The Cincinnati Reds signed Eugenio Suarez to an extension on Friday morning. In this episode of The Unnamed Reds Podcast, Doug Gray discusses the details, what the deal could mean for both the Reds and Suarez. He also discusses what the extension could mean for Nick Senzel, and what that could mean for other players in the organization.

If you want to download the episode directly, you can do so here.

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11 Responses

  1. Wes

    Uk cincy and Tennessee all going for 1 spot for final 4? Doug’s faithful may have to meet in pikeville for a royal rumble

  2. Bill

    I think the Suarez extension was fantastic for both sides. Suarez is 3 years away from free agency, but was able to parlay a career WAR of 6.6 of which more than half was earned in a 2017 breakout year (3.7 WAR) into $66M guaranteed. Did he leave money on the table if he continues to play at or near his 2017 level and instead waited to become a free agent? Very likely, but in professional sports the risk of injury or performance decline are significant possibilities even for young, rising talents like Suarez. Because of those risk, I think he was really shrewd to take the $66M guarantee now. His lifestyle and financial security would have been marginally different even if he doubled his guarantee in free agency in 3 years–a best case scenario, that while plausible was not guaranteed.

    For the Reds, even if this doesn’t work out, its absolutely the right thing to do. There is excellent potential to garner excess value through this contract.

    I think this contract is another example that the current collective bargaining agreement favors teams building with young controllable talent. There’s significant opportunity to get excess value for the first 6-7 years of a player when costs range from low (think major league minimum) to predictable (arbitration). Risk to teams is also very low as players can be dropped from the 40-man roster due to performance or injury almost any time. The primary risk lies in the limited track record that young players have. As predictive analytics have advanced, I think front offices feel they have a method to mitigate this risk.

    As a result, premium free agents have multiple suitors and are attractive to competitive teams that believe adding a premiere player of two can push them to an elite level. They continue to get high AAV contract with lengthy commitments. Players with a mixed track record or obvious limitations in their game simply have a more limited pool of teams that will be willing to pay handsomely for what may only be a marginal gain over a solid prospect that really requires no commitment or significant salary investment from a team.

    Hope the last leg of your trip goes well. I think we’re all looking forward to your reporting from Goodyear.

    • Wes

      Nice post bill! Agree the owners have the upper hand but they always have and prob always will.

      W Suarez he was set to make 3.5 mil this year, which is more money than he had made in his whole life comebined to this point, and even if he performs worse this season- prob gonna make 7-10 next year. So he was set to make 10-15 mil regardless. That’s life changing- not sure how much 16-66 mil changes that?

      Not knocking him, I’m sure he’s thrilled, and it’s good for reds fans. But not very good for Suarez and players. Seems to be hundreds of millions out there the players can’t get their hands on. Reds capitalized at right time !

      • Bill

        Wes. you are assuming that Suarez did not face an injury or performance issue and continued to build his income through arbitration. I agree that would be a likely outcome, but it carries risk of injury or performance decline–either of these outcomes could result in his release (arbitration has to be offered, its not guaranteed). What he actually traded in guaranteed money was ~$3.5M for $66M.

        I did not mention anything about either the players or owners having an upper hand. A recent interview with the head of the MLBPA validated that players and owners evenly split revenues. What I was hoping to convey is I believe we’re seeing teams favoring young, controllable players over experienced free agents that aren’t elite and that the current contract has a role in that.

        I think it would be interesting to see how the market would react if the MLBPA asked to raise the major league minimum for players with more than 1 year or service time or if they started arbitration after year 2. I believe it is the very low comparative cost of young players that is affecting FA player values.

  3. MK

    Eric Jagielo traded to Miami Marlins. Rookie Davis last man standing from Chapman deal.

  4. Greenfield Red

    Since the Reds drafted Senzel, I think most believed that he would be plugged in while Suarez would be cast aside one was or another. It is now crystal clear that is not the case. Based upon Suarez’s improvements on offense and defense, this could be mega huge for the Reds. Suddenly it looks like the Reds have two positions locked down (3rd base and wherever Senzel ends up) for the foreseeable future. Combine that with Votto still having hopefully 3 or so years of high level, Barnhart locked in at Catcher, the belief that Winker will eventually be playing every day, and the future becomes more clear… in a good way.

    That really only leaves three spots (2b, CF, on corner) to be sorted out for the long run. As of right now 2b and the corner to be pretty good, with a lot pushing from below. CF is great defensively, but poor offensively. I think it will be improved by 2019 one way or the other.

    On to pitching.

    • Cguy

      Had the Reds completed the possible Robles/Iglesias deal with the Nationals last year, & then made the Christian Arroyo for Hamilton deal with the Giants a couple months ago, they could have fielded this lineup about mid-June this season: Robles(cf), Senzel (ss), Votto (1st), Suarez(3rd), Gennett or C. Arroyo(Hererra,Blandino)(2nd), Duvall or Winker(lf), Schebler or Winker (rf), & Barnhart or Meseraco (c). I know that’s 13 position players & doesn’t include Peraza or Ervin but still lot’s to like about that lineup (for several years).

  5. Jim t

    Starting to get excited about the progress Mesoraco is making. With Tucker locked up teams needing catching help may pay well to acquire him at the deadline.