Tag: Kurt Suzuki

MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Updates on Jake Peavy, Kurt Suzuki and More

Don’t look away now. The MLB player-swapping season is just days away from ending (except for the occasional waiver-wire deal), and every team is exploring potential angles for success.

There is no shortage of trade talk with the July 31 deadline fast approaching. Let’s take a look at the latest rumors on tap in the majors. 


Cardinals Showing Interest in Peavy

The St. Louis Cardinals have been all over the rumor mill, and the latest buzz is in regard to their interest in Boston Red Sox hurler Jake Peavy. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark noted the potential deal in a chat with fans:

“The Peavy deal is still very much alive, by the way. The Red Sox just brought in their top scouts to watch the Cardinals’ New York-Penn League team. And that’s telling us something.”

Peavy’s numbers don’t initially jump out as the kind of summer catch a championship contender is usually looking for. The 33-year-old righty is 1-9 on the season with a 4.72 ERA and 1.472 WHIP, per Baseball-Reference.com.

He amassed those losses in historically dubious fashion, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Still, the Cardinals could acquire Peavy for spare parts and solidify the back end of the rotation. Peavy’s veteran acumen lends itself to a playoff push, and he does have a respectable 4.19 ERA in three July starts, per Baseball-Reference.com.

He doesn’t hold any long-term value for the Red Sox, and the Cardinals are looking to win big and win now. They will need depth in order to leapfrog the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates and take the National League Central crown. This is a potential deal that makes sense for both clubs, provided the Cardinals don’t give up any major prospects.


Suzuki Drawing Some Attention 

It’s hard to generate offense from the catcher’s spot, which is why Kurt Suzuki finds himself among our latest roundup of trade rumors.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, two (likely) playoff-bound teams are interested in the Minnesota Twins backstop:

The Orioles and Cardinals are among teams showing trade interest in Twins veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki. The two contending teams both lost star catchers to injury. St. Louis is looking at catching after star Yadier Molina went out with a thumb injury, and Molina isn’t expected back until September, at the earliest.

NBC Sports’ Aaron Gleeman likes the idea of a Suzuki trade sweepstakes:

As Heyman noted, the Cardinals are in need of a rental at catcher thanks to Yadier Molina’s injury. Suzuki boasts a .308 average, 19 doubles, 40 RBI and an All-Star appearance this season.

He could actually be an improvement for the Cardinals in the short term, and they wouldn’t have to worry about a nasty contract situation, as Suzuki’s current deal is set to expire at the end of the year.

The Orioles could have more long-term interest in Suzuki, as Matt Wieters is out for the season. Suzuki could be a valuable backup for the Orioles, although he may not be open to a reduced role.

The Twins are in last place in the American League Central and reportedly have engaged Suzuki in extension talks, per the Pioneer Press‘s Mike Berardino. So far, nothing has come to fruition. To his credit, Suzuki has been very sensible about the whole process.

“It’s one of those things where it could happen,” he said, via Berardino. “There’s really not much to even think about. It’s part of the business. I’m just taking it day by day here and having fun with my teammates and going out and winning ballgames.”

A trade may be imminent, but Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal claims there is a movement in Minnesota to keep Suzuki:

Considering Suzuki’s season and the contract impasse, it makes more sense for the Twins to sell him to the highest bidder.

Barnes Could Have A Suitor

According to The Denver Post‘s Patrick Saunders, the Toronto Blue Jays are taking a look at Brandon Barnes:

The Toronto Blue Jays have been scouting Barnes, the Rockies’ utility outfielder. With Michael Cuddyer due back in mid-August, a Barnes deal, at the right price, could make sense, but an MLB source says Toronto has not yet put together a deal for Barnes.

Should the Blue Jays make a definitive move for Barnes, this could be a transaction that works out nicely for both clubs.

Barnes plays all three outfield positions and gives the Blue Jays quality depth in the wide expanses of grass. He’s not striking the ball with much authority, as his .246 average will attest to, but it’s better than that of Anthony Gose (.239) and Colby Rasmus (.215).

