Suzuki Traded To Nationals for Dakota Bacus


Jul 25, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) bats during the game against the Pittsburg Pirates at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Suzuki is headed to back to his old team, the Athletics, in a trade that will net the Washington Nationals Class A pitching prospect Dakota Bacus, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Bacus is the type of prospect that you would expect to see in exchange for a backup catcher; a former ninth round pick with a probable career as a middle reliever. He features a slider and changeup to go along with a low 90’s fastball, all of which he commands well. The problem is that while okay pitches, none of them are going to blow anyone out of the water. He has had good results this year, posting a 3.56 ERA in low A ball, but at 22 and drafted out of college, he’s too old for a league. His 6.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 are rather unexceptional considering the number of raw prep hitters he’s faced, and as Bacus advances, he’ll likely shift over to a bullpen role. He did pitch exceptionally well – 1.20 ERA, 10.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 – in 17 relief appearances last season, so the nationals might just have themselves a nice little set up man here.

Its worth noting that the Athletics were only forced to acquire Suzuki because of the failures of former top prospect Derek Norris. Currently suffering from a broken toe, Norris has been a disappointment since coming over in the Gio Gonzalez trade. His nagging injuries,  .217 average and .681 OPS are ill fitting of a man who once ranked by Baseball America as the #38 prospect in baseball. Still, the raw power exists, as evidenced by his .167 ISO (Isolated Slugging), and if he can ever stay healthy, he may yet have a future as decent, if unspectacular, starting catcher.

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