In some out of the blue news, it was reported that the Washington Nationals are set to reunite with catcher Kurt Suzuki on a two-year deal.
The Washington Nationals clearly aren’t sitting back and waiting for this offseason to unfold. It was reported on Monday morning that they had agreed to a two-year contract with former Nat Kurt Suzuki.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was the first to report the deal, and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post has also confirmed the report a little later. With the team needing to improve at the catcher position, this deal makes a lot of sense.
Suzuki has just wrapped up a two-year stint with the Atlanta Braves in which he slashed a positive .276/.341/.485 with 31 home runs and 100 RBI while splitting time with Tyler Flowers. But now, he heads back to the team he spent parts of two seasons with after being acquired during their playoff push back in 2012.
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The Nats initially acquired Suzuki from the Oakland Athletics for David Freitas, who finally cracked the big leagues with the Braves in 2017. However, they ended flipping him back to Oakland for Dakota Bacus, who is still in the organization, though he hasn’t impressed in the minor leagues.
Now he’s back in the nation’s capital, it seems likely he’ll be splitting time with promising young catcher Spencer Kieboom. Kieboom had a strong stretch run for the Nationals and has certainly earned his fair share of playing time, though he doesn’t really profile as a full-time starter.
Ken Rosenthal of The Atheltic reported a little later on that the deal was for $10 million over the two seasons, with $4 million in the first year and $6 million in the second. Signing Suzuki to a relatively cheap contract will allow the team to either designate those funds to either a frontline starting pitcher or potentially towards a Bryce Harper mega deal.