Mariners trade Suárez to D-Backs for 2 players
The reigning National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks made a big move on Tuesday, acquiring veteran third baseman Eugenio Suárez from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for catcher Seby Zavala and right-handed reliever Carlos Vargas, the teams announced.
"First off, I want to thank Geno for his contributions over the past two years, on and off the field. The day he walked in, he told us 'good vibes only' and he brought that mantra to our clubhouse and our fans, he's truly one of a kind and we're lucky to have had him as part of our club." Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said.
"Adding Seby and Carlos is another step toward building the type of deep roster that is required at the major-league level. Seby is an experienced catcher with excellent defensive skills who will team with Cal (Raleigh) behind the plate. And Carlos is a young reliever with the type of 'big stuff' that our staff has done a wonderful job developing over the years."
Suárez is one of the top power-hitting third basemen in baseball. The 32-year-old cranked 22 home runs last season and has 246 in his career, including 49 in 2019 when he played for the Cincinnati Reds.
He'll take over the hot corner after a season in which the D-Backs rotated Evan Longoria, Emmanuel Rivera, and a few others. Arizona third basemen were valued at a combined 0.5 fWAR last season, which ranked 25th in MLB, according to FanGraphs. Suárez was worth 3.2 fWAR last season and 4.1 fWAR in 2022 for the Mariners.
Most of Suárez's value comes with the bat, but he's a solid defender at third. He ranked fifth in the majors among third basemen in outs above average last season, according to Baseball Savant.
The veteran infielder is in the last guaranteed year of his contract and is set to earn $11.285 million in 2024. His contract includes a $15-million team option for the 2025 season with a $2-million buyout.
Zavala should provide the Mariners with a back-up catching option behind Raleigh. The 30-year-old posted an .899 OPS in seven games with the D-Backs after he was selected off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.
Prior to his short stint in Arizona, Zavala authored a .205/.268/.345 slash line with 14 homers in 169 career games with the South Siders. The backstop received high grades in blocks above average (85th percentile) and framing (77th percentile) from Baseball Savant last season.
Vargas, 24, has five games of big-league experience under his belt. The hard-throwing righty averages 99.5 mph with his fastball and owns a career 8.8 K/9 in 188 2/3 minor-league innings.
Trading Suárez is expected to free up third base for Luis Urías, who was acquired by the Mariners last week in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.