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Suzuki traded to A’s for pitching prospect

Aug 23, 2013, 1:16 AM EDT

MLB: Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers

CHICAGO — The Nationals acquired Kurt Suzuki from the Athletics last August to help fill the void created by Wilson Ramos' torn ACL, and the veteran catcher responded by becoming a key part of a division championship roster.

One year later, with Ramos fully healthy and firmly establishing himself as the club's long-term answer behind the plate, the Nationals are sending Suzuki back to Oakland, where he may get a chance to help that club reach the postseason.

The Nationals dealt Suzuki to the A's late Thursday night, a club source confirmed. The trade was first reported by the Washington Times.

The Nationals acquired right-handed pitcher Dakota Bacus from the A's in exchange for Suzuki. Bacus, who will report to Hagerstown of the Single-A South Atlantic League, joins the Nationals after going 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA (48 ER/121.1 IP) in 26 games/21 starts for Beloit of the Single-A Midwest League. Bacus ranked 7th in ERA and tied for 8th in wins among A's farm hands.

Because the trade took place after the July 31 deadline, Suzuki would have needed to clear waivers or else be claimed by Oakland. That's the same process that brought him to Washington one year ago, when the first-place Nationals were desperate for catching help with Ramos rehabbing from a torn ACL and Jesus Flores struggling with a heavy workload.
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  1. Teddy Rochlis - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    WHAT, what a shocker! Sorry to see you go Zuk, you were an expensive stop gap but helped none the less.

  2. Depot Master - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Thanks for the positive influence, Zuk. You were all class, and will be missed. I wonder now if we get catching help from TB in exchange for DeJesus.

  3. Kirbs - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Wow….hope Wilson's hammy is 100%. But I think this is the admission that its over.

  4. Depot Master - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    If they do trade DeJesus to TB, PLEASE let it be for Curt Casali!

  5. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    I really, really liked Suzuki, for a lot of reasons. He helped the Nats and the young pitching staff when they really needed it. I like the As, too, and I hope Kurt helps them out as much as he helped the Nats by filling in for Ramos.But Kurt was expensive for a backup who didn't figure to play all that much. Rizzo may be clearing salary space to make a big FA play in the off-season. He won't be paying $13 mn for Haren next year, either.We won't have to wait any longer than 1 pm Friday to find out how the De Jesus story plays out.The off-season has started early for Mike Rizzo and the Nats. I expect to see a lot of changes by next spring.

  6. Drew - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Good luck Zuk.The Nats' season is pretty easy to understand. They're not a bad club, they're just not as good as the excellent playoff-bound teams.The Nats are a combined 11-28 against the Braves, Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals and Reds.They're 52-36 against everyone else.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    I believe A's had back to back games where catcher went down with an injury after collision at home.Best wishes to A's and Suzuki!I would like a left-handed hitting catcher this off-season if possible.

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    John Jaso is the only one comes to mind but I doubt he would be available.

  9. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    Looks like the pitcher we got is a guy named Dakota Bacus. He's 22, has a 3.56 ERA over 121.1 innings this year in A-Ball. He's supposed to have some upside, but he's been slow to develop. Seems like a decent get for Kurt Suzuki.

  10. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:41 AM

    yeah, just saw that. another reliever I guess.

  11. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Not sure. He's been a reliever, he's closed and he's started. He started 16 games this year, relieved 10 and closed 3. I guess that gives the Nats some flexibility in how they want to use him.

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    22 YO at single A, without any sparking numbers. we have no information on his pitches. without that, I would assume he is big leaguer reliever at best which is not a bad get for Suzuki. I just hope we got salary relief from this deal (i.e. not sending any money over to OAK).

  13. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    Kurt Suzuki ‏@kurtsuzuki 27sThank u nats fans for the love and support! I enjoyed every minute. First class org. It's a business and now it's time to go get that ring.Kurt Suzuki ‏@kurtsuzuki nowHello Oakland! Pumped to be back and ready to go make a run at this. Let's do this!!!!!

  14. Leeeba - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    Disappointed….

  15. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    My mind is effectively blown. Does Mike Rizzo ever sleep?

