Kurt Suzuki has been one of the more underrated offensive catchers in baseball and the Angels are right to show interest.
The Angels will enter spring training camp as of this time with just Max Stassi and Anthony Bemboom as their options behind the plate.
While Stassi has shown some offensive ability while in an Angels uniform, he still does not represent a formidable option behind the plate. On the other hand, Anthony Bemboom is fairly lucky to have a job in the majors considering his career 48 wRC+ across 46 games — a number that is 52 percent below league average. Bemboom is a solid defensive presence behind the plate, but nothing more. The Halos need an upgrade, but how much of an upgrade?
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Angels have been showing interest in Cal State Fullerton product and veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki, now 37 years old, spent each of the last two seasons in an Atlanta Braves uniform where he posted a 104 wRC+ in 2019 and 101 wRC+ in 2020. Suzuki has also been historically good against left-handed pitching.
The Angels were rumored to be in on catcher James McCann before he ultimately inked a four-year, $40 million deal with the New York Mets. JT Realmuto has also reportedly been of interest to the Halos of course, but he might be a tad out of their price range considering they have more pressing needs.
The good thing about Suzuki that allows him to fit with the Angels is his veteran presence and his low cost. At 37 years old, Suzuki’s best days are behind him. However, he is still a very solid offensive catcher and anyone who can put up a 100 wRC+ at the position should be in high demand. Suzuki, though, with his age, will likely only receive a one-year deal worth no more than $5-7 million. That’s a price point the Angels can easily shoulder.
All things considered, Kurt Suzuki would be an excellent cost-effective addition to the Halos and he is likely going to be easy to obtain this winter. A signing of Suzuki allows the Angels to shy away from the JT Realmuto sweepstakes while also being able to allocate their funds to get pitching. He might not be a total needle-mover, but Kurt Suzuki simply cannot do any harm to a catching corps that simply is not a difference-making asset of the team as it is. We will see how Kurt Suzuki’s free agency shakes out in the coming weeks.