With the Joe Mauer deal behind us now, let’s take a look at another talented catcher who is deserving of a long-term contract. In just his second full season with the A’s, Kurt Suzuki hit .274 with 15 HR and 88 RBIs. Along with his impressive offensive showing, Suzuki also helped a group of young pitchers make the transition to the MLB. As a result, youngsters like 2009 ROY Andrew Bailey, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill made some impressive strides towards becoming strong major league players. Suzuki, 26, is definitely deserving of a long-term deal for all his efforts.
Aside from the super-human Mauer, Suzuki is probably close to being the next best catcher in the American League. In fact, I’d place Suzuki among the top-five catchers in all of baseball.
Yup. He’s that type of player.
The A’s don’t have the biggest payroll in MLB, but that shouldn’t stop them from signing a significant player like Suzuki for a long-term contract. I think the A’s realize that Suzuki is a key component to their team. Suzuki does so much for the A’s, and he should be signed to a long-term deal. A’s fans are sick and tired of seeing homegrown talent walk away to explore free agency. Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada and others have been some A’s players to test the waters of free agency due to the team’s unwillingness to lock up it’s best talent. However, with the recent deal Mauer received from the modest-payroll Twins team, the A’s should have enough saved up to lock up Suzuki.
Suzuki should have another solid season this year, but I would like to see him improve his OBP (.313 in ’09). Suzuki drew only 28 free passes, but on the other hand, he did hit for more power in ’09 (15 HR). Like I said in my A’s Preview piece about Suzuki, he should be a fantastic player to watch. It’s not totally ludicrous either, to say that he could potentially represent the A’s in the All-Star Game in Anaheim this year.
Suzuki is the A’s most complete position player right now, and really deserves to be locked-up with a long-term deal. Did you hear that, Billy? Lock-up Suzuki.