Suzuki signs with Braves
Baldwin graduate, 10-year MLB veteran says decision gives him good chance to win
Free-agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, a Baldwin High School graduate, confirmed Saturday he has signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.
The deal is worth $1.5 million, with another $2.5 million in incentives, multiple news outlets reported Saturday, and according to a major league source is pending a physical, the Braves said on their website.
“At this point in my career, I want to win,” said Suzuki, 33. “With the moves they’ve made, and with the guys they have coming back, they can win.”
Suzuki batted .258 with eight home runs and 49 RBIs with the Minnesota Twins last season, his 10th in the major leagues. He threw out 12 of 64 runners attempting to steal.
An All-Star with Minnesota in 2014, Suzuki has also played for the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals. He is a .256 career hitter with 83 homers, and his 519 RBIs are the most for a Hawaii-born player in MLB history. He is 206-for-853 throwing out runners.
Atlanta’s 40-man roster includes Tyler Flowers, who appeared in 83 games for the team last year, batting .270 with eight homers and 41 RBIs; Anthony Recker, who appeared in 33 games for the Braves in 2016; and Tuffy Gosewich, who had 99 plate appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.
“They ran down the scenarios, and they don’t have a first string, don’t have a backup,” Suzuki said. “Whoever’s got a hot hand is going to play. … If I play well, and play like how I should, I think I have a good chance.”