Gose‘s average is a bit misleading, as he does have a very strong .342 on-base percentage for the year. Barnes is also capable of some extraordinary glove work at times:

The Blue Jays are locked in a tight battle for the AL East crown. As it stands, they are just 3.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles. The team’s overall play has deteriorated as of late and could really use a shot in the arm to make a playoff push.

A Barnes trade could allow the Rockies to play the seller’s game a bit without giving up Troy Tulowitzki. They need to regroup after this season and gain some assets while they still can. Trading Barnes allows them the opportunity to rebuild and take the pressure off trading a cornerstone player like Tulo.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Kurt Suzuki Starting Saturday for Nationals, Sandy Leon Optioned to Triple-A

The Washington Nationals have struggled behind the plate this season after Wilson Ramos was lost to injury in May. On Friday the Nationals acquired Kurt Suzuki from the Oakland A’s and he will make his first start for the Nats on Saturday night against the Miami Marlins in D.C., according to Amanda Comak of The Washington Times.

Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post reported on Saturday that backup catcher Sandy Leon was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Suzuki.

Suzuki will likely replace Jesus Flores as the everyday catcher for the Nationals. Flores was hitting only .221 with three home runs and 18 RBI in 67 games this season. Suzuki provides the potential to produce better numbers than Flores.

Although Suzuki has had a disappointing year thus far, he has a productive track record with great seasons in 2009 and 2010. Getting away from Oakland’s pitcher-friendly park should help Suzuki as well.

The big advantage to Suzuki behind the plate is his defensive ability. Nats GM Mike Rizzo told The Washington Times:

He’s one of the best catch-and-throw defensive catchers in the game. I think he’s going to take the lion’s share of the catching duties, and with his track record, his ability to handle a staff and his defensive prowess, he’s going to add a lot to the lineup.

Rizzo certainly has the bar set high for Suzuki and it is in Suzuki’s hands to live up to the hype from his new general manager. Hopefully for the Nationals and Suzuki, he can regain some of his form from a couple of seasons ago and produce in Washington’s lineup.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Oakland Athletics: 7 Players Who Will Be Gone by the Trade Deadline

Unless the Oakland Athletics produce a magical first half, general manager Billy Beane will sell off assets like Kurt Suzuki and cut duds like Jonny Gomes by the trade deadline.

Beane is widely known for pulling the trigger on blockbuster deals year after year.

With a roster that mirrors a Triple-A affiliate, competing against the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels will be no easy task.

A weak roster and a trade-happy GM? 2012 will be no different from the last five seasons—the A’s will be sellers at the trade deadline.

The question is: Who’s going to spend their last months in green and gold?

Begin Slideshow

Kurt Suzuki Walk-off Grand Slam: My Favorite Baseball Memory

One of the great pieces of Americana is taking in a baseball game. At 16, my first real job was at a new baseball stadium, Banner Island Ballpark, to work for the Stockton Ports, Single A Minor League affiliate for the Oakland Athletics. On a day where the temperature topped 100 degrees, I was working the stands as an usher.

One of my absolute favorite memories came on the Fourth of July. This is traditionally a sold-out game for any minor league team, with a grand fireworks display following the game.

With the Ports losing the game, catcher Kurt Suzuki blasts a center-field home run with two outs to win the game. More than 5,000 fans came to their feet. I stood behind home plate ushering people to their seats. I looked up after hearing the indistinguishable crack of the bat that accompanied a blast to the outfield. The crowd goes into a frenzy, and following the win, one of the greatest displays of fireworks and music began—a moment I will never forget. Suzuki’s blast was a tremendous moment for a special day.

Suzuki now catches for the Oakland A’s and is having success in the major leagues. It is a pleasure to see good people like Kurt Suzuki work hard and achieve their goals. I wish the best to Kurt and all of the Stockton Ports that I saw rise through the ranks to become stars.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Catcher Rankings With Analysis


For the upcoming 2011 fantasy baseball season, four catchers are head-and-shoulders above the rest: Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, Buster Posey and Brian McCann. Each player was ranked in the top 5 in at least three out of the five offensive categories, with Mauer leading the way with a .327 batting average. 

