Cincinnati Reds sign third baseman Eugenio Suarez to 7-year extension

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

After having a breakout season for the Cincinnati Reds, Eugenio Suarez earned himself a contract extension.

Last season Eugenio Suarez impressed the Cincinnati Reds with his play at third base causing them to sign him to an eight year contract extension worth $81-million, including options.  He went from one of the worst defensive third basemen in the National League to one of the best.  He did this while getting even better on offense.

Suarez signed with the Detroit Tigers as a 17-year old from Venezuela.  He primarily played third base when he first signed, but also played a little at short and second.  He batted .262 his first year in the Venezuelan Summer League.

Suarez progressed up through the Tigers’ system making his debut on June 4, 2014.  By this time, the Tigers saw Suarez as a hit first shortstop.  He was the starting shortstop everywhere that he went in 2013 and 2014.

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During the following off-season, the Tigers traded him along with Jonathon Crawford to the Reds for All-Star starting pitcher Alfredo Simon.  The Reds had turned a waiver wire pick-up into a young back-up infielder.  Suarez made his debut in Cincinnati on June 11, 2015, almost exactly one year after making his MLB debut in Detroit.

Looking around baseball, the most similar player that pops up is Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets.  They are not perfect matches, though.  Flores is a more versatile defender, while Suarez has more power.

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The Cincinnati Reds are hoping that Eugenio Suarez can continue to advance offensively and defensively.

Each year in the majors Suarez has hit more home runs.  He raised his total from 4 to 26 as he gained more playing time and confidence.  He has also driven in more runs every MLB season.

Last season, Suarez was fifth in defensive wins above replacement at 0.8.  This may only be a 0.5 WAR change from 2016, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.  Suarez went from 27 errors in 2016 to only nine in 2017, third fewest for starters in MLB.

Suarez is also a clubhouse leader despite his relatively young age.  He won the 2017 Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award given to the player that best embodies the spirit of the Reds former long time announcer.  Recent past winners include fellow third basemen Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier.

Next: The Reds should trade Suarez now that he has a deal

Seven years is an eternity in MLB.  Maybe Suarez will be in Cincinnati for the rest of his career or maybe he will be gone before the signing bonus is spent.  In any case Suarez has done the work to earn the contract that every baseball player dreams of when he sign his first professional contract.