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Nats acquire Suzuki from A’s

Aug 3, 2012, 6:59 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Kurt Suzuki was hitting .218 with one homer and 13 RBI in 75 games with Oakland.

Updated at 4:55 p.m.

Though he expressed confidence all along in his current catching crew and didn’t feel the need to acquire a veteran, rental backup for Jesus Flores, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo did clarify he would be willing to make a deal if a player signed for multiple years was available.

Rizzo found that player today, acquiring Kurt Suzuki from the Athletics in exchange for minor league David Freitas, a move that brings a veteran, starting catcher to a a first-place club that has been beset with injuries at the position all season.

Suzuki, 28, was hitting only .218 with one homer, 13 RBI and .250 on-base percentage in 75 games with Oakland this season, but he’s thrown out 38 percent of basestealers and according to manager Davey Johnson will provide “more veteran presence” during a pennant race.

Johnson described Suzuki as “a No. 1 catcher,” and Rizzo said he was acquired to be a part of not only this year’s pennant contenders but next year’s as well. The career .254 hitter and strong handler of pitching staffs is still due about $1.8 million for the remainder of this season and will make $6.45 million in 2013, but the A’s are picking up an unspecified amount of his contract.
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  1. baseballjones - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    No me gusta.

  2. blovy8 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Bah. The guy hasn't even been an average ML hitter once. I guess he can still throw though.

  3. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Mark – a questionmlbtraderumors says the As provided "cash considerations" as well–any idea how much of his salary they're picking up?Hard to say how much I gusta this trade otherwise–he's owed a lot of $$.

  4. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Iffy. Love Flores and he has give his all this season, has a very good relationship with the pitchers. I appreciate the need for a veteran, and for being able to catch people stealing. I know that he and Gio already have a relationship. But – he is hitting .218 and will have no clue as to our other four pitchers or the hitters in the nl. I see that as a big downside at this point of the season. I don't think he should walk in and be the #1 catcher – he has some serious homework to do.

  5. 704ee192-d59b-11e1-b06c-000bcdcb2996 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    HiramWe pick up what is left of his slary for this year which is about 1.3 – 1.5 mil I think I saw.- Wadlez

  6. 704ee192-d59b-11e1-b06c-000bcdcb2996 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Its actually 1.8 million- Wadlez

  7. Me - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Not sure I understand this one. Mild upgrade due to veteran status I guess? But next year we'll be stuck with him and a presumably healthy Ramos. Not to mention Flores.

  8. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Billy Beane just loves the Nats farm system. This makes # 5 and two of them are catchers.

  9. pdowdy83 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Blovy, did you look at Suzuki's numbers before making that comment? He posted a .734 OPS in '09 and has averaged 14 homers a season between '09-11. No he isn't a beast with the bat but he is a good defensive catcher with pop in his bat. Maybe a change of scenery helps. Its not like Flo has done anything with the bat either this year and he has a weak arm. Not the best option but if the cash considerations the A's sent cover a good portion of his contract I don't hate the move.

  10. Tcostant - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    I like Flores as a back-up, he just has played to much this year. I saw Romas just had surgry, not sure why he waited, and "hoped" he would be ready for the spring. This move might me more about Romas net year than Flores this year. I'm just saying…

  11. Timothy Folk - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I love.. can't stand Flores at the plate.. So maybe the switch from the AL is good for Suzuki.. Was at the game last night Leon did good will miss him..

  12. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    WadlezHis contract covers next year and has a buyout for 2014, adding up to at least ~$7M more.

  13. pdowdy83 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    TCostant, that was a 2nd surgery for Ramos I believe. They had to wait to do it.

  14. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Tcostant – Ramos actually had to have two surgeries. They had to wait for swelling to go down from the first one to do the second one. Not his choice at all. He was in the clubhouse this week and is rehabbing well. That is one guy that has been through and awful lot in the last year.

  15. 704ee192-d59b-11e1-b06c-000bcdcb2996 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    HiramI am aware, i was just referring to what we owned for the rest of this season ;)- Wadlez

  16. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Timothy Folk – I get what you are saying. But how does a 28 year old catcher from the al catch up with all of our pitchers and all of the nl hitters coming up when he is totally in the dark about all of them? Except for Gio. Not like he came from the NL East or even the NL. That's just a lot of catching up to do in August. For anybody.

  17. 704ee192-d59b-11e1-b06c-000bcdcb2996 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Suzuki had to pass by every other team except the Reds through waivers before we could claim and trade for him.. that is shocking to me..- Wadlez

  18. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    WadlezSorry, thought you were trying to answer my question–which was not how much he's owed each yr (Mark gave the #s) but how much of it the Nats have to pick up.