It should be noted that Buster Posey compiled his impressive numbers in only 103 games on his way to earning rookie of the year honors in 2010.

Rookie J.P Arencibia will most likely start for the Blue Jays this season after the departure of John Buck. Arencibia is a highly touted prospect who can hit for both average and power.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is an interesting sleeper candidate in 2011, as he is finally healthy and will be the starting catcher for perhaps the most potent offense in the league. The question that has always surrounded Salty is his heath, so be sure to have a back-up option just in case.


Visit www.kramericasports.com for complete player rankings, news and advice.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Hot Stove: Oakland Athletics Quietly Building Dominant Bullpen

Nobody is talking about Billy Beane anymore.

Moneyball hit its talking peak five years ago; the last time the Oakland Athletics managed to make the playoffs, in 2006, after winning the AL West with a 93-69 mark.

Their record dropped to 76-86 in 2007 but held steady at 75-86 and 75-87 in the next two years, respectively. In 2010, the A’s returned to .500 after finishing 81-81, nine games behind the eventual World Series runner-up Texas Rangers. 

Their consistency and moderate progression in wins masks Oakland’s transition from a middling club filled with stopgap starters and power hitting health risks on one-year deals to a franchise with reason to be excited about its future after its spoils of struggle (and free agency departure) have finally begun to show.  

Brett Anderson (22), Trevor Cahill (22), and Gio Gonzalez (25) are a trio of young starting pitchers who have reminded A’s fans of the Hudson-Zito-Mulder combination from the early part of last decade in more ways than just their handedness (oddly, two left-handers and one right-hander; Cahill, Hudson).

Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton are good young defenders, who both hit just enough to keep themselves in the lineup. Kurt Suzuki is now an experienced and solid starting catcher, going into his fifth year, who looks poised to improve his power (if you don’t believe me, watch the video on the right). 

Additionally, Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham were acquired via free agency and trade to boost the power of the third weakest offense in baseball last year (.122 Isolated power, in front of only Houston, .115, and Seattle, .104).

Billy Beane also traded for David Dejesus of the Royals, who should play stellar defense in right field, and combine for a pest-like one-two on-base combination with center fielder Coco Crisp at the top of the lineup. 

With the No. 4 and No. 5 slots in the rotation filled by some (likely productive, and advantageous) combination of Dallas Braden, Rich Harden and Josh Outman, Beane’s next logical focus was the bullpen; a unit that finished 22nd in the league in 2010 in Fielding Independent ERA (4.19) after finishing first in the same category a year earlier (3.35).

If the A’s plan to return their bullpen to elite status, their blueprints will require the health of closer Andrew Bailey, who has a 133:37 strikeout to walk ratio in 132.1 MLB innings, but is coming off of elbow surgery during the offseason. 

The next in line behind Bailey is likely Brian Fuentes, the former Angel who was signed this offseason as insurance (or surplus in the event Bailey is full-go). Fuentes has lost effectiveness the past few seasons, but along with the very underrated Jerry Blevins, the Athletics bullpen should be death to left-handed hitters in the late innings.  

Grant Balfour, the hard-throwing Australian with the ironic last name who was yet another of the Rays’ offseason losses, will combine with Michael Wuertz and his nasty slider as the primary setup men from the right side. B

oth are strikeout pitchers, and Balfour might be the best setup man in Oakland since Chad Bradford. Wuertz’s peripherals declined towards the end of last year, but if he rebounds, he would make for a ridiculously good fifth man out of the gate. 

Brad Ziegler, while unspectacular, is a more than serviceable middle reliever with his ability to churn groundballs and keep crooked numbers off the board. Joey Devine, the former first round pick out of NC State, is also an intriguing name. Devine is in his second year of recovery from Tommy John surgery. If he is able to return to full strength, he has closer potential, and the minor league numbers to back it up.

This collection of arms is among the most talented I have ever seen in one bullpen before the start of a season. 

