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Former Nats C Kurt Suzuki joins Twins

Dec 21, 2013, 10:40 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Former Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki has a new home for 2014. The 30-year-old backstop has joined the Twins on a one-year deal, a day after Minnesota traded Ryan Doumit to the Braves. The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news.

Suzuki will earn $2.75 million next season playing for his third team in two years. Last year he made over $6 million splitting time in Oakland and Washington.

The Nationals acquired Suzuki in August of 2012 from the A’s and traded him back in August of 2013. He appeared in 122 total games for the Nats and was a member of their NL East-winning club two seasons ago.

A seven-year MLB veteran, Suzuki has a .253 career batting average. He hit .239 across two seasons with the Nationals with a .641 OPS. 

Suzuki was a backup for the oft-injured Wilson Ramos, but once Ramos established himself, Suzuki was available for trade. The Nationals shipped him to Oakland for minor league pitcher Dakota Bacus.

  1. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Good luck Kurt.

    In these days of inflated salaries, I have to think this is a fair deal even though its a rather large cut in pay. Maybe there are incentives built in that we are not hearing about. I was not huge on him returning here but do think we need to upgrade from Leon or Solano.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      It was originally reported that he was getting an incentive package with it. If incentives don’t kick in he takes almost a $4 million paycut but let’s face it he never lived up to that $6+ million contract and was due for a huge paycut.

      If he didn’t find a starters job the paycut would’ve been larger. Market value for veteran backups is $800,000 to $2 million.

      I thought there would be a good chance that Zuk would be back. Good for him. The Twins could be a surprise team in the AL.

  2. Jw - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Last year Rizzo thought he could get by without signing a LHRP and it proved to be his undoing. The same could happen this year if he thinks he can get by without signing a backup catcher. Just a few years ago catcher was a position of strength in the organization. Not any more. The cupboard is quite bare.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Give it time. I think Rizzo will get a decent backup.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        Except for Buck — who is unlikely for the same reasons Suzuki signed elsewhere — there are no decent backups available in free agency. Anyone Rizzo might pick up that is close to “decent” will come in trade or off the waiver wire — which doesn’t sound promising. They had numerous opportunities to pick up someone “decent” but whiffed or didn’t even swing. I think the chances of making a “decent” acquisition are no better than 50-50 and, at some point this season, AA lifer Jeroloman will strap on the tools of ignorance and assume the squatting position behind the plate at Nationals Park.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        What about Chris Snyder

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    How’s Jesus Flores doing in the VZ winter league.

  4. nats128 - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM
  5. therealjohnc - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    A few months ago this signing (Suzuki going to another team) would have concerned me more. But Nats pitcher’s ERA was much higher with Suzuki than Ramos. By itself I shrug that off; but Suzuki is also terrible at pitch framing – just this side of Doumit. He does have a decent arm – don’t let his CS% with the Nats fool you, he’s been good at it everywhere else including last year in Oakland. But he doesn’t hit much at all. And if you don’t hit and there are legitimate questions about your defense it’s hard to see offering a contract much above league minimum

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