Nationals Acquire Kurt Suzuki from Athletics for David Freitas

Jun 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) warms up before the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Nationals have acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki and cash considerations from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league catcher David Freitas, the Nationals have announced:

The Nationals have lost several catchers to injury this season, none more notable than backstop Wilson Ramos, who was lost for the year after tearing his right ACL.

On the season, Nationals’ catchers have only hit at a clip of .236/.295/.353. Prior to the acquisition of Suzuki, Jesus Flores was Washington’s starter behind the plate and he was backed up by Sandy Leon.

Suzuki’s offensive numbers have dropped off drastically over the last several seasons. After maintaining OPSs north of .700 from 2007-09, he failed to reach the plateau in each of the past two seasons and has only managed a line of .218/.250/.286 this year.

Still, the 28-year-old owns a career line of .254/.311/.378. Suzuki is making $5 million this season and will earn $6.45 million in 2013. His contract also includes an $8.5 million team option, including a $650,000 buyout, for the 2014 season.

Suzuki will “most likely” be the Nationals’ everyday catcher, according to William Ladson of MLB.com.

The Athletics acquired George Kottaras from the Milwaukee Brewers just before the trade deadline, and they have top catching prospect Derek Norris, who made his major league debut earlier this season, sitting in Triple-A.

Freitas, 23, has spent the season with the Nationals’ High-A affiliate. Over 273 at-bats, he’s hit at a clip of .271/.374/.407 with twenty-two doubles and five home runs.

Prior to the 2012 season, Minor League Ball’s John Sickels listed Freitas as the Nationals’ thirteenth-best prospect, saying:

13) Dave Freitas, C, Grade C+: Borderline C. Draws tons of walks, has some power, not great at nailing runners but doesn't give up many passed balls or errors. We need to see him higher than the Sally League, but an interesting player.

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Who wins this deal?

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