In years past, the Oakland Athletics have usually been reluctant to sign some of their most talented players to respectable contracts. This trend, however, needs to stop. In 2011, the Oakland A’s should have a pretty decent amount of spending money, as Eric Chavez ($12.5 million this season), and Ben Sheets ($10 million this season) will likely no longer be in Oakland.
This gives the A’s the chance to retain one of their most talented and brightest young players, Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki, who led the A’s last season with 88 RBIs, leads the team in home runs this season, with 10. On the year, Suzuki is batting .264/.318/.453 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs. In the month of June, Suzuki is batting .295/.319/.534 with 6 homers and 14 RBIs—a clear indication that he’s beginning to heat up.
Rewind to last season, where Suzuki hit 13 of his 15 home runs in months that followed May. It appears that Suzuki is continuing that summer-trend, and that is definitely good news for an Oakland offense that has been outscored by it’s opponents, 312-323.
So, it goes without question that Suzuki is one of the reasons why Oakland still has a small chance to regain some lost ground in the AL West. That’s why its pertinent for Oakland to sign Suzuki to a multi-year deal this season, or offseason. Many teams, including the Boston Red Sox, are said to have Suzuki on their radars for this offseason.
And why shouldn’t they? He’s clearly one of the more talented young catchers in the game today. The CSUF product, who has seven (yes, seven) more homers than the mighty Joe Mauer (and just two fewer RBIs), is really coming into his own. Not only does he provide significant production on the offensive side of things, but he has handled a young Oakland rotation quite well this season.
The A’s will need to get on the ball and try and lock up Suzuki as quickly as they can. A’s GM, Billy Beane, who has made a couple of shrewd deals this year, will need to get back on track and lock up a fan favorite in Suzuki. This season, Beane’s $15-plus million shopping spree (most notably, Ben Sheets and Coco Crisp), has looked below-average at best. Sheets hasn’t panned out, but that was not unexpected—since he hadn’t played in a single game since 2008. And Crisp, well, who knows how much longer will his body hold up?
Right now, the A’s need to start locking up some of their prime talent. Brett Anderson was first. Will Suzuki follow suit?
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