Arizona Diamondbacks acquire third baseman Eugenio Suarez from the Mariners

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be sending two players to the Seattle Mariners for veteran third baseman Eugenio Suarez.

Sep 11, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA;  Seattle Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suarez (28)
Sep 11, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suarez (28) / Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Diamondbacks entered the 2023-2024 off-season with a gap at third base, and it looks like they have found their man. The Snakes have swung a trade with the Seattle Mariners for veteran third baseman Eugenio Suarez. In return, the D-Backs are sending right-handed reliever Carlos Vargas and backstop Seby Zavala to Seattle.

In Suarez's second season in Seattle, he hit .232/.323/.391 with a .313 wOBA and 101 wRC+, making him roughly a league-average hitter overall. Suarez is coming off his seventh season in a row where he has hit at least 20 home runs, going yard 22 total times; however, his .159 isolated slugging percentage is the worst rate he's posted since his 2014 rookie season. His 10.1% walk rate and 30.8% strikeout rate are typical for him.

But there is hope he can rebound. Suarez was in the 87th percentile of barrel rate, as well as above the 60th percentile of hard-hit rate (43%), and exit velocity (90.3 MPH). Plus, he owned a .328 wOBA. Suarez had what is easily his best defensive season at the hot corner. With +11 outs above average, he trumps his second-highest single-season total of +5 OAA set back in 2016. Suarez is also extremely durable, as he played all 162 of the Mariners' games in 2023 and has averaged about 153 games a season dating back to 2016.

The Diamondbacks aren't sending much back to Seattle. After a horrid start to the 2023 season with the Chicago White Sox where he hit just .155/.207/.304 with a 34 wRC+, Seby Zavala was acquired by the D-Backs via a waiver claim from the Sox. Zavala only received 17 plate appearances but had five hits, two walks, and only two strikeouts. Zavala has been a pretty good defensive catcher as he still racked up +6 defensive runs saved and +7.5 framing runs during his time with the White Sox and D-Backs this season. He also posted a .270 average with a 110 wRC+ in 2022, with similarly strong defense.

Carlos Vargas is the pitcher the D-Backs are sending to the M's. The D-Backs acquired the flamethrower from the Cleveland Guardians nearly a year ago to the day, as they sent Ross Carver to the Guards on November 15th. The right-hander made a brief cameo in 2023, pitching 4.2 innings, striking out seven, but also allowing four walks, two home runs, and three total earned runs. Vargas had a 7.02 ERA, 5.51 FIP, and 2.10 WHIP in 42.1 innings out of Triple-A Reno's bullpen. He also walked a ton of batters with a 15.1% BB% and only had a 17.8% K-rate. On the plus side, he did have a 59% GB% and a 0.64 HR/9. He averages out at 99.4 MPH with his fastball but clearly has issues controlling it.

Suarez is owed just under $11.3 million for 2024 and has a team option for 2025. This option also includes a buyout worth $2 million. The move on Seattle's part is pretty much a salary dump. Zavala is a 30-year-old defense-first back-up catcher, and Vargas is a hard thrower with poor command. Those kinds of players are common around baseball.

However, for the D-Backs, they are getting a solid option for third base next season and potentially 2025, when we could start seeing the arrival of top prospects like Gino Groover, Tommy Troy, and Ivan Melendez get extended big-league looks. Suarez has averaged about +3.5 fWAR a year over his two seasons with the Mariners. The Diamondbacks have not had a third baseman post at least +3.0 fWAR in a season since Jake Lamb did in 2016 at +3.7 or greater.