Suzuki, Braves agree to one-year extension
ATLANTA (AP) — Kurt Suzuki and the Atlanta Braves agreed Saturday to a one-year, $3.5 million contract for 2018.
“You can see the potential and a lot of positives coming out of this,” said the 33-year-old catcher, a Baldwin High School graduate. “It is only going to get better, and I am excited to be a part of that.”
Suzuki, an 11-year major league veteran, is batting .271 with a career-high 18 home runs in 76 games this year, and has driven in 47 runs. He has thrown out 13 of 54 runners attempting to steal.
“It feels good, as this is a place that I love and I wanted to come back,” Suzuki said on the Braves’ website. “I am glad everything worked out.”
General manager John Coppollela said the Braves also intend to exercise catcher Tyler Flowers’ $4 million option for next year. Flowers is batting .286 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 92 games.
“I think at this point we would lean that way very strongly,” Coppollela said. “When we brought back Kurt, part of what it was is he worked so well with Tyler. They are good friends. They work together very well with our young pitching, so it’s kind of like that old saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ “
Suzuki signed with Atlanta this offseason after three years with the Minnesota Twins — he was an All-Star in 2014. In a career that also includes time with the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals, he has batted .256, and his 566 RBIs are the most among Hawaii-born players in major league history. Suzuki’s 101 homers and 1,140 career hits rank second among Hawaii players to Shane Victorino — the St. Anthony High School graduate had 108 homers and 1,274 hits.
Suzuki has been hit by a pitch 13 times this season, ninth-most in the National League, and 83 times in his career, tied for 22nd among all active players.
He is 219-for-907 in his career on stolen-base attempts against.