Washington Nationals: Who Is Catching When It Counts?
By Ron Juckett
With two partial seasons in the District on his resume, Kurt Suzuki is familiar with the club and the park.
After three seasons as the primary catcher with the Minnesota Twins, they moved on from the free agent by signing Jason Castro.
Suzuki is affordable, making around $6 million in 2016 and can be had for not much more over a two-year deal. He is also 33. If Washington wants him back, he is a stop-gap measure until Severino is ready.
It is not clear whether Suzuki wants to remain a primary catcher or transition to the veteran backup. As a hitter, he is still productive. He hit .258 this year, slugged eight home runs and rarely strikes out. Unless he is ready to move to a catcher/designated hitter hybrid, whoever lands him will be happy.
Suzuki has not thrown out over 20 percent of base runners in two years. What once was a good arm is tiring. Still, he offers plenty of experience with a good bat. Once the new CBA is hammered out, offers should pour in his direction. If the Nats want him, they will face competition.
Washington may hope for better, but they could do worse than bringing him back.