News! News! But how to interpret it? As a sign of a grand plan to acquire every good catcher, or as a final move to shore up the catching position?
Either way, we get to find out over the coming weeks. Here’s the news from Nats Park:
Nationals reunite with veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki, agreeing to two-year deal (WaPo)
Suzuki is a clubhouse leader and will join the team on a relatively low-value deal — but the Nats are nowhere near done, potentially not even at catcher.
Nats add righty to 40-man roster before Rule 5 (MLB.com)
The Nationals left Telmito Agustin, Tomas Alastre, Jose Marmolejos, and Drew Ward up for grabs.
Stand pat or hunt for replacements at second base? (NBC Sports Washington)
The Nationals could run with Wilmer Difo and Howie Kendrick, sign DJ LeMahieu, or... wait for Carter Kieboom.
What does Suzuki's signing mean for Realmuto? (MLB.com)
"Washington has other needs to address and is unlikely to invest more of its resources in the catching position after inking Suzuki. That removes one potential competitor for Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos, and J.T. Realmuto. There are still plenty of clubs in need of a catcher, but few contenders are expected to make improving at the position as much of a priority as the Nats did, which could cool the catcher market some."
Kurt Suzuki agrees with Nationals for 2 years (MLB.com)
Suzuki, who played for the Nats for parts of 2012 and 2013, will rejoin the team, likely ending the era of Matt Wieters in Washington — but the article insinuates that the Nationals aren't done pursuing catchers.
The Nationals Are Signing a New Kurt Suzuki (Fangraphs)
Suzuki is the fourth-ranked catcher in wRC+ over the last two years, a sharp increase over what the Nationals have been running with over the last two seasons — if the same fly ball and line-drive hitting Suzuki shows up in Washington.
Kurt Suzuki Signing a Product of Weak Catcher Market (Baseball Essential)
"And now, Washington is committing to an older version of Suzuki, after being disappointed in his previous tenure in the nation’s capitol, giving him more money than he’s ever made on a single contract before. All because, well, there isn’t a better option. They say “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” and there really isn’t a better way to describe the catcher market in the major leagues."
Kurt Suzuki returns to Nats on two-year deal (MASN)
"One question that could be answered in the coming weeks is where catchers Spencer Kieboom and Pedro Severino fit into the Nats’ plans at catcher for 2019. Will they be vying for the No. 2 spot behind Suzuki or does general manager Mike Rizzo have other plans to seek out a frontline starting catcher with veteran Suzuki as the second catcher?"
Why We Missed: Kurt Suzuki (Fangraphs)
"While Suzuki could see some slight erosion to his power numbers, as he is firmly in the decline phase of his career chronologically, there is no reason to think he can’t hit at least 10 homers."