Though the non-waiver trade deadline passed on Tuesday, moves can still be made courtesy of the waiver wires. The Nationals made such a move on Friday afternoon as they traded catchers with the Oakland Athletics, trading minor league catcher David Freitas for Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki.
Suzuki has been a regular catcher for the Athletics since 2008, starting the second most games of any catcher in that span only behind St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Suzuki's stats with the Athletics are pretty good for a catcher and with the Nationals needing some help at that position, this trade could help the Nationals as the season draws to a close.
Suzuki is a .254 (643-for-2530) career hitter with 134 doubles, 57 home runs, 302 RBI and a .689 OPS in 703 games spanning six seasons (2007-present) with Oakland. Defensively, Suzuki leads all qualified American League catchers in fielding percentage (.996), caught stealings (23) and caught-stealing percentage (38.3%).
There is no indication when Suzuki could be available to play for the Nationals. It seems unlikely that he will make it to D.C. in time for the Nationals' doubleheader on Friday night, though he could be available on Saturday if he arrives early enough.
Freitas, a 15th round selection in the 2010 player draft, was playing for high single-A Potomac at the time of the trade, hitting .271.
This is a suprising trade that the Nationals have made in advance of Friday's doubleheader against the Miami Marlins. In the first game, the Nationals will sit both outfielders Bryce Harper and Michael Morse. Pitcher John Lannan was called up to start the first game of the doubleheader and hopes to lead the Nationals to a win and extend their two and a half game lead in the NL East.
Here is the rest of the Nationals' lineup.
— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 3, 2012
#Nationals 8/3 Game 1 Lineup: Espinosa SS, Lombo 2B, Zim 3B, Werth CF, LaRoche 1B, Moore LF, DeRosa RF, Flores C, Lannan LHP
The game is scheduled for a 4:05 p.m. first pitch from Nationals Park. Television coverage will be provided by MASN 2 with radio coverage on 106.7 The Fan FM, 1500 WFED AM and 1580 WHFS AM.
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