  19. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    I like this move for two reasons1. Suzuki is a proven defensive catcher who has worked with a good pitching staff for the past 4 years. Gio will be an excellent help in this transition.2. Flores will play better with more rest. He gave us a great deal but you could just see him getting beat up back there and while it was not all his fault, it was like a track meet on the basebpaths.I like that we have control of this player for actually 2 more years. There is a buyout clause in 2014 but if he does well and Ramos' knee is proven to be an issue we are in good shape. He does not turn 29 until Oct so he is not old. Until this year he caught over 130 games in each of the last 4 seasons so he is also durable.pdowdy mentioned pop but what caught my eye was his 84 rbi in 09 which led the A's so I am guessing you can also use the word clutch. How can you argue with this move when most of the posters here were talking about "b" level catchers and Koyie Hill just a few days ago.Go Nats!!

  20. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I was just wondering about the post- July 31st trade. I remember hearing about the long process involved past that date. Guess it wasn't actually hard after all. And no rumors during that time. How is that possible?

  21. Positively Half St. - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I was surprised to see that Flores's offensive stats aren't any better (by oWAR) than Suzuki's, and that Flores has not had even one season in which he accounted for even 1.0 WAR. Suzuki has historically done better than that a number of times, up to 4+ WAR in a season. He also is apparently a scrapper, and of course has caught Gio before.+1/2St.

  22. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Swami, do you really think it will take that long for him to "catch up" as you put it? This young man is not a rookie and has been in interleague play for the last five years so he knows more then you probably imagine. How much did Leon or Solano know about NL hitters when they were rushed up from the minors? This guy has started for the last four years in the major leagues, I think he will be ok.Go Nats

  23. Timothy Folk - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    I don't really care about his age to much in this situation. Ramos is the guy next year but not sure about bending the knee on ACL with catchers so Suzuki is perfect to ease Ramos back. I also look at it like this Baseball is Baseball the signs can't possibly be that different and if a vet can't pick up a few signs he shouldn't be in the show regardless. We play basically every single day until the season's over plenty time to build chemistry if not bring Sand Man back. We'll need all the defense we can when Stead goes down playoffs require D and Flo just doesn't have it

  24. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Sorry folks; this had to be done. The Phills track meet the other night (yes I know a lot of it is on Stras) included Cliff Lee stealing 2nd base. This gives Leon the proper opportunity to develop into a top flight catcher without the pressures of a pennant race. The comments about the offense are pretty much irrelevant. Anything you get from this position is gravy; you have to receive, throw and handle the pitching staff; that's what's important.

  25. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Whatever – I will be a good little Nats fan, get used to the idea and support him because that's what we do. Right? Hope the team rolls with it. They have not dealt with transitions well this season.

  26. 704ee192-d59b-11e1-b06c-000bcdcb2996 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Cool, Zuck says the A's are picking up some salary- Wadlez

  27. Timothy Folk - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    What I meant about age thing is we need vets I'm not sure his playoff experience but we need consistent defensive effort during this push. Plus to much youth just gets people fired

  28. karlkolchak - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    @baseballswami – it "wasn't hard" because no other team wants to take on Suzuki at his salary. That said, I'll trust that Rizzo knows what he's doing, though I must say this makes me a little nervous about what the team thinks of Ramos's chances to come back strong out of the gate next year.

  29. MicheleS - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    JD.. agree, we needed another veteran catcher (not that I don't love our baby nats catchers – billy beane loves them too). And JFlo is just taking a beating back there. If they do a 3/2 split on the pitchers, then it will help both Suzuki and JFlo.

  30. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    "Not sure I understand this one."Me, neither, but I know zilch about the guy. If Stras, Stammen, et. al., don't change their stretch games, this guy isn't going to throw out anybody, either. The Nats must have questions about Flo's arm, because he doesn't seem to offer much of an upgrade, if any, in any other area. Nobody else wanted the guy, which is the only reason we were able to get him. Not much of a recommendation. I would guess the Nats will offer an explanation.We did not pay much for him. Freitas is a good hitter, but not much with the glove, and we have added a couple more catchers in the low minors who can easily fill in behind him.

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    This definitely provides the catching depth we were all so concerned about. Another shrewed move by Rizzo.

  32. Timothy Folk - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Watch some YouTube videos he's pretty decent. Whole team can't be Harper's or Morse's

  33. Swift Eagle - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    This is a move that fits the mantra of "helps this year and long term" I'm really concerned about Ramos being ready next year…I'm not sure it's even possible for a catcher to return from an ACL injury. I can't think of anyone who has….

