2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Kurt Suzuki

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

He'll be cheaper than Jarrod Saltalamacchia, that's for sure.

Kurt Suzuki started out his career as a good defensive catcher who could hit a little bit. That's an asset to a major league team. In 2008 and 2009, Suzuki posted two straight seasons in which he was worth more than three wins. Since, then he has maintained value as a defensive backstop, but his offense has shrunk down to the point where he is barely above replacement value. It's not too surprising, then, that he was swapped from the Athletics to the Nationals in 2012 and then back to Oakland in 2013.

For a good team, Suzuki is an experienced backup catcher who can handle a pitching staff and play good defense. That makes him a good player to target if the Mets fancy themselves a good team in 2014. Of course, no one would really notice if they just stuck with Anthony Recker.

The cost

Suzuki had an option for a fifth year on his contract that was worth $8.5 million, but the Athletics opted to pay his $650,000 buyout instead. In 2014, he's probably worth about $1.5 million on a one-year deal, but someone who values his grission will probably go for $4 million over two years or something like that. "Kurt" is such a gritty name.

The fit

Suzuki fits with the Mets because he should be a reliable backup who can mentor Travis d'Arnaud in the finer aspects of catcher defense. The real question about Suzuki is "does he offer a significant upgrade over Anthony Recker?" Suzuki is a tad better on defense and hit .232/.290/.337 last season. Recker hit .215/.280/.400, so at least the incumbent has a little bit of pop. The Mets will probably stick with Recker.

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