We’ve covered the trade as well as what the new lineup looks like, but I want to get to the part of the trade that has led to the most derision amongst Mariners fans. Everyone seems to love Jesse Winker, but a lot of fans are split on Eugenio Suarez, and whether he was an asset acquisition or a salary dump from the Reds.
There are a couple of big factors in some of the recent struggles that we have seen from him. Suarez is a third baseman who has dabbled a bit at shortstop but should solely be a 3B. He dealt with an injured shoulder but seems to be fully recovered. You add those together, and you were looking at a guy with a bum wing at a position he shouldn’t be at. Well, there shouldn’t be any need for him to play SS in Seattle, so we don’t have to worry about that.
Eugenio Suarez could end up being a stud for the Mariners
There’s also the complaint that we took on all his salary. Yeah, all three years and $35 million. That’s not bad at all. Yes, it’s going to stink and be a sunk cost if he plays as he did in 2021. I feel pretty strongly that isn’t going to be the case with a healthy Suarez plopped into a fairly strong Mariners lineup.
So, let’s take it back to 2019. Yeah, it’s a few years ago, but it’s also a good benchmark for looking at the window when he was in the position he should be at, and when he was healthy.
- 2019: .271/.358/.572. 49 HR, 22 2B, 131 OPS+,1.5 oWAR
- 2018: .283/.366/.526. 34 HR, 22 2B, 136 OPS+, 3.2 oWAR
- 2017: .260/.367/.461. 26 HR, 25 2B, 115 OPS+, 4.2 oWAR
- 2016: .248/.317/.411. 21 HR, 25 2B, 92 OPS+, 4.2 oWAR
Eugenio Suarez wasn’t just a good hitter. He was a great hitter. That’s some incredible pop to put into the lineup, and the Mariners definitely need it. You’re getting a guy with better power than Seager AND a better average. He doesn’t play the same level of defense, but he brings more to the plate.
He is going to struggle a bit with strikeouts. However, if he’s gonna be hitting 260 with 35+ HR, then it’s a worthy trade-off. There’s also something else that should alleviate worries about the batting average over the last two years. He had an AWFUL BABIP in 2020 and 2021. .214 in 2020 and .224 in 2021.
That’s insanely unlucky. The League average is about .300. That doesn’t mean his average will jump ~80 points, but it’s going to go up a lot if he can get league average luck. As a hard-hitting power bat, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Is Suarez going to magically hit 50 homers and hit .290? No, he won’t. We should be fairly confident that he is going to turn back into a decent hitter though, and seeing some sort of line that sits around .265/.355/.525 with 35 HR isn’t a stretch. He’s going to be a welcome addition to the lineup, and Mariners fans should be happy to have him as the new third baseman.