The two catchers that have played the majority of the season for the Oakland Athletics are currently battling injury and will miss quite some time. John Jaso has been suffering from a concussion and Derek Norris broke his left big toe last Tuesday, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
Questions concerning the catcher position were arising left and right. Whether or not third baseman Josh Donaldson would have to gear up and temporarily fill in behind the plate was a legitimate option, as Donaldson played catcher for many years throughout his baseball career. Stephen Vogt was the team’s only catcher on the roster after Jaso and Norris went down, and therefore Donaldson almost had to help play the position.
Nonetheless, the A’s acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki from the Washington Nationals on Friday. The A’s were in desperate need for a catcher, and bringing back a former fan favorite just more than a year after trading him was very thrilling.
“Thank you Nats fans for the love and support!” Suzuki wrote shortly after the trade on his Twitter account. “I enjoyed every minute. First class organization. It’s a business and now it’s time to go get that ring. … Hello Oakland! Pumped to be back and ready to go make a run at this. Let’s do this!”
The Nationals received Class-A Beloit starter Dakota Bacus and Washington picked up half of Suzuki’s remaining salary this season, or about $675,000, and half of Suzuki’s 2014 buyout.
“We were pretty lucky,” general manager Billy Beane said. “With Kurt, it’s pretty seamless. He even caught Sonny Gray last year during spring training. He can step right in and already knows the pitching staff.”
Oakland fans are immensely thrilled on the return of Suzuki, as Suzuki himself is extraordinarily excited to reunite with some of his former teammates and coaches.
With Stephen Vogt beginning to emerge as a solid catcher for the A’s with his impressive defensive efforts behind the plate, the addition of veteran Kurt Suzuki should benefit Oakland tremendously.