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Cubs Free Agent Target: Kurt Suzuki

There's a report that the former Athletics and Nationals catcher is on the Cubs' shopping list.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Though it would be nice if the Cubs could retain Dioner Navarro to back up Welington Castillo at catcher, it seems as if Navarro, coming off the best year of his career, is going to seek more money and playing time elswehere. For this, you can hardly blame him.

Thus the Cubs are seeking another catcher to back up Castillo, and, according to Patrick Mooney of, it could be Kurt Suzuki:

Suzuki, 30, has built up a good reputation for his baseball IQ and ability to handle pitching staffs with the Oakland A’s and Washington Nationals.

Suzuki (.685 career OPS) is not an offensive force like [Brian] McCann or [Jarrod] Saltalamacchia, two hitters who will cash in with long-term deals expected to go far beyond a price range that would make the Cubs comfortable.

Still, Suzuki could help mentor Castillo, who took major steps forward during his age-26 season but has questions about his durability and game-calling approach.

Personally, I think Castillo has gotten much better at game-calling, and he was an offensive force after the All-Star break (.288/.388/.475 with six home runs in 139 at-bats). Still, it would be helpful to have someone who, as Mooney states, has a good ability to handle pitching staffs. The Cubs have really lacked a backup like that since Henry Blanco departed.

Suzuki made $6.45 million in 2013; that seems pricey for someone who hit just .232/.290/.337 in 285 at-bats (73 OPS+). Nevertheless, Suzuki was a key part of the Nationals 2012 playoff run after he was acquired by them from the A's in August 2012, and the A's thought enough of him to get him back last year when they were making their own run at the postseason.

What do you think? He could be a nice addition to the roster, especially if he can hit the way he did from 2009-11.