ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that he thinks Kurt Suzuki will be dealt before this year’s trade deadline. This got me wondering whether the Rays could make a play at Suzuki. I know I say this for a lot of teams, but the A’s are in need of starting pitching and are in a serious re-building mode. They could be interested in a guy like Alexander Torres- somebody who is young but still Big League ready.
The Rays obviously need a catcher to go with Jose Molina, with both Robinson Chirinos and Jose Lobaton sustaining injuries this offseason. Both are question marks and the Rays could use a sure thing like Suzuki if they are going to make a run at the World Series this year.
Suzuki is still young, at 28, but has a lot of experience with five seasons under his belt. He would be under team control for the next three seasons if the Rays could pull off a deal. Suzuki is a decent hitter with some pop. Over his career .258 with a .318 OBP. He struggled with the average a bit last season, hitting .237 with 14 homers. His best year by far was 2009, when he hit .274 with 15 homers.
Suzuki is also a good fielder, committing only 7 errors in 129 games last season. He has a career .993 fielding percentage. Overall, Suzuki’s bat is a bit better than Jose Molina’s, but they don’t lose much on defense. Both Molina and Suzuki are righties, so there is not a platoon opportunity. Suzuki would most likely see more time behind the plate than Molina, but both would see their fair share of starts.
Trading for Kurt Suzuki could be a good move for the Rays. It would most likely not take much more than a guy like Alex Torres to get him and Suzuki could provide a solid catcher for the Rays. The A’s just got Derek Norris from the Nationals in the Gio Gonzalez deal and they also have Anthony Recker, who is close to Major League ready. They could comfortably get rid of a catcher and be fine, especially in their re-building stages.
We will see if any rumors pop up in the near future regarding a Kurt Suzuki deal to the Rays. If what Buster Olney says is true, Andrew Friedman should have already talked to Billy Beane about a potential deal. Only time will tell if the Rays can swing a trade to bring another veteran catcher to Tampa Bay.