Avila, who turns 33 in late January, is coming off a 2019 season in which he batted .207/.353/.421 with nine home runs in 63 games for the Diamondbacks. Along the way, he was limited by left calf and quad problems. For his career, Avila owns an OPS+ of 102 across parts of 11 major-league seasons. As a left-handed source of OBP and occasional pop by positional standards, Avila will pair well with Silver Slugger catcher Mitch Garver, who last season for the Twins put up big numbers from the right side. In essence, Avila replaces outgoing free agent catcher Jason Castro.
In 2019, Castro and Garver shared a roughly equal load behind the plate -- 631 1/3 defensive innings for Castro and 673 2/3 for Garver. Avila, meantime, hasn't matched either of those totals since 2014, when he was 27. The likely path forward is for Garver to become the heavy primary and, given health, approach 900 innings behind the plate. Given Garver's high level of production, that would be a wise approach. As well, Willians Astudillo remains a key depth piece on the Minnesota roster, and he's capable of carrying some of that load behind the plate.
More broadly, this continues a trend of early movement on free agent catchers. Already in the 2019-20 offseason, we've seen Yasmani Grandal sign with the White Sox and Travis d'Arnaud land with the Braves. With Avila off the board, that leaves Robinson Chirinos as the best veteran catcher on the board.
As for Avila and Twins, they'll be angling to repeat as AL Central champions in 2020.