Combined with an above average rotation that may soon be among the best in baseball, and a lineup capable of playing defense and hitting just enough to let their pitching win, the 2011 Oakland Athletics are the bizarro Texas Rangers. With loads of young pitching, there’s a lot to be excited about in Oakland, for both this year and the future.

Nobody is talking about Billy Beane anymore. But they will be soon. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB’s Tale of Two Cities: Can the 2011 A’s Repeat the Giants’ Season of 2010?

A vaunted homegrown pitching staff. A very strong bullpen led by an All-Star closer.

A franchise player behind the plate. A balanced mix of young guys and veterans.

Low expectations. A mild-mannered, baseball-minded manager in the dugout. 

A weak, very winnable division where the other teams made negligible offseason improvements.

Last year was a good year for the Giants. And by good year, I mean they won the World Series. Yes, THAT good. And the above statements pretty accurately describe the team at the start of the 2010 season. 

And if that’s the recipe for success, it looks like the Oakland Athletics are using the same cookbook for 2011. 

Now I’m not going to take that extreme leap of faith and call the A’s the “soon-to-be 2011 World Champions,” but I will say that there are a lot of similarities, both on the team and in the division, that make the comparisons very valid. 

Begin Slideshow

Fantasy Baseball 2011 Projection: Will Kurt Suzuki Go From Sleeper to Star?

Clearly, it was a disappointing season for Kurt Suzuki in 2010. 

Many people anticipated him fully breaking out, but instead he regressed across the board:

495 At Bats
.242 Batting Average (120 Hits)
13 Home Runs
71 RBI
55 Runs
3 Stolen Bases
.303 On Base Percentage
.366 Slugging Percentage
.245 Batting Average on Balls in Play

The average is easy to throw away thanks to an incredibly unlucky BABIP. He makes great contact (9.9% strikeout rate in ’10 and 11.9% for his career) and doesn’t put an excessive amount of balls into the air (40.8% fly ball rate in ’10, 38.4% for his career). 

There is every reason to expect a significant rebound from Suzuki in 2011 back into the .270-.280 range, at the least.

In fact, with his makeup there is the potential that he hits even better than that.

Where he really stagnated was in the power department, going from 15 HR (as well as 37 doubles) in 2009 to last year’s 13 HR and 18 doubles. Yes, an injury cost him some time, but that’s not enough of an explanation.

Part of the problem could be the lack of depth in the Athletics lineup.

Suzuki, when in the lineup, rarely had any protection (do you count Kevin Kouzmanoff at this point), allowing opponents to pitch him tough. In few other lineups would Suzuki see significant time hitting third (221 AB) or fourth (191 AB). The A’s addressed that, to an extent, with the additions of Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham. 

While Suzuki easily could still pencil in to the third spot, he will have a lot more protection in place, which should help him out.

While his home ballpark does him no favors, Suzuki was actually worse on the road than he was at home:

  • Home – .263, 8 HR, 46 RBI in 259 AB
  • Road – .220, 5 HR, 25 RBI in 236 AB

There is no reason to expect that to continue, meaning an overall improvement in Suzuki’s production. Even if he was simply to replicate his home numbers when on the road, you’d be looking at a catcher with 15+ HR and 85+ RBI.  Who isn’t looking for that?

While there is still some hope that he could develop more power, it’s hard to project him into the 20+ range. 

Is it possible? Absolutely. At 27 years old, he easily could add power and improve on his career 6.8% HR/FB. Expecting it, however, would be a mistake.

What can we enter 2011 expecting? Let’s take a look:

.285 (157-550), 17 HR, 80 RBI, 70 R, 5 SB, .295 BABIP, .346 OBP, .440 SLG

Those would be solid numbers for any catcher, but Suzuki brings with him the potential to substantially outperform the projection. It is based on a 10.55% strikeout rate and there certainly is a chance that he is luckier and posts a higher BABIP.

As we discussed, there also is the potential for him to hit more home runs, which in turn will lead to more runs and RBI. While Suzuki disappointed in 2010, there is no reason to simply ignore him because of it. 

Catcher is not an overly deep position, so focusing on potential in the middle rounds is certainly the way to go.

