The Atlanta Braves have signed veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki to a one year $1.5 million contract Saturday. The Braves have not confirmed this, but once Suzuki completes a physical then the deal will be official. To be honest I had to do some research on Suzuki, but he seems like a good back up catcher. The Braves do not seem quite ready to have Tyler Flowers as their everyday catcher. Flowers put up impressive offensive numbers in 2016, but his defensive skills were not as impressive.
Kurt Suzuki is 33 years old. Last season he played for the Minnesota Twins. He has also played for the Washington Nationals and the Oakland Athletics. He is a former 2nd round pick with the Oakland Athletics in 2004. He played his high school baseball at Baldwin high school in Waikiki, Hawaii. He also played college baseball at California State University Fullerton. He bats right handed and he throws right handed also. The Braves had hoped to sign a free agent catcher this season to allow Tyler Flowers, Anthony Recker, and Tuffy Gosewisch another season or two to fine tune their skills behind the plate. Flowers and Recker had good showings at the plate last year, but they both need better throwing out skills. Holding runners on base is key and not allowing a single or a walk to turn into a potential double or triple.
Kurt Suzuki can provide a great back up roll in case of injuries during a 162 game season. Adding another veteran player to the clubhouse will provide leadership to very young but talented 2017 Braves team. I’m looking forward way ching what catching skills Suzuki can teach Tyler Flowers and Anthony Recker. It will be interesting to see if the Braves keep 4 catchers on there roster or send Tuffy Gosewisch to triple A Gwinnett. Suzuki will also be key in possible pinch hitting role. It’s nice watching the Braves sign top free agent players when there is little baseball news to report. It will be a great season in Atlanta. GO BRAVES!!!!!