We had all moved on from Kurt Suzuki. He was extremely popular among fans of the Oakland Athletics, and it was tough to see him depart after being traded to the Washington Nationals in August 2012. Just like Mark Ellis the year before, we all knew the trade was coming as younger, cheaper options began to emerge.
It had been about a year since the trade of Kurt Suzuki, and just as we had all begun to embrace the change finally, a strange twist of fate brought him back to Oakland for an encore. During the month of August the A’s were riddled with injuries at the catcher position; with John Jaso out for the season with concussion symptoms, and Derek Norris sidelined with a broken toe, leaving Stephen Vogt to handle all of the catching duties. With the platoon system firmly in place, there was no chance that was going to stand for long. So Billy Beane went out and reacquired Suzuki to help get them through the thin period.
Kurt hadn’t hit much over the last couple years, which was primarily why he was dealt in the first place. His playing time was sporatic with the A’s upon his return, especially when Norris returned to the lineup. He was included on the postseason roster, but he did not appear in a game during the ALDS.
He hit in few plate appearances he did have though with the A’s, batting .303/.343/.545 in 35 trips to the dish, he also hit two home runs. His defensive skills are superior to any other catcher the A’s had as far as blocking balls was concerned. He did exactly what the A’s brought him back to do, and the organization owes him a debt of gratitude for that contribution.
He carries an option for 2014 at $8.5 million, which most certainly will not be picked up. So Kurt will embark into the unknown world of free agency, and will find his next destination. With John Jaso, Stephen Vogt, and Derek Norris in the fold for 2014, there is simply no place for him. So once again we have to say goodbye to Kurt Suzuki, and once again we wish him all the best. Kurt is truly one of the “good guys” in the game of baseball, and deserves to find success once again.