SHANNON DRAYER

Drayer: What to know as Mariners trade Eugenio Suárez to Arizona

Nov 22, 2023, 11:47 AM | Updated: 5:03 pm

Seattle Mariners...

Eugenio Suarez of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his solo home run on Sept. 30, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The early moves would indicate it is not going to be a quiet offseason for the Seattle Mariners.

Following the acquisition of Luis Urías last Friday afternoon, the Mariners pulled off a trade with the Diamondbacks Wedneday morning, sending Eugenio Suárez to the desert in return for young right-handed reliever Carlos Vargas and backup catcher Seby Zavala.

Suárez leaves the Seattle Mariners having been the pleasant surprise of the Jesse Winker deal before the 2022 season. That year, he posted a line of .236/.332/.459 (.791 OPS) with a 130 wRC+ and led the team in home runs with 31. In 2023, he saw a downtick in his production, however, with the wRC+ falling to 102 and the strikeouts climbing to an American League-high 214.

Check out the Arizona perspective of the deal

To his credit, Suárez did not take the offensive struggles into the field in 2023 as he played a defense that by the eye – and teammates – was much better than the numbers suggested.

Suárez was a trusted leader for Mariners manager Scott Servais, who notably called upon him to pump the team up mid-season when it looked like they could slide in the wrong direction. And he was thought highly enough of to be given the honor of popping the first champagne bottle after the Mariners ended the drought in September 2022. Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto thanked Suárez for his contributions both on and off the field in the Mariners’ press release.

“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 kind and we’re lucky to have had him as part of our club,” Dipoto said.

The early moves made by Dipoto and Justin Hollander have the look of controlling the controllable.

With both Dipoto and Servais pointing to too much swing and miss and not enough contact as areas of concern coming off last season, this along with nontendering Teoscar Hernández is a move in that direction. With these moves, however, there is also plenty of production from the 2023 roster to be replaced.

While the door to upgrading is always open, it does appear Urías will take over at third, leaving plenty of room in the outfield and at DH to bring in more offense. And while there is no word on what the Mariners have to spend this winter, the $11 million due Suarez in 2024 and $2 million buyout in 2025 come off the books.

As for the newest Mariners, they pick up an interesting arm in Vargas (24).

A former top-30 prospect with the Guardians, Vargas debuted with the Diamondbacks in 2023. He comes to the Mariners having thrown just 4 2/3 innings in the big leagues, but possesses a big fastball that touches 100 mph and promising secondary pitches and has the chance to become a leverage arm in the bullpen.

Zavala (30), was claimed off waivers from the White Sox in September, will fill a back-up role. He grades out well defensively and has posted a 210/.275/.347 slash in parts of four seasons in the big leagues.

To make room on the 40-man roster for the additons from Arizona, RHP Ryan Jensen was designated for assignment.

Watch Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy react to the news of the trade in the video below.

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