Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/4/12

The Washington Nationals acquired Oakland A's catcher Kurt Suzuki on waivers Friday for minor league catcher David Freitas, a move that solves one of Washington's problems heading down the stretch and helps the team next season.

Jesus Flores had taken over as starting catcher since Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his knee earlier this season. Flores played well at times, but opposing baserunners were stealing constantly -- he had thrown out only five of 49 (10.2 percent).

That can't all be blamed on Flores -- the pitchers are at fault, too -- but Suzuki should help change that. He's an outstanding defensive catcher who led the American League at the time of his trade in caught-stealing percentage (38.3), runners caught stealing (23) and errors (fewest, with 2).

Suzuki's contract runs through 2013, so this isn't a two-month rent-a-catcher. He'll be with the Nats next year and could back up Ramos if he's ready to go or compete with him for the starting spot.

Either way, Washington will have two solid defensive catchers ready to handle its young pitching staff next year.

Suzuki hasn't hit well this season, batting only .218, but his defense is what will make him more valuable to the Nationals in what could be a very good late season pickup.

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