Kurt Suzuki Returning to Oakland

Jason O. Watson

The A's appear to have solved their search for a catcher by reuniting with an old friend.

It was going to take something very big to dislodge son of ptbarnum's fantastic article from the top slot on the front page.  I'd say an acquisition is pretty big.

Suzuki was sent to the Nationals roughly 55 weeks ago for David FreitasGeorge Kottaras and Derek Norris platooned at the catcher position for the rest of the 2012 season.

A pitching prospect is reportedly being sent to the Nationals.  The A's sent Ian Krol to the Nats during the offseason, and they sent A.J. Cole back as well in part of the three-way deal that brought John Jaso to the East Bay.  Cole had been acquired in the 2011-12 offseason as part of the Gio Gonzalez deal.

After OPSing between 84 and 97 for the first four seasons in his career, things have taken a turn for the worse for Suzuki at the plate since then.  He has hit just .231/.279/.322 since the start of 2012.  He has homered 9 times since the start of 2012 after posting 15, 13 and then 14 longballs a year from 2009 to 2011.  His lone A's homer last season, from the final game of the Yankee sweep on July 22, is depicted above.

While offense has never really been his forte, I think Kurt brings quite a bit to the table.  He has a penchant for preventing wild pitches and he knows most of the pitching staff quite well.  His game calling has always been praised.  I personally thought he was great with Tommy Milone, and Tomaso's game logs from last April through July could be used as evidence to prove that.

While Suzuki isn't what most would call an ideal catcher to have in a pennant race, the A's at least know what they'll be getting out of him and he brings the game calling, familiarity with the pitchers and wild pitch prevention to the table.  Luckily, his bat will presumably be at the bottom of the lineup rather than around the cleanup post that he held for a couple of years.

Federal Baseball does not have an article up on the trade.  If they do, I'll be sure to link to it.  They're a good bunch over there.  UPDATE: Here it is.

In all, for a fourth-string catcher, the A's could do a lot worse.

Jerry Blevins will no longer be the longest-tenured member of the team, and Chris Young will not have the lowest wRC+ (minimum 100 PAs).

Here's to a good road trip!

UPDATE: The player headed to the Nationals' organization is Dakota Bacus.

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