- Associated Press - Friday, July 23, 2010

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - The Oakland Athletics have signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to a new four-year contract that keeps him locked up through his arbitration years.

The deal announced Friday supersedes his previous 2010 contract and includes a club option for the 2014 season. The option year is the first year Suzuki is eligible for free agency.

The 26-year-old Suzuki is a key part of Oakland’s future. He has led all AL catchers in games started the past two seasons and became only the second catcher in franchise history to lead the team in RBIs with 88 last season.

He is hitting .257 with 37 RBIs and a team-leading 10 home runs in 68 games this year.