The MLB Non-waiver trade deadline is this Thursday, and the Baltimore Orioles are among several contenders that have been rumored to be linked in trade talks for several different players, including Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki. Of course the question is, should the Orioles even be looking to make a move for the All Star catcher.
At age 30, Suzuki made his first All Star team this season and is currently hitting .309 with two home runs, 41 RBI, 19 doubles, 26 runs scored and has a .367 on base percentage. All those numbers sound pretty good don't they?
Other than the lack of power, Suzuki would certainly be an offensive upgrade over the current tandem of Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley as neither are hitting above .210 and both have an on base percentage under .275.
Combined, Orioles catchers have hit .242 with 10 home runs, 46 RBI, 21 doubles and have an on base percentage of .291. Of course that includes contributions from both Matt Wieters and Steve Clevenger, but outside of the power numbers, Suzuki brings an offensive upgrade.
What about defensively?
Suzuki is a decent fielding catcher as he owns a .993 fielding percentage this season, but has only thrown out 23% of base stealers, as opposed to the league average of 28%. In addition, Joseph owns a .994 fielding percentage and has thrown out 48% of base stealers. Hundley also boasts a .994 fielding percentage, but has only thrown out 13% of base stealers.
The biggest issue on the field in acquiring Suzuki would be that the Orioles pitching staff has been pretty darn good with both Joseph and Hundley behind the dish, and if you bring in a new catcher at this point you risk screwing up the 'mojo' that has been created with the O's staff and Joseph and Hundley.
If the Twins asking price is decently low, especially since Suzuki is a free agent at the end of the season, then this is a move the Orioles should consider as you could always use Joseph as a defensive replacement late in the game, but if as a front office and coaching staff that you believe the risk of implanting a new catcher is too big of a risk to the pitching staff, then by all means, go with Joseph and Hundley, especially since in September you can recall Clevenger when rosters expand for a little more offense.
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