  34. blovy8 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    No. Suzuki has been slightly below average offensively every year, when you measure his slugging and on-base percentage against ML average. Best was a 95 ops which is not 100. That's ok for a catcher, but it was also 2009 when even that last happened. It's just money, but it'll be a lot of outs. Frankly, I think Leon deserves a longer look than this guy, but I guess they're really worried about stolen bases.Norris may not be ready this year, but I'd sure rather have him.

  35. BallstonNat - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Swift Eagle - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Better be careful judging Suzuki by just his stats…He's going from AL to NL and no longer has to play in a stadium that makes even T.Millone an ace…I bet he's a little better than those numbers suggest

  37. BallstonNat - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Good move. Good catcher, good teammate. He will know the pitchers by the time he gets out of the pen with them. Too bad he won't be here to catch Gio tonight.

  38. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    I'd rather have Norris too, but that would mean we wouldn't have Gio. This was a good move. We have lots of catcher depth with Leon and Solano in the minors. In fact, with all the injuries, we've done really really well at that position. What we don't have is a catcher who can throw out basestealers in the pressure of a pennant race. With Suzuki here, Flores can go back to being a backup, which I think he's shown by now is a better role for him. But he'll be a backup that you can play more than Davey was willing ot play Leon or Solano. So everyone's better off.

  39. Section 222 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    What I don't get is why Billy Beane wanted another catcher from us. Isn't there anyone else in our system who we would have been willing to give up? Was their system so bereft of catcher depth before last off season?

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Derek….think Buster Posey.

  41. Swift Eagle - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Great point 222… Davey has shown he knows how to put guys in their proper roles..I'm convinced the biggest reason for the success of Bernadina and Lombo has been the way Davey has used them…He will do the same with the catchers, and the team will be better off

  42. rogieshan - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Flores can't be a happy camper today, but this was a necessary move done without sacrificing a high-end prospect. Freitas does seem like a prototypical moneyball player and a good fit for the A's.

  43. Swift Eagle - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Jack, was Buster an ACL? I thought it was a broken leg, not sure…and even Buster has had to play at 1B some this year…

  44. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Yeah, well if you think Flo is unhappy, Maldonado just got DFA's to make room on the 40 man. Domino effect.

  45. Schumatrix - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I'll take a slightly below average offensive catcher for what we have now. Leon was too green, and Flo was getting really beat up and was giving us less than our pitchers at times at the dish. So I'm good with this, I'm not paying the players, so money really doesn't concern me.

  46. pdowdy83 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Blovy, you are basing him being below average on the ML average instead of the ML average for a catcher? What sense does that make? You even said "that's ok for a catcher" but then continued to put him down. I'm not saying Suzuki is a star but Leon and Solano, while intriguing both need a bit more grooming in the minors. With the aforementioned duo and Ramos I don't see where Freitas is a big piece of the puzzle in the future. Suzuki simply provides a solid defensive catcher, with a bit of pop, to cover the rest of this season and possibly some of next year with Ramos' knee being a bit of a question mark.What does Derek Norris have to do with anything?

  47. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Posey had a very serious leg/ankle injury involving breaks and ligament damage. He should be comeback player of the year in 2012. Horrible injury. Apparently Ramos is coming along nicely — from reports this week when he was in the clubhouse. I guess now he will be motivated to work out in the off season. He has competition.

  48. blovy8 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    He may also be done as a hitter with the direction his numbers are going, and Beane just dumped his salary on us. Still, I guess it's worth a shot to see if he can slow other teams down comparatively, but it is a lot about the pitchers. His numbers are bound to look good since he won't have to catch Henry.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    You 're right but I believe there was some ACL damage.

  50. Schumatrix - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Also Suzuki's dWar (per Baseball Reference) has been better than Flo's every year he's played. He's had a dWar over 1 on more than one occasion. This is a good move, especially from a team that's 29th of 30 in throwing out base runners.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Another great thing about Suzuki is that Gio loves him.

  52. hiramhover - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Putting aside the question of future $$$ commitments, this certainly makes sense for this year.Defensively, Suzuki's an upgrade–absolutely no question.Offensively, he's a wash, maybe a mild upgrade over Flores. Flo's overall stats are marginally better (wRC+ of 51 vs Suzuki's 46) but Suzuki clearly does better on the road, where he's slashing .256/.281/.316, with a wRC+ of 64.

  53. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Paging JayB……

  54. blovy8 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Ultimately that is the problem, that Flores' isn't throwing guys out. I don't think the defensive metrics for catchers are all that great, but BRef says Suzuki is a below replacement player this year despite the defense. You don't want to pay millions for that going forward.

