The Oakland Athletics re-acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki from the Washington Nationals late Thursday night, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Nationals will receive minor league right-hander Dakota Bacus in the deal, and that each team will pay half ($675K) of the $1.35 remaining on Suzuki's salary this season.
Suzuki, 29, was dealt to the Nationals last August in an effort to provide the team with an offensive boost for their playoff push.
In 43 games at the end of the 2012 season, he hit .267 with 5 HR and 5 RBI for the Nationals, helping them win the NL East title. His offensive production has fallen off this year, as he has hit only .223 with 3 HR and 25 RBI in 78 games on the season.
Before last year's deal, Suzuki spent the first five and a half seasons of his major league career with the Athletics, who drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft.
In 703 games with the A's from 2007 to 2012, Suzuki hit .254 with 57 HR and 302 RBI while becoming a fan favorite in the Bay Area.
As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday, the Athletics have been looking for catching help for the last couple of weeks. The team's starting catcher, John Jaso, is suffering from the effects of a concussion and may miss the rest of the season. Oakland has been relying on Derek Norris and Stephen Vogt behind the plate, but both have struggled offensively all season. Suzuki's familiarity with much of the pitching staff and offensive potential made him a perfect fit to be reacquired by the team.
Oakland will hold an $8.5 million option on Suzuki for next season, and his performance for the rest of the season will likely determine if he returns for 2014. With the emergence of Wilson Ramos as the Nationals' choice for starting catcher, Washington was not expected to pick up Suzuki's option.
Bacus, 22, was selected by Oakland in the ninth round of last year's draft and has spent this season with Single-A Beloit. In 26 games (16 starts) on the season, Bacus is 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA, 6.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 121.1 innings of work.
Before the season, John Sickels of Minor League Ball had Bacus ranked just outside of his list of Oakland's top 20 prospects. Baseball America did not include the young right-hander in their ranking of the team's top 30 prospects, but his solid statistics and age make him a valuable asset in the Nationals' system.