returned to Detroit in 17. Among the 48 catchers with 200 plate appearances last season, Avila ranked fourth in OBP (.353), 15th in OPS (.774), 19th in wRC+ (97) and 23rd in WAR (1.3).

The one-time All-Star will likely be a backup behind Mitch Garver in Minnesota. The addition of the 32-year-old Avila will help greatly due to his defensive abilities and his left-handed bat. Garver is a right-handed batter.

Avila has also developed a better knack for framing pitches over his last two campaigns, with positive results in FRM (catcher framing runs above average), according to FanGraphs.

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