  55. sjm308 - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    I just remember the weeping and gnashing of teeth with the Gio move. It just takes some time for people to adjust. Swami, I love your insight and comments so don't get all pouty on us. I just think this was needed and I am pretty sure the reason he cleared waivers is the same reason Cliff Lee cleared. No one wanted to touch his 14 million for the next two years. In reality that 2nd year is an option but its still a lot of money and yes, he is having a down year from what he has done in the past. I just like his defense.

  56. Schumatrix - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Plus, we didn't really give up anything for him. We have the richest owner in baseball, why are we worried about $$$?

  57. JD - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Blovy8,There is no denying that Suzuki is having a terrible offensive year especially at home. It's not just the throwing although that is certainly an issue but also the receiving. Leon especially has not caught a lot of simple pitches and this is critical when you want your pitcher to throw nasty pitches in game situations.

  58. pRAA - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Good thing JimBo's not still GM. He'd have traded for Ichiro Suzuki.

  59. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Flores is a lot like my first wife. Great at first, but I wore her down. Same thing with Flo. He's just beat to s—. His hitting has tailed off. Defensively, he's OK but he hasn't thrown out a runner in a month. He's been nicked up pretty good back there too. Only reason he's catching six out of seven games is that Sandy "E-2" Leon is hardly ready for prime time. Good move by Rizzo.Heck, yeah, this is about winning it all this year. 2013 is a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g way away.As somebody once said around here, "The future is now."

  60. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    I'll be shocked if, with the Nats' pitchers, he throws out anywhere close to 38 percent of baserunners. For one thing, it may be that the AL just doesn't run as much. (Haven't checked that but it seems logical.) If he gets close to 25 percent the improvement will be noticeable.Leon acquitted himself quite well and, subject to the timing and degree of Ramos's recovery, the competition in ST should be very interesting. If Suzuki is decent, and because he's under contract for another season (or two), it opens the door to trading Flores in the off season.

  61. howl31 - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Don't see how anyone can criticize this move… We have up a low level minor leaguer unlikely to ever make our club for a guy that can help us right now during our playoff drive and potentially the post season… The fact that he can possibly provide depth in 2013 should Ramos not come back right away is just a bonus… Good move in my book despite his cost

  62. blovy8 - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    True, Leon has missed quite a few, which seems odd given the rep. I don't disagree, it's just that this seems like a salary dump and the effect may be a wash since Leon is having good atbats and is more likely to be part of the future if his defense improves. No time for that at the moment, however. I guess this is not much different than Soto would have been except in salary.

  63. baseballswami - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    sjm308- I'm good, catching up. I am fiercely loyal so it takes me a while. Of course, Gio loves him – Gio loves everyone! Probably talking the guy up right now – well, maybe not to flo.

  64. blovy8 - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Yeah, before we go crazy for Suzuki's ability, Ramos only threw 17 % of the baserunners out before he got hurt this year, and he had a much better percentage last year. Part of it has to be how tough it is to score against the pitching this year, so steals come into play more when they do get someone on. That'll be more important as the year progresses, I would imagine.

  65. Section 3, My Sofa - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Nobody knows how Wilson Ramos will be when he comes back. Nobody knows when that will be. They HOPE he'll be back where he was, eventually. They hope for spring training. Nobody knows. So they needed to do something. Suzuki is better than Leon, so they got better. Freitas wasn't going to get you Buster Posey.

  66. NatsFanSinceStart - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    that's gratitude for you.Flores has been beaten up, bruised, abused, and battered — never complaining, this excellent defensive catcher has been lauded as an excellent receiver for our staff.Yet, Rizzo acquires Suzuki and declares him #1 — Jesus, go back to the bench — oh, and thanks for coming.So let me get my arms around this one: Flores is a great receiver, but Rizzo acquired a weak hitting, defensive specialist — TO REPLACE FLORES??? I just don't get the lack of confidence or faith in a catcher who has guided the second best pitching staff in the majors, with two all-stars and a National league pitcher of the month — yet this .215, 1 hr, catcher is ready to step in as the #1 right now?I don't get it. At any rate, the Nationals and Rizzo are showing a lack of baseball knowledge, not to mention a definitive lack of CLASS.

  67. waddu eye no - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    uh – did he say "a" number one catcher, or "our" number one catcher?

  68. SCNatsFan - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I like it; Leon may be a nice guy but picture what happens if Flores gets hurt. As for next year, well, lets worry about that next year. Flores has to have seen his effectiveness drop as the season went on, and as it will only get hotter he'll drag more. If he is concerned about the team and not himself then he'll see it as a good move.

