Kurt Suzuki returns to Nats on two-year deal

The Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, pending a physical, a source confirmed to MASNsports.com.

If Suzuki passes the physical, the club will announce the deal Tuesday.

Suzuki, 35, will be returning to the Nationals, where he was catcher for parts of the 2012 and 2013 campaigns. He arrived in D.C. in 2012 from Oakland, where had caught for five and a years.

Suzuki-Braves-in-Gear-Sidebar.jpgAfter leaving D.C. his batting average went up. In 2013, he hit .222 with the Nats and .303 in 15 games with Oakland. In 2014, he hit .288 with the Twins in 131 games and made the All-Star team for the first and only time in his career. In 2015 and 2016, he hit .240 and .258, respectively, for Minnesota. With the Braves in 2017 and 2018, he had his best seasons offensively, hitting .283 and .271, respectively, and combining for 31 homers and 100 RBIs. His on-base percentage the last two seasons was solid too: .351 and .332.

Overall for his career, Suzuki has slashed .258/.315/.387 with 114 homers with 619 RBIs in 1,394 games.

One question that could be answered in the coming weeks is where catchers Spencer Kieboom and Pedro Severino fit into the Nats’ plans at catcher for 2019. Will they be vying for the No. 2 spot behind Suzuki or does general manager Mike Rizzo have other plans to seek out a frontline starting catcher with veteran Suzuki as the second catcher?

Either way, it is a very good start for the Nats, considering Suzuki is a well-regarded catcher who handles pitchers well and can create offense, plus he is familiar with the organization, the city and was well liked by the fan base.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was the first to report the Suzuki deal.

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