Nationals Acquire Kurt Suzuki

The Athletics traded catcher Kurt Suzuki and cash considerations to the Nationals for catcher David Freitas, the teams announced. It sounds like the A's are picking up most of Suzuki's 2012 salary and a bit of next year's salary, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter).

The move provides the Nationals with Major League catching depth to complement Jesus Flores and Sandy Leon. Washington manager Davey Johnson said Suzuki is a "number one catcher" who will bring a "veteran presence" to the Nationals, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter).

Suzuki has posted a disappointing .218/.250/.286 batting line in 278 plate appearances so far in 2012. To his credit, he has prevented 38% of stolen base attempts against him this year (23 of 60) and the Athletics have an American League-best 3.43 ERA. The A's are now likely to rely more heavily on rookie catcher Derek Norris and recently-acquired backstop George Kottaras.

The 28-year-old Suzuki earns $5MM in 2012 and $6.45MM in 2013. His contract includes a $8.5MM club option for 2014 ($650K buyout). Evidently no American League team placed a claim on him when he hit the waiver wire. Every National League team but the Reds had to pass up chance to claim Suzuki for him to become available to Washington.

Freitas, 23, has a .271/.374/.407 batting line in 321 plate appearances at Class A Potomac this year. The Nationals selected him in the 15th round of the 2010 MLB draft.


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50 Comments on "Nationals Acquire Kurt Suzuki"


selw0nk
3 years 25 days ago

Good luck Kurt!

Benjamin George
3 years 25 days ago

Nice little move for both sides

Marquelle So Crazy
3 years 25 days ago

This is huge for Gio.

3 years 24 days ago

Isn’t Gio performing better AFTER Suzuki stopped catching him? Or am I missing something here?

thegoldenone
3 years 24 days ago

better numbers slightly from being in N.L. But he was already good before the Nationals

WolandJR
3 years 25 days ago

I don’t understand why the nats had to give up anything of value to get Suzuki. Freitas was not a blue chip prospect, but there is a chance he could develop into a bat first type of catcher.

3 years 25 days ago

Agreed. Also, how many minor league catchers are the Athletics going to get from us?

Iconoclast17
3 years 24 days ago

As many as it takes to find one who can hit major league pitching on a consistent basis.;)

ArmlessPenguin
3 years 25 days ago

He’s 23 in single A, and he’s hitting just alright. It’s not like they gave up Joe Mauer, or even Derek Norris.

melonis_rex
3 years 24 days ago

probably because the A’s are eating part of the salary.

WolandJR
3 years 25 days ago

And he has another year and $7 million left on his contract? Rizzo must be trying to buy some more good will in the Asian markets.

LiveFastCyYoung
3 years 25 days ago

Kurt Suzuki is from Hawaii.

thegoldenone
3 years 25 days ago

At A’s fanfest a couple years ago before there trip to Japan. A fan asked him how excited he was to go back to Japan. He was just like umm it will be fun but I’m from Hawaii. There was an awkard laugh by all.

55saveslives
3 years 25 days ago

I’m surprised nobody else claimed him before Nats.

Karkat
3 years 25 days ago

Yeah, considering he had to pass through every other team in the majors except the Reds to get to Washington. Maybe other teams found him to be too pricey. Did the Nats even make a claim or was this a post-clearing trade?

ARod's Ring
3 years 25 days ago

Very good fit. Everyone happy from the last off-season trade = good relationship.

Karkat
3 years 25 days ago

If Suzuki can figure himself back out, this’ll be a steal for Washington. Maybe the change of scenery will do him some good.

3 years 24 days ago

Suzuki has been trying since 2009 to figure himself back out.

halflink123
3 years 24 days ago

Yea pay him $12M to “figure stuff out”

bg7kd
3 years 25 days ago

I don’t understand why we got a catcher…We have Norris and stassi. Susuki has been on the decline since 2009 however i do believe that he will be better then he has been this year. This trade was great for the nationals while we should have traded him in the off-season when his value was a ton higher

Snoochies8
3 years 25 days ago

we also have beau taylor in AA, I think either Stassi is called up since he’s been tearing the cover off the ball or Freitas is jumped to AA.