  16. Joe Seamhead - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Class act. I appreciate the time and service that he gave, especially last year.Wish him all the best!

  17. Positively Half St. - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Suzuki served us well, but I hope Dakota Bacus can pull a Tanner Roark and become a big-league Nat after a coming in a very minor trade. It's interesting how tangled the web of catcher trades is becoming between these two teams.We send Norris (and AJ Cole, others) to Oakland for Gio. We send David Freitas to Oakland for Suzuki. We send Morse to Seattle to get AJ Cole back, and Oakland gets another catcher in the 3-way, John Jaso. Jaso gets hurt this year, so we send Suzuki back to Oakland.I think we have run out of catchers to send to the A's, but Jhonatan Solano might want to get some travel guides for Northern California, just in case.

  18. Doc - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    Maybe the best backup C in MLB. Given his salary, I doubt that he'll be a sought after signing in '14.Good luck, Zuk!!!!

  19. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    So can we expect the return of the Onion tonight?? I really do like his energy. And I think his brother is a Marlin. Family Reunion. But Gio will be sad and he pitches tonight.

  20. ExposedinDC - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:03 AM

    Good luck Zuk….. Not sure about Ramos being fully healthy like the article reads….but here's hoping.

  21. MicheleS - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    Dang! Good Luck Kurt, good guy, good teammate.

  22. Doc - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    So wad's up with Donnie Murphy, hitting more HR's in the past week than he's hit in the past 3 years?Has he been visiting Biogenesis under an assumed name?Due to the hitting coach Rick Shu's incompetence yesterday, the Nats were only 3 for 12 with RISP! LOL

  23. David Proctor - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Suzuki said the Nationals were on the bus after their game against the Cubs and pulling up at the team plane when he got pulled off the bus. “Mike Rizzo came back and said, ‘Don’t get on the plane, you’re staying here,’ ” Suzuki said. “Everyone was looking at me like, ‘What?!’ ”http://blog.sfgate.com/athletics/2013/08/22/kurt-suzuki-returning-to-as/

  24. RickH - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Good luck, Kurt!

  25. baseballswami - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    Drama, drama, drama.

  26. rogieshan - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    I bet for a very brief moment Suzuki and everyone on the team bus thought he was the PTBNL for DeJesus.

  27. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Wow. I did not see that coming. Will miss him. Good luck to Kurt and to the A's.

  28. natsfan1a - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    No, and Mark doesn't either: "Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 1:16 AM" baseballswami said… My mind is effectively blown. Does Mike Rizzo ever sleep? August 23, 2013 6:30 AM

  29. LoveDaNats - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Best of luck, Zuk! Baseball certainly keeps you on your toes. Players and fans.

  30. JaneB - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    I'm so grateful we had you Kurt. Thank you for being a class act all the way. I hope you have a great fall and more with the As. These moves are just wacky. The onion is cheaper for notice worse results. The piece on ERA differential between Kurt and Wilson was pretty shocking though.

  31. James Joyce - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Oh man, now who is going to supply the gnarly reggae at Nats Park??

  32. hiramhover - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    I like Zook and wish him the best–he'll be missed personally, but his production won't be.

  33. Nats 128 - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Once Rizzo made sure Zuk wasnt getting his 113 starts to avoid that $8.5 million 2014 salary he became a catcher in demand.Now then, he is still due over $1 million for the remainder of the season. Will the A's pay that or require the Nats do plus there appears to be a buyout for next year.

  34. hiramhover - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    So in his last appearance with the team, Suzuki entered the game in the 10th inning as a pinch runner. How many catchers can say that?!

  35. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    The A's are even less likely than the Nats were to pick up Suzuki's club option for 2014. Don't be surprised to see Rizzo go after him as a FA for next year's backup job.

  36. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    I notice that the Washington Post hasn't reported this news yet. I guess Jeff Bezos determined that it didn't qualify for the Free SuperSaver Shipping. Perhaps they'll provide a tracking number when it goes out via Standard Shipping (5-7 business days).

  37. Nats 128 - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Real, hes making $6.5 million this year. How much do you think a team will offer him in 2014 as a FA. Hard to believe the Nats would pay him a couple million to be a backup.

