Yesterday, the Oakland Athletics struck a deal with the Washington Nationals and acquired their former catcher Kurt Suzuki. The Nationals will obtain Class-A starter Dakota Bacus and the Athletics will also get $995,000 from the Nats as its portion remaining on Suzuki’s 2013 salary. This was a great trade for the Athletics seeing as two out of their three catchers are out with injuries.
John Jaso has been out since July with a concussion injury and Derek Norris broke his toe on Tuesday, which left the A’s with just one catcher, Stephen Vogt, and Josh Donaldson, their third baseman, as their emergency backup catcher. Vogt, who was recalled from Triple-A in July after Jaso suffered his concussion, has been struggling lately. In the last ten games, he has a .185 AVG with only five hits in the last 27 at bats.
Even though Vogt’s season average of .221 is almost identical to Suzuki’s .222 AVG, having Suzuki back on the team puts the Athletics a little more at ease now that they have an actual backup catcher. And even though Vogt has a strong throwing arm, Suzuki is a great defensive catcher and will hopefully be able to round up Ryan Cook’s breaking ball, which Vogt has had trouble catching in the past. Additionally, Vogt bats left handed while Suzuki bats right, which will give the Athletics options depending on who is on the mound for the opposing team.
Suzuki was expected to start in Friday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, however this will to not be the case as seen on the lineup posted by the Oakland Athletics on twitter earlier today.
Suzuki had been with the Athletics from 2007 to 2012 and is beloved by fans and players alike. Even though he will not be starting in Friday’s game, Suzuki and the Oakland Athletics expressed their excitement over twitter yesterday once the news broke that Suzuki will be rejoining the team.
Hello Oakland! Pumped to be back and ready to go make a run at this. Let’s do this!!!!!— Kurt Suzuki (@kurtsuzuki) August 23, 2013
Excited to throw to/shake off @kurtsuzuki when he catches me again.
— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson49) August 23, 2013
— Jarrod Parker (@JarrodBParker) August 23, 2013
— Stomper (@Stomper00) August 23, 2013
Suzuki will not be wearing his old Athletics number – which is now worn by Jed Lowrie – but when he does take the field, he will be donning number 22. This trade will fill the Athletics’ catching void, and Suzuki will hopefully help boost the Athletics over the Texas Rangers to win the AL West in the coming weeks.