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Suzuki signs 4-year extension

Carl Steward here, filling in for Joe Stiglich tonight. Something big always happens when I’m in for Joe (Braden perfect game, Sweeney out for year) and tonight is no exception.

The A’s have locked up catcher Kurt Suzuki for awhile: the next four years at $16.25 million. Here are details Joe filed to the Bay Area News Group website …

The contract kicks in this season, superseding the one-year $420,000 deal Suzuki had in place, and runs through 2013. There’s a vesting option for 2014 based on Suzuki starting a minimum number of games in 2013, his agent, Dan Horwits, confirmed.

Suzuki, 26, is the second core young player the A’s have locked up this season. Left-hander Brett Anderson received a four-year, $12.5 million deal in April that includes club options for 2014 and 2015.

Suzuki would have been arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. His new deal buys out his arbitration years and, if the option vests, his first year of free agency as well.

Suzuki took over as the A’s catcher during his rookie season of 2007 and has since developed into one of the American League’s best at his position. He’s hitting .257 with a team-leading 10 homers and 37 RBIs this season, but he’s earned the most respect for his game-calling and handling of pitchers.

GM Billy Beane said this was a relatively easy call seeing as Suzuki is one of the most dependable and hardest-working players on the team. Suzuki, obviously, was very excited about the new deal.

Not bad for a guy who once walked on at Cal State Fullerton.

Joe Stiglich