Today, the Nationals acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki from the A's in exchange for minor league catcher David Freitas. The 28-year old Suzuki was a former top A's prospect who never really panned out at the level that the Oakland brass thought he would, OPSing just .689 in 703 career games. He was deemed expendable after the acquisition of George Kottaras earlier this year, and the presence of top prospect Derek Norris,
This year for the A's in 75 games, Suzuki had only one homer and a .536 OPS. However, he could very well be an upgrade for the Nationals, whose catchers have eight homers and just a .648 OPS. Excluding the contributions of the injured Wilson Ramos, recovering from a torn ACL, the numbers drop dramatically due to Ramos's .738 OPS and three homers. With Ramos out, Washington's catchers have primarily been defensive-minded veteran backup Jesus Flores, and injury-plagued rookies Jhonathon Solano and Sandy Leon.
Freitas might actually end up being something decent for Oakland. The 23-year old was a 15th round pick in 2010, and has gradually worked his way through the Nationals' system. He's been at high-A Potomac this year, where he's posted a .780 OPS and five homers in 78 games this year. He was the team's 27th ranked prospect coming into the season.
All in all, this will benefit both teams. It allows the A's to get cheaper and more efficient behind the plate, and gives the Nationals a solid veteran backstop that could possibly be a major boon for their pitching staff in addition to their offense.
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