D-backs add pop, acquire Suárez from Mariners

November 22nd, 2023

PHOENIX -- The D-backs checked one item off their winter to-do list on Wednesday when they acquired third baseman Eugenio Suárez from the Mariners in exchange for catcher Seby Zavala and Minor League right-hander Carlos Vargas.

Third base has been a revolving door for the D-backs in recent years, and acquiring Suárez gives them stability at the position. He also gives them a right-handed bat they were looking for to balance their lineup in addition to providing some more power.

“It’s something that I see how [the D-backs] play, for me, I’m so excited to be part of that and to join a team that wants to win the World Series," Suárez told MLB.com's Daniel Kramer in a phone interview. "They were just there and they have that test, and I want to be part of that right now. I appreciate that they thought of me to be part of that. That means a lot.”

D-backs receive: 3B Eugenio Suárez
Mariners receive: Catcher Seby Zavala, RHP Carlos Vargas

Suárez is coming off a season in which he slashed .232/.323/.391 with an OPS+ of 101. He does have a tremendous amount of power, having hit over 30 homers in four of the past five seasons (not including the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign).

“We have been looking for an everyday third baseman,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said. “We feel like this is a guy that adds the power element, good defender, everyday player in a position that we've been platooning for a few years now. I think it adds a little stability to that spot. And an incredible clubhouse guy. This is somebody we’ve liked for a long time, and we feel like it's a natural fit given what our team is looking for.”

Best of all for the D-backs, it’s a move that doesn’t limit them from making other additions to the team either via trade or free agency.

Suárez’s salary -- he’s under contract for next season for $11 million, with the D-backs holding a club option for 2025 at $15 million with a $2 million buyout -- doesn’t break the budget they had planned to spend this offseason.

Zavala was acquired by the D-backs last September after the White Sox designated him for assignment, but he rarely played for them down the stretch.

As for Vargas, the D-backs acquired the flamethrowing prospect from the Guardians last winter for Minor League right-hander Ross Carver. Vargas struggled with his command at Triple-A Reno last year and appeared in just five games for the D-backs this year.

In other words, the D-backs didn’t part with a lot of prospect capital in this deal, leaving them depth to choose from for future deals.

Despite their run to the World Series, Hazen has taken a realistic approach to the offseason, noting that the D-backs won 84 games during the regular season and were outscored overall. That in addition to losing free agents like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Tommy Pham leaves them needing to fill several holes.

With third base now locked up, the D-backs turn their attention to trying to add starting pitching, bullpen help and possibly some depth for the bench.

“We have a lot of things to take care of this offseason,” Hazen said. “We have a lot of things on our to-do list to put our team back together. And you can't do five things until you do one thing. And this was a player that we liked that we targeted [and] we felt like the acquisition of was something that didn't shut us off from making other trades or doing other things as we went to the offseason.”