  69. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Flores is a beaten guy right now. He has nothing offensively and his defense has been below average.Letting him go back to the bench will benefit him and the team in the long run.

  70. Kevin - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    It's indisputable that opposing teams run with impunity on our catchers. I love Flores and how he's played through a lot of bruises, but if Suzuki can stop the track meet on the bases, I'm all for it.

  71. JayB - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    uh….yea….might have mentioned that a few times Njack…..waited too long to react to the obvious…..Kind of Rizzo's MO

  72. rogieshan - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    The fact is two young, inexperienced AA/AAA catchers have outperformed Flores over the last couple months, and this trend had to stop or Davey would be faced with a difficult decision about who he plays down the stretch and into post-season. Tough pill for Flores to swallow, but at least he is spared from a bigger humiliation of losing his number one job to a rookie, and the GM is sending a clear message to the rest of the team that management is all in for this year.

  73. #4 - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Not much to add other than to say people should not discount the value of a guy who has proven he can produce at the big league level. Suzuki has put up solid offensive numbers in the past.Also remember that the break even point on stealing bases is 75%. If Suzuki can throw out just 25% of the runners he'll be doing his job.

  74. SFNats - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    No one is happier today than Gio Gonzalez. Glad to have Zook in a Nats uniform. If nothing else, he can throw out baserunners, and he's a lot better hitter than he's shown this season. He handle a lot of those pitches that have been getting to the backstop, too. Very good move by Rizzo.

  75. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    The only thing I can add is that JayB acts like Rizzo woke up this morning and said "I think I'll get that catcher we need today". He's been working on getting an experienced catcher since the day Ramos went down, no matter what anybody's heard. These moves aren't made in a vaccuum. The move was made when it became a workable deal and that happened to be today.

  76. JayB - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Not saying that he did not know what was needed….saying he over values his own players and waits until loses that could have been avoided mount. This trade or one like it should have been made earlier….like 45 days ago…even if the cost was higher.

  77. Drew - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    I like this as a move to bolster the defense — particularly to slow the running game. The young catchers can hit, but Sandy Leon let a few too many roll through the wickets.

  78. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    How high?

  79. JayB - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    No an issue Njack….cost would not have been so high it would cripple the long term effort. Money is not a issue…they have more than enough and winning will bring in more and more profit.ANY cost in prospects could easily be replaced by just a honest effort in the International Market….Chapman to the REDS and Yoenis Céspedes to the A's…..getting out bid by to low budget small markets like that is a joke and look at the payoff they are getting from that.

  80. Charlie Gray - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    I am an A's die hard, and a Suzuki fan. What Kurt lacks with a bat in his hand. He makes up for in every other facet of his game. You guys got a great deal. I can't believe Beane sent MONEY ALSO! You won this deal…hands down. You will see. I'm not happy about this. With such a young pitching staff in Oakland I think Beane maybe made a mistake to do this so close to the playoffs. Congrats…overlook the bat, and be kind…he's a hell of a guy, and quietly a fantastic catcher.

  81. Charlie Gray - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    I might add…that bat was JUST starting to warm up.He took a pitch directly on the same bone in his hand in April that put Cespedes on the shelf for nearly 3 weeks. He's tough as they come…never missed a start. Against the weaker pitching you guys often face…he will do much better. He has a lot of pride, and something yo prove now.

  82. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    But that's where you lose me. First place team has a plan for long term sustenance. The move was made when all things came together without disrupting team chemistry, while costing a minimal price and bolstering a playoff run.A brilliant move by the soon to be "Executive of the Year".

  83. JayB - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    We shall see….he is better than Jimbo

  84. natsfan1a - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    I like the move. Had read a little bit about the guy on my various trips to visit family in the SFO Bay Area. Interesting family back story. I believe his grandparents were in a US internment camp back in the day.

  85. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    "Better than Jimbo" is a pretty low bar.

  86. JayB - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    One reason I am so ready to win…..fans have paid the price of Learners incompetence….spending just a small fraction of the profits they have pocketed to date would give us Chapman, a deep bench and a stable of International talent in the pipeline….I am not content with risking wins to save money.

  87. Section 135 - Aug 4, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Anyone who thinks we should have gone into the playoffs with Flores and Leon has not watched any games this year. I would bet that offensively, Flores leads the team in runners stranded, and his ability to throw out runners is awful. Leon is a double A catcher who would never be here were it not for injuries. Considering many here want Torrealba, we got a much better player in the end.

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Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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