Tom Pennington, Getty Images
June 29, 2014
2014 stats: .309 batting average/.367 on-base percentage/.392 slugging percentage, 2 HRs, 41 RBIs in 87 games
Scouting report: Suzuki, who signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with Minnesota in the offseason, became an All-Star for the first time in his career. For the Orioles, he'd be purely a late-season rental. He's an eight-year major league veteran who would add experience behind the plate in the absence of Matt Wieters, who is out for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. To be an upgrade, Suzuki has to be a defensive asset. He has thrown out 26 percent of base runners in his career, which is right at the league average, and he is 11-for-48 (23 percent) this season. His .367 on-base percentage undoubtedly piqued Duquette's interest and would fit nicely in the bottom third of the Orioles' batting order.
Does it work?: Duquette has maintained that he likes the current catching situation with the platoon of Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley. The club has gone through a difficult transition process with the duo, and Duquette has lauded the way they've handled a pitching staff that initially lacked at least some familiarity for both. If the Orioles trade for Suzuki and insert him as the starting catcher, he'd have to get adjusted to a new staff on the fly in a pennant race, which isn't always easy. There is some thought in the organization that his defensive tools, at age 30, are beginning to diminish. The Orioles' interest in Suzuki is real, but it might become more realistic if they can get him on the cheap.