With John Jaso likely out for the year and Derek Norris suffering a broken toe this week against the Seattle Mariners, the A's were down to one viable catcher on their roster -- Stephen Vogt.
The 29-year old Suzuki is hitting .222 with three home runs and 25 RBI in 79 games this year for the Washington Nationals, and he previously played for Oakland for the first five-plus seasons of his career (2006-2012), batting .254 with 57 HRs and 302 RBI in 703 games.
This "solves" an issue for the A's on some levels, but where the American League West division race is concerned, the Texas Rangers probably are unconcerned with this news.
Yes, a lot of experts laughed when the 2010 San Francisco Giants got stuck with a mediocre Cody Ross in a waiver claim, and look how that turned out. But Suzuki is not the missing piece to this Oakland puzzle right now, at all.
He's a longtime favorite of A's fans, for sure, and most people would have liked to see Kurt around last year when the team finally won big.
But right here, right now? This acquisition underscores the issue with Oakland: to improve their team, the Rangers added starting pitcher Matt Garza (9-2, 3.59) and outfielder Alex Rios (a two-time All-Star who finished 15th in the MVP balloting last season).
The A's added Alberto Callaspo and now Suzuki.
(Cue the crickets chirping.)
Oakland is in a free fall, of sorts, with a sub-.500 record since the All-Star Game and nine-game drop in the standings since July 30 -- and the club just doesn't make significant moves to improve the team.
The Rangers do, and it's paid off with those nine games in the standings.
Making moves to improve your team sends the message to players and fans that you want to win, and while no one who read Moneyball or saw the film version should truly doubt the desire of General Manager Billy Beane to win, eventually even casual observers are going to wonder what ownership is thinking in terms of not spending the money necessary to improve a team that's fading fast.
As the A's prepare to take on Baltimore and Detroit this week on the road in a pretty important slate of games (and yes, both those teams also made significantly more impressive acquisitions than Oakland did in their quest to reach the 2013 World Series), they do so perhaps wondering how committed to winning their owner is.