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.