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March Mania

Twins reportedly agree to terms with C Avila

Former Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila has reportedly signed with the Minnesota Twins. Orlando Ramirez / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins are checking items off their shopping list, reportedly agreeing to terms on a one-year, $4.25 million deal with catcher Alex Avila as the catching market continues to move quickly.

Avila will replace free agent Jason Castro as Mitch Garver’s backup. The veteran catcher, who will turn 33 next month, spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also played for the White Sox and Cubs, though a bulk of his career was spent in the AL Central division with the Tigers, the team that drafted him.

His time in Detroit included his best season, an all-star year in 2011, when he hit a career-high 19 home runs. For his career, Avila is a .235 hitter, with a .348 on-base percentage and a .396 slugging percentage, and is known primarily as a defensive catcher. Statcast considers hima to be one of the best framing catchers, and he threw out 11 of 21 (52%) would-be basestealers in 2019. He had a .207 average, .353 OBP and .421 SP with nine home runs in 63 games for the Diamondbacks last year; he also walked 36 times in 201 plate appearances, a rate of 17.9 percent.

The move ticks another item off the Twins’ to-do list, shortly after they agreed to a deal to bring back starting pitcher Michael Pineda on a two-year, $20 million deal, pending a physical. The Twins are still in the market for a corner infielder after non-tendering first baseman C.J. Cron, plus more pitching, for their rotation especially.