Eugenio Suárez is on the move again. After spending seven seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, the 2024 season will mark a third stop for Suárez in four seasons.
The Seattle Mariners have traded Suárez to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a move that has many fans in the Emerald City calling it a salary dump. The Mariners received reliever Carlos Vargas and catcher Seby Zavala.
The Mariners have now rid themselves of any evidence that Geno, or outfielder Jesse Winker, were ever a part of the organization. With Seattle's books now clear of former Reds, how might the trade be reevaluated?
Reevaluating the Reds-Mariners trade after Eugenio Suárez was dealt to Diamondbacks
The parameters of the original trade sent Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners. In return, the Cincinnati Reds received Brandon Williamson, Justin Dunn, Jake Fraley, and player to be named later (Connor Phillips).
At the time, Reds fans were furious. The club had already lost Nick Castellanos to free agency, waived Wade Miley, and traded away Sonny Gray and Tucker Barnhart just months after finishing 83-79. But maybe Nick Krall knew something we didn't.
In an attempt to reevaluate the trade, let's use fWAR provided by FanGraphs. Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to MLB.com, measures a player's value in all facets of the game by deciphering how many more wins he's worth than a replacement-level player at his same position.
Eugenio Suárez spent two years in Seattle. During that time, Geno was worth 7.3 fWAR. Winker's time with the Mariners was more brief. During his lone season in the Pacific Northwest, Winker posted 0.4 fWAR. Combined, the two former All-Stars were worth 7.7 fWAR over the course of two seasons.
Now, let's look at what the Cincinnati Reds received in return. Both Jake Fraley and Justin Dunn appeared in the major leagues during the 2022 season. Combined, those two were worth 0.4 fWAR. Fraley's 1.1 fWAR was counteracted by Dunn's -0.7 fWAR.
However, Dunn didn't take the field in 2023, and the other three players acquired from the March 2022 trade combined to be worth 3.3 fWAR. So, all together, over the course of two seasons, the quartet of Dunn, Fraley, Williamson, and Phillips were worth 3.7 fWAR.
But here's where the intrigue comes in. While Justin Dunn is no longer part of the Cincinnati Reds organization, Jake Fraley is entering his first year of arbitration eligiblity. Brandon Williamson is under team control for five more seasons, while Connor Phillips still has his rookie status intact.
Seattle's return for Suárez and Winker earned them 7.7 wins above replacement in two seasons season. The Reds, however, have another 14 cumulative seasons of production from Fraley, Williamson, and Phillips.
I like the Reds chances of surpassing the 7.7 fWAR and being the unquestionable winner of that trade. One solid season from either Williamson or Phillips could see that number eclipsed in 2024.