Kurt Suzuki is back with Oakland, a year after the A's dealt him to Washington. Early on Friday morning, it was announced that Suzuki had been dealt from Washington to Oakland for 22-year old A-ball pitcher Dakota Bacus.
The Athletics traded Suzuki to the Nationals on August 3rd last year, and he hit .267/.321/.404 in 43 games with his new club, helping them win the NL East. But this year, Suzuki's stat line fell to .222/.283/.310 in 79 games. The 29-year old had gradually lost playing time to Wilson Ramos, who tore his ACL last year and missed time this season with a strained hamstring. In 23 games in the second half, Ramos is hitting .284/.308/.455, spurring the trade of Suzuki.
And why would the A's want Suzuki back a year after trading him? Simple: their depth behind the plate has taken a massive hit over the last couple of weeks.John Jaso was placed on the concussion list two weeks ago, and still isn't ready for game action. Derek Norris broke his toe on Tuesday. Stephen Vogt was leveled at the plate on Wednesday. The only other catcher on Oakland's 40-man roster is Luke Montz, who has been on the DL in AAA with a shoulder injury since July 5th. The team really had slim pickings, so bringing back a familiar face like Suzuki is a logical move. The Nationals are picking up half of Suzuki's remaining contract (approximately $675,000), and the A's will hold a club option on Suzuki for 2014 for $8.5 million with a $650,000 buyout.