MLB

Nationals acquire C Suzuki from Athletics

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WASHINGTON (AP)

The Washington Nationals acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league catcher David Freitas on Friday.

The 28-year-old Suzuki was batting .218 with a home run and 18 RBIs for Oakland. Manager Davey Johnson said he expects Suzuki to report in time for the home game against Miami on Saturday.

Washington wanted to shore up its catching spot after the mid-May loss of Wilson Ramos with a torn ACL. Jesus Flores has been the starting catcher, though Johnson referred to Suzuki as ''a No. 1 catcher.''

When General Manager Mike Rizzo brought up Suzuki to Johnson, the manager enthusiastically endorsed the acquisition.

''I said, `Man, that would definitely bolster our catching corps,''' said Johnson, who managed Suzuki in a 2006 U.S. Olympic qualifying tournament.

Suzuki will be under team control in 2013.

''He's in the Gold Glove conversation each and every year,'' Rizzo said. ''He's not a rental. He's going to be here for more than this season.''

Besides Ramos, backup Jhonatan Solano (oblique) is on the disabled list. The Nationals' current backup is Sandy Leon, who was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg.

Flores had surgery on his right shoulder in Sept. 2009, and missed the following season. He's batting .225 with three home runs and 18 RBIs. Flores has thrown out just five of the 48 runners who've tried to steal on him. Suzuki has thrown out 38 percent of runners this season.

''Flo is still having some problems. He's not back to where he was,'' Johnson said.

Freitas was batting .271 for Class-A Potomac.

Tagged: Athletics, Nationals, Jesus Flores, Kurt Suzuki

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