According to reports:
Suarez lost his arb case
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 6, 2018
And according to the AP:
The Cincinnati Reds won their salary arbitration case against infielder Eugenio Suarez, who gets a raise from $595,000 to $3.75 million rather than his request for $4.2 million.
Arbitrators Mark Burstein, Jeanne Wood and James Darby made the decision Tuesday, a day after hearing arguments.
Suarez has been Cincinnati’s starting third baseman the past two years after switching from shortstop. He .260 last season and set career highs with 26 homers and 82 RBIs on a team that finished last in the NL Central at 68-94.
First of all, I can’t believe that Suarez actually lost his case in the arbitration hearing. Suarez was a dynamo in 2017, hitting .260/.367/.461 with 26 home runs, 82 runs batted in, and absolutely gorgeous defense at the hot corner. (That’s third base, for the less-seasoned persons among you.) He was good for 4.1 fWAR in his age-25 season. That’s good. The future is bright.
On the other hand, let’s not shed too many tears for Suarez. After all, he’s getting a huge raise, even if it’s one that he earned. I’m glad to see that he’ll be getting paid a salary that is closer to what he’s actually worth (even if it’s still less than he could earn on the open market). I’m also glad that Suarez will be a Cincinnati Red in 2018. He’s very good at playing baseball.
Anecdotally, we always hear that teams want to avoid these arbitration hearings because they can, occasionally, cause hard feelings between player and management. There have been no reports of such a rift opening up between Suarez and the Redlegs, and there’s no reason to jump to that particular conclusion. But it bears watching, since Eugenio is one of the guys that I would really like to see the Reds try to lock up to a long(ish)-term contract.
Next up: the Reds will go to arbitration with Scooter Gennett. Since he’s now a Reds legend (with a chapter devoted to him in a fascinating upcoming book), it’ll be interesting to see how that hearing goes.