What are your thoughts on Suzuki? Is he a player you would target in your drafts? Why or why not?


Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2011 projections:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Worthy: Could Brad Davis Be A Usable Option?

Are you in a two-catcher league, and looking for an under the radar option to potentially carry you over the final week of the season?  Surprisingly, there are probably many of you out there, with players like Geovany Soto and Yadier Molina being lost for the year.

We all know that filling out your catcher spots are difficult the deeper your league is, but Brad Davis of the Florida Marlins could be an interesting option to turn to.

First, let’s look at what he has done through Friday:

86 At-Bats
.233 Batting Average (20 Hits)
3 Home Runs
15 RBI
7 Runs
1 Stolen Base
.281 On Base Percentage
.419 Slugging Percentage
.293 Batting Average on Balls in Play


The average jumps out at you but before we get to that, let’s first discuss the power.  Let’s be honest, catchers generally don’t hit for the best average, but if they can give you a little boost in power and RBI, owners will happily take it.

He had never had more than 11 HR in a season in the minor leagues, though he did have nine in 247 at-bats at Triple-A prior to his recall (that was in the PCL).  At 27 years old, it’s hard to imagine him suddenly discovering himself and generating more power.

Over his minor-league career he had a fly ball rate of 36.0 percent, and was at just 32.1 percent at Triple-A this year.  Clearly, his presence in the Pacific Coast League helps to explain his increase in 2010.

In the major leagues he’s posted a 34.4 percent fly ball rate with a 14.3 percent HR/FB rate.  Those aren’t unrealistic numbers, so I would say we’ve seen what we are going to get, with maybe a slight regression possible.

Is he going to carry your squad in home runs?  Not likely, but he certainly could give you one or two over the final week, especially with four games against the Pirates to finish the year.

Now, the average, which is a big concern.  While the BABIP is realistic, he has posted a strikeout rate of 32.6 percent.  That’s not even close to his minor-league rate of 21.7 percent (over 1,727 AB).  While it’s easy to expect an increase with the jump, this is a bit too large of a jump, especially when he was at 21.7 percent at Triple-A this year.

If he can get that under control, the average will follow suit.  Still, like I said earlier, if he can hit .250, he’s going to have value.

Just look at some other catchers averages this year:

  • Mike Napoli—.246
  • Jorge Posada—.257
  • Kurt Suzuki—.247
  • Ryan Doumit—.255
  • Matt Wieters—.234

In two-catcher formats, they all have value.  Plus, for just one week, you never really know.  Maybe he catches fire…Maybe you catch lightning in a bottle…

At a shallow position, he’s well worth the risk.  If you are desperate for a replacement, roll the dice and hope for the best.

What are your thoughts on Davis?  Is he usable down the stretch?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out some of our other recent waiver wire articles:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Oakland A’s Hand Kurt Suzuki a New Contract

In a move that has been anticipated for a while, the Oakland A’s have locked up catcher Kurt Suzuki for the foreseeable future.

The A’s and Suzuki agreed to a four-year, $16.25 million contract on Friday. There is a vesting option for a fifth year based on games played. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has the breakdown of the contract:

Suzuki gets $600,000 this year with a $150,000 signing bonus; $3.4 million in 2011; $5 million in 2012; and $6.45 million in 2013.

The club holds an option for $8.5 million in 2014, with a $650,000 buyout, but there is also the vesting option that kicks in for that year if Suzuki plays in at least 118 games in 2013…an option worth $9.25 million.

At 26 years old, I think this is a good deal for Suzuki and the A’s. Here is where Suzuki ranks amongst all major league catchers over the last three calendar years:

Games: Fourth (415)

HR: Fifth (37)

OPS: Fifth (.729)

WAR: Fifth (6.8)

While the last couple of years haven’t been the best time for offensive catchers, Suzuki does rank towards the top of most offensive categories.

I would say he has been solid, yet unspectacular for the A’s over the course of his career.

Suzuki joins pitcher Brett Anderson as players the A’s have locked up for the next four years.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress