Discussion: Kurt Suzuki Extension

A month ago, CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban wrote that prelimary talks on an extension for Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki are underway.  However, Susan Slusser and John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle heard differently from the catcher's agent.  Suzuki, 26, is eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.  Let's look at possible comparables for an extension.  (Arb means arbitration, FA means free agent year).

  • Yadier Molina, Cardinals: Four-year, $15.5MM deal covers arb 1-3 and FA 1, with a club option on FA 2.  Received $9.25MM for three arb years.  Signed in January of '08.
  • Chris Snyder, Diamondbacks.  Three-year, $14.25MM deal covers arb 2-3 and FA 1, with a club option on FA 2.  Though deal did not cover all three arb years, Snyder received $9.6MM for them.  Signed in December of '08.
  • Ryan Doumit, Pirates.  Three-year, $11.5MM deal covers arb 1-3 with club options on FA 1-2.  Receives $10.7MM for three arb years.  Signed in December of '08.
  • Carlos Ruiz, Phillies.  Three-year, $8.85MM deal covers arb 1-3 with a club option on FA 1.  Received $8.35MM for three arb years.  Signed in Janunary of '10.
  • Kelly Shoppach, Rays.  Two-year, $5.55MM deal covers arb 2-3 with a club option on FA 1.  Will receive $7.2MM for three arb years, though arb 1 wasn't covered in the deal.  Signed in January of '10.
  • Chris Iannetta, Rockies.  Three-year, $8.35MM deal covers arb 1-3 with a club option on FA 1.  Will receive $7.85MM for three arb years.
  • Doumit, Ruiz, and Iannetta are the best comparables, in that they signed before their first arbitration seasons and relatively recently.  But unlike these three, Suzuki will have about 500 games under his belt when he reaches arbitration.  Even though they're all being compared as 3+ service time players, Suzuki will have a full season's worth of games (and the accompanying counting stats) more than the others.
  • Although Doumit was overpaid, Suzuki has a strong case to top his arbitration year salaries.  Suzuki's first free agent year could be in the $6-8MM range, whether it's guaranteed or a club option.  If Suzuki allows for a club option, he should seek a deal worth at least $12MM.  The option would be convenient for the A's, as top catching prospect Max Stassi may be ready by 2014.  From Suzuki's point of view, he'd get a buyout if the option is declined and reach free agency as a 30-year-old.

16 Responses to Discussion: Kurt Suzuki Extension Leave a Reply

  1. gmart68b 5 years ago

    Could I suggest adding Yadi Molina’s 4-year $15.5 million to the list, just for discussion and comparison’s sake?

  2. aap212 5 years ago

    Stassi’s timetable should not be considered as a factor at all. He’s barely played in the minors and he was a second round catching prospect out of high school. Good prospect, but such a sure thing that his arrival four years from now should be considered relevant? If it becomes relevant, then either he’s a good trade chip or Suzuki is. If not, then either the prospect failed or the veteran’s contract wasn’t sound.

    • I agree aap212, I’d like to see him locked up regardless of stassi. Kurt has been better and better each year and I’d like to see us hang on to him for a bit, so a 4 year like molina’s would be best in my opnion. If stassi comes up just let him be a backup for a year to learn from suzuki.

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago

      And, how many “catching prospects” actually stick at catcher.

  3. zonis 5 years ago

    The question is less Stassi, since as a HS draftee catcher he is far away and a huge risk to count on to pan out, but on Josh Donaldson, who is a good catching prospect at AAA Sacramento. The A’s have a lot of catching depth in the minors with Galarraga, Donaldson, Powell, Recker and Castro.

  4. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    He isn’t quite elite at the level of Mauer or Posada, but Suzuki is just under them in terms of a Catcher’s value. 5 yrs./$30MM guaranteed with a club option would be my suggestion for a Suzuki extension.

    $2.5MM, $3.75MM, $5.125MM, $7.5MM, $8.625MM with a club option worth $10.5MM and a $2.5MM buy out.

