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A’s and Rays Talking Suzuki?

July 7, 2012

Jim Bowden of ESPNxmRadio tweeted,

Billy Beane did not deny that he’s spoken to Tampa Bay Rays regarding Kurt Suzuki but he did confirm that he talks to [Andrew] Friedman frequently”

I’m not really a big fan of that double negative there in did not deny, followed by a confirmation. What I think this means is he essentially said nothing regarding Suzuki, meaning he basically confirmed he speaks with Friedman frequently and that Suzuki has come up in those discussions. The Rays, need catching and with a fairly full farm system could offer the A’s something for Suzuki. While I have long advocated that Suzuki has a lot of value, has been overused, etc this year he is seeking to prove me wrong as he has limped to a .214/.251/.262 slash line with a pathetic .230 wOBA and 42 wRC+. He has been worth -0.2 WAR, has yet to launch his first home run of the year, and while posting his best fielding stats in four years, also has his worst BB% (3.7%), highest K% (18.5%) and lowest ISO (.048) and has frankly to the eyeball test looked terrible at the plate.

But Tampa Bay should want him, while this might not be his year and while he might be declining year after year, this is a guy who has between 2007-2011 been the eighth most valuable catcher with 12.0 WAR. For the A’s he clearly has been supplanted by Derek Norris – and deservedly so – but a fresh start in Tampa could be just the trick. He is a gifted defensive catcher who has handled a staff that is miserable (and oftentimes unconcerned) with keeping baserunners at bay. I think Suzuki would be a good addition to the Tampa Bay, and for the A’s would be a good opportunity to give more playing time to Norris while also freeing up some salary for next season. I wouldn’t expect the return to be great, but a high risk/with a potential good upside guy in the low-minors would hopefully do the trick. I expect something to be done, there has been far too much smoke for there to be no fire on this deal.

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