Suárez, after a poor showing during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, put forward another horrendous season in 2021. Suárez hit just .198/.286/.428 with 31 home runs and 79 RBIs. Over the past two seasons, Geno is hitting just .199/.293/.440 with an 85 OPS+. Ouch!
Yelich has not been much better. The 29-year-old, who led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging in 2019, has suffered a Suárez-like slump over the past two seasons as well.
Yelich hit just nine home runs in 2021. While the 2018 NL MVP was limited to 117 games, we're talking about a two-time Silver Slugger Award-winner who mashed 80 homers between his All-Star seasons of 2018-2019.
Christian Yelich has struggled almost as much as Eugenio Suárez.
Yelich leads Suárez in batting average and on-base percentage, but the Reds' third baseman bests the Brewers' outfielder in slugging percentage, home runs, and RBIs.
Yelich suffered a broken knee cap during the close of the 2019 season and suffered from multiple stints on the IL this season with a back injury. Yelich signed a seven-year/$215M contract extension with the Brewers prior to last season.
That lucrative deal may now severely handcuff Milwaukee with their two aces (Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff) looking for contract extensions of their own. Josh Hader is up for arbitration again this offseason, and key players like Omar Navaez, Daniel Vogelbach, and Eric Lauer are due raises this winter as well.
While Reds Country may bemoan the remaining three years and $33M left on Geno's contract, that average annual value of $11M is nothing compared to the $26M per year the Brewers owe Yelich.
Oh yeah, Milwaukee's outfielder also has a no-trade clause as part of his deal, so don't look for the former MVP to be shipped out of the Cream City anytime soon. Basically, the combined salary of Eugenio Suárez and Mike Moustakas ($27M) equals about what the Brewers will pay Christian Yelich next season.
Fans of the Reds can at least look to what Geno did down the stretch during the final month of the season as a possible silver lining. An All-Star in 2018, Suárez hit .370/.460/.808 from September 1st through the end of the season. Maybe Cincinnati's third baseman can regain his form over the offseason and bring that same level of play into 2022.