    • sacu 5 years ago

      With all due respect, how did you come to the opinion that Posada is elite? I think I speak for most people when I say that Posada and Mauer do not belong in the same sentence. Playing on the yankees for a long time and getting a bunch of rings does not make one elite; otherwise one could argue that Luis Sojo, Darryl Strawberry or Chuck Knoblauch were elite players.

      • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

        With all due respect, Posada does stuff you don’t give him credit for. People don’t give Posada credit because on a team constantly full of all-stars, particularly all-stars of the moment (such as Teixeira) he falls into the shadows of what makes the team great. If Posada had ever elected for free agency, particularly 6 years ago when he signed that first free agent deal of his with the Yanks for 4 years/$44MM, he would have garnered a much larger contract and he’d have been an anchor on whatever team took him. Look at the big picture- he’s elite.

        • sacu 5 years ago

          “Posada does stuff you don’t give him credit for.” Really? Like what? Catch all-star pitchers. Baseball players are not given elite status for the things that don’t show up in the box score; sorry but that’s the truth.

          “People don’t give Posada credit because on a team constantly full of all-stars…” Wouldn’t constantly being surrounded by all-stars make Posada’s, or anyone else’s, job easier? Not just in baseball but in any field. I know if I worked with a bunch of awesome employees it would make my job easier; moreover if I worked with a bunch of slackers it would make my job a lot tougher.

          “…he would have garnered a much larger contract…” Scoring a huge contract does not equate to being elite. Yankee fans should know this by now.

          “Look at the big picture” The big picture is that the guy is a GOOD baseball player on a GOOD team and has a handful of rings. That does not make him elite.

          Anyone else care to chime in on this? Come on Tim, I would love to read your opinion.

          • atlbraves2010 5 years ago

            im right there with you…there are only 2 elite catchers in the game right now….mauer and then a huge step down to brian mccann…weiter is on the way there i think
            to say posada is elite right now, is to say that todd helton is an elite firstbaseman compared to pujols and fielder..dont get me wrong im not saying posada isnt any good..he is just not anywhere near elite

          • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

            Here’s a stone cold fact: In 200 less at-bats, he was par with the 3 Catchers above him in terms of offensive stats. 200 less at-bats! Argue with that.

          • sacu 5 years ago

            Whoa, easy. First off, what year are you referring to? Second, having one good year, even spectacular, does not equate to being elite. I’m not saying Posada has only had one good year. I am tiring of this discussion, with that being said, I am no longer going to respond to anything in regards to Posada being “elite”. Please, stop fooling yourself. There is only ONE elite catcher in all of baseball right now and his name is Mauer. I’m gonna go laugh myself to sleep now. G’night.

            PS-I am not a Twins fan, therefore my opinions are not biased. Behind the curtain of anonymity, can you say you are not a Yankees fan? If not, I get it now.

          • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

            I was referring to the 2009 season.

            I was actually originally talking about Kurt Suzuki and I name dropped Posada as reference because off the top of my head the two most elite offensive catchers I could think of were Mauer (duh) and Posada. You turned it into a debate. Me defending Posada doesn’t automatically make me a Yankees fan. McCann is great but he’s still developing, in my opinion. Mauer and Posada are mature players; you know exactly what you’re gonna get from them. Had we had this debate a few years ago I might have used Varitek or Javy Lopez as an example.

            It seems like anytime somebody praises the Yankees or a Yankee they’re automatically a biased Yankee fan and/or don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It’s a sad state. To me it’s just jealousy. you know, in the days when Atlanta was the reigning team of the NL, I would have been happy to argue about how great they were, despite me not being a Braves fan in the least bit.

            Just an observation.

            p.s. In 2000 Posada hit 30 HR’s and was 3rd place in votes for MVP.

          • atlbraves2010 5 years ago

            in 2003 javy lopez hit 43HR…what does that mean?

          • atlbraves2010 5 years ago

            in 2003 javy lopez hit 43HR…what does that mean?

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