Author Topic: Nats Acquire C Kurt Suzuki from A's  (Read 5987 times)

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Offline tomterp

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Re: Nats Acquire C Kurt Suzuki from A's
« Reply #125: August 04, 2012, 06:31:52 PM »
Some more from BP:

Nats catchers have hit pretty poorly this season, posting a collective .236/.295/.353 line. Even worse, the two guys responsible for most of the offensive highlights—Wilson Ramos (.256/.347/.390) and Jhonatan Solano (.294/.333/.529)—are injured. The two catchers on the active roster before the trade—Jesus Flores (.228/.265/.329) and Sandy Leon (.250/.357/.333)—haven’t fared nearly as well. With Ramos out for the season after undergoing multiple knee surgeries to correct a torn meniscus and ACL and Solano nursing a strained oblique, the Nats had some incentive to make a move. Leon will likely be an immediate victim of the trade, along with Triple-A catcher Carlos Maldonado, who was designated for assignment to make room for Suzuki on the 40-man roster.
Suzuki seems like an unlikely candidate to offer any help on offense given that his .200 TAv in 2012 made him the American League’s worst batter (min. 250 PA). (That might explain why no AL teams claimed him when he was placed on waivers.) From 2007-2011, however, Suzuki was an above-average offense catcher, posting a .258 TAv. He’s only 28—though maybe not a young 28, given his workload over the last several seasons—and he’s hit a bit better away from Oakland, so it’s not unreasonable to expect an improvement. After the move was announced, Davey Johnson complimented Suzuki’s “veteran presence,” something in short supply on the Nationals, who have baseball’s youngest pitching staff and third-youngest collection of position players. (He also called Suzuki “a no. 1 catcher,” which suggests that he’ll see the bulk of the playing time behind the plate.) Suzuki lacks playoff experience, but he’ll get some if he can stay healthy for two more months.


In mid-July, shortly after Solano’s started experiencing discomfort, this paragraph appeared in the Washington Times:
One Nationals official, asked this week about the organization's possible desire to deal for a catcher before the trade deadline, brushed that off as speculation because of how comfortable the team is with Flores and how highly they think of not just Solano, but Leon.
Admittedly, the Nats didn’t make a deal for a catcher before the deadline. It took them three additional days. The moral of the story is that no matter what team executives might say about how happy they are with their weak point, they’re almost certainly working on a way to fix it. —Ben Lindbergh