  38. Nats 128 - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Was just watching MLB hilights and for the 2nd night in a row Roger Bernadina is celebrating a walkoff. How crazy is that or rather how disgusting that its the Phillies.

  39. Greg Jones - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    Shocked to see Zuk go and even though he was a fan favorite, it is truly a business decision.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    When the Nats got SuZuki last year it was a salary dump by the A's. Now that his option won't kick in, the A's want him back. Kind of ironic.Suzuki was productive when he played a couple times a week. He was durable to go everyday but then his stats nosedived. I think most teams will view him as a 1a type and that will work with many teams that would play him 3 times a week.

  41. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Kilgore (?) says Nats "content" w/ Soltano as backup next year. Based on his scant use on Ramos's last trip to the DL, I don't believe that. However, the list of FA catchers for 2014 is dismal. Most of 'em older'n Satchel Paige. The one that stands out — as a backup — is a Molina (Jose). I wouldn't mind having him on my team.

  42. Candide - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Nats 128, don't feel to bad about Roger; he had nothing to do with that walk off. Oh for four, 2 Ks, 3 LOB, 1 LOB with RISP.He hasn't learned to hit yet; still a three-tools guy.

  43. Steady Eddie - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Looks like Zuk will be starting for the As just up the road in Balmer tonight. More irony.

  44. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Awww, man… Sad to see Zook go.. Really liked him… Wish him nothing but the best in Oakland!C is a need for us next year as WR has proven he cant stay healthy… We have to do something… Be interesting the moves that are made…

  45. Steady Eddie - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Speaking of backup catchers, does anyone have the skinny on why Sandy Leon is hitting sub-Mendoza line at Harrisburg this year? He did really well (.322/.396/.460 in 64 games mostly at AA/AAA) in the minors last year, and pretty well considering in his dozen games in DC, with supposed the best catching skills of our prospects. Wha happen?

  46. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    "Hard to believe the Nats would pay him a couple million to be a backup."They paid Pudge Rodriguez $6M for two years to basically be a backup/mentor for Flores and Ramos, so a couple million for Suzuki to back up Ramos is not far fetched. Remember that even under the best of circumstances a backup catcher starts 1 or 2 games a week. The deciding factor on bringing back Suzuki won't be price, it will be whether there's anywhere else he could go that would guarantee him a starting role. And for the Suzuki haters that like to cite Boswell's catcher ERA column, Davey was asked about that on the Junkies the other day and pretty much debunked it. He'll probably be debunking it when he consults with Rizzo after the season too. The Nats like Suzuki. If the price isn't outlandish, they won't hesitate to try to get him back.

  47. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Im not sure I care for the prospect…

  48. Laddie Blah Blah - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    The Nats are clearly retooling and evaluating possibilities, like using TyMo at 1st and Rendon at SS. They will not go with a .235 hitter at 1st base next year, and they need a new backup SS since Espinosa is not playing at an AAA level, let alone at a ML level. Rendon is the most capable player they now have for that role.Sending Strasburg out for the 9th is something they probably would not do next year, if they are in the midst of a pennant race and regard the win as more important than their starter's pride. At least, I hope the new guy thinks that way.The same goes for platooning Span and Hairston, and ALR and TyMo. The Nats record against lefties this year was appallingly bad. Are TyMo and Hairston the answer to that problem? Now is the time to find out.Davey told the WaPo that he is in evaluation mode these days, and could give Roark a chance to start before year-end. Why not? Rizzo is already reworking the bench, with Bernie and Suzuki already gone, and Hairston and (probably) Solano taking those roster spots, at least for now. Lombo and Moore have shown enough to be back, but Tracy probably has not. The current approach is one of experimentation and evaluation, and is, undoubtedly, what Rizzo wants to see. We know he will get a new backup catcher, whether it is Solano or someone else. And he is definitely not happy with the production on offense from either 1st base or the leadoff slot. He needs to evaluate in-house candidates for the 4th and 5th starter roles before the off-season FA scramble.And I cannot see the Nats and Rizzo going into next year with Soriano as the closer, no matter how much he is being paid.Rizzo is doing his job, and Davey is doing his best to help him out.

