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UPDATE: Athletics reacquire catcher Kurt Suzuki from Nationals

Aug 23, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT

Kurt Suzuki AP

Undoing a trade made a year ago, the A’s have acquired Kurt Suzuki from the Nationals for pitching prospect Dakota Bacus.

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times was the first with the news Thursday night.

With Oakland’s No. 1 (John Jaso), No. 2 (Derek Norris) and No. 4 (Luke Montz) catchers all on the shelf, the A’s needed to find someone to share time with Stephen Vogt. Suzuki makes perfect sense as a stopgap, even though he’s hit just .223/.284/.311 in 251 at-bats for the Nationals this year. He spent six years with the A’s until being dealt last August, and he’s familiar with several of their pitchers.

When the A’s traded Suzuki a year ago, it was primarily a salary dump, and the Nationals wanted him because Wilson Ramos was out with a torn ACL. Ramos had since displaced Suzuki, rendering him expendable once again. Suzuki will be a free agent at season’s end. His $8.5 million club option is sure to be declined, leaving him with a $650,000 buyout.

The ironic twist in this is that the Suzuki acquisition will cost David Freitas his chance to join the A’s, at least for now. Freitas was the prospect the A’s got from the Nationals for Suzuki last year, and he was in line for the callup should Norris go on the DL with his fractured toe.

Bacus, 22, was Oakland’s ninth-round pick in the 2012 draft. He was 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA and a 90/38 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings for low Single-A Beloit this season. He wasn’t considered one of Oakland’s top 8-10 pitching prospects.

  1. aceshigh11 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Fair or not, this is the first thing that comes to mind whenever Suzuki’s name is mentioned…

    • someguyinva - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      I know what you mean; whenever I hear Whitey Ford’s name, I immediately think of Sam Elliot narrating commercials for Dodge.

  2. Joe - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Time for the Ban-O-Matic 2100 to dispense of clyde here.

    • sumerduckman - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      How about eight hungry lions.

    • missthemexpos - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Can the Ban-O-Matic put the Blue Jays out of their misery for the balance of this season?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        how about put them out of their misery forever? Lets face it, its never going to get better

  3. 18thstreet - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Interesting to note that Tom Boswell, who has repeatedly carried water for Mike Rizzo, wrote a piece complimenting Wilson Ramos earlier this week:

    The piece mostly made the point that Nationals’ pitchers are better with Ramos behind the plate than Suzuki. The analysis seemed pretty good to me — especially by Boswell standards. (Boswell specializes in cherry-picking whatever statistics prove his point, so I’m skeptical whenever he writes with numbers.) But this seemed reasonable to me.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      At least, Boswell took pains to acknowledge the limitations of catcher ERA.

      There’s been no question that Wilson Ramos is the starter, and is expected to be the starter for seasons to come. The question has been, can he stay on the field? Kurt Suzuki is a nice backup catcher who was brought to Washington, and played more than he should have, because of injuries. He’s going back to Oakland for the same reason. Best wishes to him.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    I always thought he was from Japan, so when they did an interview with him on Intentional Talk, I was expecting to have to decipher a heavy far east accent, but then he starting speaking California Surfer Dude.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      He’s from Hawaii.

      • Gamera the Brave - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Does that make deathmonkey half-right?

      • APBA Guy - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Correct, he grew up in the same vicinity as Victorino.

        The reality is that the A’s are in trouble, despite their 2 game lead in the WC. The offense is sputtering, the kid pitchers who looked good last year (and threw so many innings) are sputtering, and they seem lifeless in comparison to last year.

        I’m sure most of you did not watch Bob Melvin’s news conference after Wednesday’s loss to Seattle, but it wasn’t pretty. Paraphrasing: that game was a microcosm of everything the A’s are currently doing wrong.

        But the owners are extraordinarily cheap. Attendance is up, revenue sharing is guaranteed, but the A’s could not/would not make a move for a middle infielder or an OF bat, so this Suzuki move is the kind of marginal thing the G & P Beane will have to try to make a positive nudge to the faltering direction of the team.

        Kurt is a high energy guy who can manage the pitchers in-game. Despite his ,580 OPS, which doesn’t figure to get better in the AL, he’s overall a net gain for the A’s.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        But Mr Trump tells us that when people say they were born in Hawaii it means they were really born in Kenya, or perhaps Norway, or that it means we can never be sure where they were born. And Mr Trump would never, ever lie. Ever.

    • jwbiii - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      He’s from Maui and went to CS Fullerton, so he might actually be a surfer dude.

  5. sayheysayhey - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I wrote a quick article on how I’m happy ramos get most of the time now check it out here…

  6. Conner012367 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Funny how no one as noticed that they misspelled Athletics by leaving out the letter L

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