May 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Oakland Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) looks on during batting practice before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The loss of Wilson Ramos to a torn ACL earlier this season left the Washington Nationals with oft-injured but recovered backstop Jesus Flores as their no.1 catcher. Sandy Leon, Jhonatan Solano and Carlos Maldonado filled in backing Flores up when necessary, but with the Nats atop the NL East and heading into the last two months-plus of the 2012 campaign there were a lot of questions at this past Tuesday's deadline about whether or not the Nationals would try to acquire a veteran catcher to help them down the stretch. Though rumors had the Nats talking to Texas about then-recently DFA'd catcher Yorvit Torrealba and Boston about Kelly Shoppach, when the deadline passed they hadn't added a catcher to the roster as some had suspected they would.
This afternoon, however, the Nationals (via Twitter @Nationals) announced that they had, in fact, made a deal for a catcher, dealing 23-year-old, 2010 15th Round pick C David Freitas to the Oakland A's in exchange for 28-year-old backstop Kurt Suzuki. Freitas has a .271/.374/.407 line with 22 doubles and five home runs at Class-A Potomac this year in his third year in the Nationals' system. Suzuki, a veteran of six MLB seasons with the A's after they drafted him out of Cal State Fullerton in the 4th Round of the '02 Draft, has a .218/.250/.286 line with 15 doubles and a home run in 75 games and 278 plate appearances with Oakland this season and a .254/.311/.378 line over the course of his career.
More importantly for the Nats, who've struggled to throw out baserunners this season, Suzuki has a .996 fld% this year (.994 fld% career) with a 38% CS% this season, having thrown out 23 of 60 runners so far in 2012.
According to reports out of Nats Park this afternoon, Nationals' skipper Davey Johnson said that Sandy Leon is the likely candidate for demotion since Suzuki will be joining the roster tomorrow.
More info when it's available...