PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired slugger Eugenio Suárez on Wednesday from the Seattle Mariners for reliever Carlos Vargas and catcher Seby Zavala.
The 32-year-old Suárez was a 2018 All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds and has been a consistent power hitter for the past decade, slugging 246 homers since 2012. He fills a need for the D-backs at third base, which was manned mostly by Evan Longoria and Emmanuel Rivera last season.
Suárez also provides another power bat for the reigning NL champions. He hit .232 with 22 homers and 96 RBI for the Mariners last season, playing third base and designated hitter.
Suárez is due $11 million for next year as part of deal that includes a $15 million option for 2025 with a $2 million buyout.
“It adds a little bit of stability at that spot,” Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen said. “He’s a guy we’ve liked for a long time.”
Vargas is a 24-year-old right-hander who made his big league debut with the Diamondbacks this season, throwing in five games. The 30-year-old Zavala has been a backup catcher for the Chicago White Sox and the Diamondbacks over the past three seasons.
Jerry Dipoto, president of baseball operations for the Mariners, said the club envisions Zavala as the backup to Cal Raleigh entering the season.
“Adding Seby and Carlos is another step toward building the type of deep roster that is required at the major league level,” Dipoto said. “Seby is an experienced catcher with excellent defensive skills who will team with Cal 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.”
Moving on from Suárez will be hard to sell to a fan base full of skepticism about the direction of the club after Seattle missed the playoffs and Dipoto’s misstep with some of his postseason comments. From the outside, it appears to be a move to clear salary, erases a key leader from Seattle’s clubhouse and leaves a hole at third base.
But Dipoto said earlier this offseason that Seattle wanted to cut down on its strikeouts at the plate, especially from the right side. It was part of the reason Teoscar Hernández was not made a qualifying offer by the team. While Suárez provided power, he also struck out an American League-high 214 times.