Cincinnati third baseman Eugenio Suarez lost his arbitration hearing against the Reds, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (Twitter link). Suarez and his agents at Octagon had filed for a $4.2MM salary, while the Reds countered with a figure of $3.75MM (as reflected in MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker). Suarez will earn that $3.75MM salary for the upcoming season, and he’ll now have a lower launching point for the subsequent arbitration raises for which he is in line in the next two offseasons.
Suarez, 26, was in his first trip through the arbitration process this winter on the heels of a strong .260/.367/.461 batting line with 26 homers, 25 doubles and a pair of triples. The former Tigers farmhand, who came to Cincinnati in exchange for righty Alfredo Simon, has blossomed into the everyday third baseman for the Reds in recent years and was among the top all-around third basemen in the National League this past season. In addition to his fine work at the plate, Suarez turned in strong marks of +5 Defensive Runs Saved and a +5.8 Ultimate Zone Rating.
The Reds can enjoy that strong, well-rounded production for at least the next three seasons, as Suarez can be controlled through the 2020 campaign via arbitration. It stands to reason that even after agreeing on a salary for the coming season, the Reds could yet hold interest in brokering a longer-term pact for Suarez that would extend him beyond his arbitration seasons. Of course, the Reds have been undergoing a lengthy rebuilding phase and, depending on the team’s results this season, could ultimately look gauge interest in him on the trade market as well.