Either way, catcher is a volatile position, and you can never have enough depth there

Iconoclast17
3 years 24 days ago

Yea and Stassi is far from a sure thing at this point. Young, high-OBP catcher was the perfect return. Good trade all around: The A’s get salary relief next year from Zooks contract and a young catcher w/potential; Nats get a very good defensive catcher who can’t hit. Maybe Kurt will find National League pitching a bit more agreeable.

asovermann
3 years 25 days ago

It’s starting to look like Moneyball is back. Freitas has great on base skills and some pop. He takes a lot of walks and makes a lot of contact.

knowidyuh
3 years 24 days ago

Moneyball isn’t about OBP. It’s about valuing the undervalued. Everyone who follows the A’s knows this, and the other 99% of the population doesn’t. Pitchers who avoid walking batters while consistently missing bats is Beane’s current “Moneyball.”

TrollinPowell
3 years 24 days ago

Everyone but this Twins looks for that.

halflink123
3 years 24 days ago

Yes exactly right, Moneyball is about finding undervalued (pay < performance/vlaue) players

HalfSt
3 years 25 days ago

This certainly means the Nats won’t be re-signing Wil Nieves, which I was expecting.

Snoochies8
3 years 25 days ago

Huh, when I first saw this I immediately thought somebody hacked the A’s twitter account, since that had been happening lately. Then SuSlu and john shea confirmed it and yeah, wow. Congrats to kurt for moving from one contender to another, and congrats to Gio for having his old battery mate join him. Kurt should pick it up in a less pitcher friendly environment

melonis_rex
3 years 24 days ago

Yep. And he’ll get more playing time in Washington than he should logically get with the A’s. It’s a classic win-win-win move.

Snoochies8
3 years 24 days ago

Yep, win for all parties involved, except Freitas, since now he’s lost in a jumble of catching prospects the A’s have: Norris, Stassi, Taylor, Maxwell, Freitas. That’s a good issue to have

Guest
3 years 25 days ago

I thought this might open the door for Anthony Recker to be recalled, but forgot they got Kotteras now. After a pretty brutal May and June, he put up a .919 OPS last month for Sacramento

nocalraiderfan
3 years 24 days ago

Recker is 29 and he stinks. Bring back Norris!

OaklandFan22
3 years 25 days ago

What?

D.j. Wilson
3 years 25 days ago

What the hell? We trade away Kurt to bring in another catcher!? We need a shortstop!

NatFan05
3 years 25 days ago

Great move by Rizzo. Huge upgrade defensively from what the Nationals have had this year and gives Gio a veteran former teammate.

Overall I think it’s a fair deal for both teams. Freitas could definitely be a major league catcher a few years down the road, good mix of offense and defense.

OaklandFan22
3 years 25 days ago

We need a shortstop Billy!

Aaron Klemme
3 years 25 days ago

but the point that needs made again is that Gio gets his old catcher….. gio/kurt was a good combo in OAK and maybe thats what the Nats were wanting to calm Gio down and make him more comfortable having a old mate calling the shots.

mlbscout6
3 years 24 days ago

Nice trade for the A’s. Not sure why the Nat’s don’t just go with Solano as their everyday catcher. He has those natural instincts for catching that I haven’t seen in a prospect since Yadier Molina.

bayinsider
3 years 24 days ago

I can see this being a move in which they add salary now. Suzuki made a lot of money and the timing is a bit weird. They must have a plan

Iconoclast17
3 years 24 days ago

Not weird at all. Suzuki is due to make over $6 million NEXT year and he can’t hit anymore. The A’s will pick up part of that, but still see some savings. This happens to every single A’s vet with a multi year contract with no exception.