Detroit Tigers Trade Target: Third baseman Eugenio Suarez

Aug 2, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) blows a bubble during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) blows a bubble during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly open to trading Eugenio Suarez. Should the Detroit Tigers correct a mistake from the past?

Before I go on about my trade target idea for the Detroit Tigers, I am of sound mind. I am sure you thought when you clicked on the article “Oh boy, another blogger with a dumb idea for a trade proposal.”

Well, you can blame the following three factors behind this article:

  1. The MLB hot stove is ice cold.
  2. The Reds are dumping salary.
  3. Jon Heyman’s tweet sparked the idea.

Before we go into why this is a good idea or a bad idea, let’s look at the Detroit Tigers’ depth chart at third base.

MLB level:

  • Jeimer Candelario (Free agent in 2024)
  • Isaac Paredes (MiLB Options:2)

MiLB level:

  • Spencer Torkelson (highest level: N/A)
  • Daniel Pinero (highest level: Triple-A)
  • Nick Quintana (highest level: Low-A)
  • Andre Lipcius (highest level: Low-A)
  • Gage Workman (highest level: N/A)
  • Colt Keith (highest level: N/A)

Now, Spencer Torkelson will be more than likely going to first. So looking at the situation currently, as of this article, Candelario could start the season at first base and Paredes could be the Opening Day starting third baseman. But let’s explore why it would be a good idea to trade for Suarez.

Good idea:

Al Avila has mentioned on 97.1 the Ticket that if Paredes can keep his body in line, that third and second base are both options for him defensively.  So, if that is the case, imagine an Opening Day 2021 lineup that looks like this around the diamond.

  1. Candelario: 1B
  2. Paredes: 2B
  3. Castro: SS
  4. Suarez: 3B
  5. Grossman: LF
  6. Jones: CF
  7. Reyes: RF
  8. Cabrera: DH
  9. Unknown catcher

In terms of production, Suarez was “down” in 2020, with a wRC+ of 104 and a slash line of .202/.312 /.470 and hitting 15 home runs. I used quotes for “down” because his 15 home runs would have led the team, and his wRC+ would have been fifth among the team in terms of regulars who played at least 30 games.

He also ranked high in barrel percentage (14%) and hard-hit contact (44.7%) and while he did strike out a career-high 29%, he walked at a 13% clip.

Contract wise as MLB Trade Rumors broke down, he is set to make $10.79MM in 2021 before the next three years at $11.29MM and a club option in 2025 at $15MM.  When his contract ends, he will be 33 years old. That is a bargain for the production he has had the last four seasons.

With Suarez, along with Candelario, Paredes, and Castro, you have a pretty good infield from an offensive standpoint that could compete in the AL Central in 2021. If Torkelson is ready, then you could trade Candelario for help for another position, provided Jeimer continues his pace.

Another way to look at the idea for the trade, you give time for Detroit to develop Workman and Keith.

Bad Idea:

If you are in favor of Detroit waiting for their prospects to come together and rather not trade pitching prospects, which the Reds are looking for, then you will probably hate this idea.

The 2022 free agent class features bats like Buster Posey, Nolan Arenado, Nick Castellanos, and J.D. Martinez. Detroit may want to spend for a bat of that caliber and Al Avila has already told the fans to practice patience and wait.

Conclusion:

This trade idea will not happen. I am realistic and yes, I know better, but allow me to make this final point. With the financial situation in baseball due to COVID hanging a dark cloud over both NL and AL Central teams like the Reds, Pirates, and Cleveland — and Detroit may also be in the same boat — but the reason I thought this trade idea would work for the Tigers is that they have been shedding payroll, and Suarez would be under club control for at least three seasons.

This is all wishful thinking and perhaps to clear out my head the image of Alfredo Simon and his 5.05 ERA which I think, all fans could relate to.