  49. fast eddie - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Stras was charged with 4ERs. Why weren't the three runs scored as unearned in the 9th inning? I thought Rendon's error would have been the third out.

  50. Rabbit34 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Too bad we can't get Milone back. Last night, ugh. We almost found another way to blow a game. That's our season.

  51. phil dunton - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Okay, good move, now let's get rid of DeJesus and Laroche. Then DFA Chad Tracey.

  52. Tcostant - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    I have no issue with seeing guys like Tyler Moore in the starting lineup, but when Davey started stubbing guys out like Werth like it's a arping training game – I take issue wiith that.

  53. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    fast eddie @ 9:09 a.m.,The ruling was that the batter beat the throw (i.e., had hit an infield single), thus it wouldn't have been an out. If the throw hadn't been off-line, you would have had runners on first and third, in which case the subsequent home run would have been a three-run HR, but with all those runs earned.

  54. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Kershaw, three mos. younger than Strasburg, has three CG this year, eleven for his career.

  55. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    "fast eddie said… Stras was charged with 4ERs. Why weren't the three runs scored as unearned in the 9th inning? I thought Rendon's error would have been the third out."The official scorer credited Lake with a single on that ground ball to Rendon, which means that without Rendon's throwing error there would have been two outs after the play. The error would have made Schierholtz's run unearned if nothing happened after that play that could have scored him if he remained on second or third absent the error. But the homer negated that.

  56. Diz - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Rendon's error was on the throw. The runner beat the throw, so he would have been safe, the error on the throw allowed the guy running from 2nd to round 3rd and score. No out would have been recorded, it just would have prevented the run from scoring, hence all earned.Zuk was great. I'll miss him and he'll be in demand next year as someone mentioned that the FA C position is pretty thin next year. He won't sign at the option level, but he'll definitely get a 2 year $6M deal like Pudge got from somebody. Might even get a club option thrown in as well.Regardless of what Boz said, I thought he was a stabilizing force in the clubhouse and behind the plate.And I thought last year in Game 5 when he had that clutch RBI in the 8th, that it sealed the deal. That was awesome! Miss you Zuk!

  57. DaveBinMD - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Doc wrote:"Given his (Suzuki's) salary, I doubt that he'll be a sought after signing in '14."His contract won't be a factor in him seeking a job next year because he won't have one, Oakland will enact the buyout clause and he'll be a free agent.

  58. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    "Theophilus T. S. said… Kershaw, three mos. younger than Strasburg, has three CG this year, eleven for his career."Age isn't relevant here. Kershaw didn't miss the better part of two seasons for Tommy John surgery. And while Strasburg was pitching in the Olympics and college in 2008-9, Kershaw was already pitching in the majors.

  59. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    The point, "Feel," not that it matters to you, is that for all of the swooning over Strasburg, he is not yet an elite pitcher and it's time for him to start showing what he is alleged to be capable of doing.This season being pretty much shot on both a team and personal achievement level, I'm going to settle for just being disappointed. Another year of CYA (Cover Your Ass in locker room explanations) performances and I'm going move on to disgusted and hope they Greinke him before he loses his over-hyped value.

  60. D'Gourds - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Zuk is a very smart catcher and a clutch hitter when it counts. Remember his single in game 5 put us back up by 2 before the disaster. He's also very funny. I loved the schtick between Zimmermann and him where Zim asks if he has a plan and Zuk deadpaned "no". Before games the starts, I go out to the bullpen and yell down "Zuk, dko you have a plan?" He always smiles and shakes his head no. I loved that recent play he made where he was interfered eoth by the batter and he threw a grounder to yhe pitcher to make sure the stealing runner had to go back to first base. Good, smart ballplayer.

  61. Kirbs - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    So what's the Dejesus to TB news…there has gotta be a catcher in there?

  62. Kirbs - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Im sure mark is typing as a post, but all I can get is they claimed him…nothing about a ptbnl. So was it a strait claim and they take the whole contract?

  63. SonnyG10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Good luck, Zuk

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