HomeMLB RumorsD-backs Acquire Eugenio Suarez From Mariners

D-backs Acquire Eugenio Suarez From Mariners

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1:08pm: Zavala and right-hander Carlos Vargas are headed to the Mariners in exchange for third baseman Eugenio Suarez, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.

1:02pm: Zavala is one of several pieces changing hands in a larger trade that Arizona and Seattle have been discussing for some time now, Nightengale further reports.

12:50pm: The Mariners have acquired catcher Seby Zavala from the Diamondbacks, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Arizona claimed Zavala off waivers from the White Sox in early September, and he appeared in seven games for them down the stretch. He’s played in 176 career games between the Sox and D-backs.

Zavala, 30, has tallied 514 plate appearances in the big leagues but mustered a tepid .210/.275/.347 slash in that output. While he’s shown above-average power at times in the minors — including a 20-homer showing in 82 games of Triple-A ball in 2019 — Zavala’s output at the plate has been undercut by his prolific strikeout rates. He’s gone down on strikes in 35.8% of his Major League plate appearances to this point in his career.

That said, Zavala also grades out as a strong defender behind the dish. Statcast rates him as above-average in terms of blocking balls in the dirt, and he’s regularly drawn plus framing grades both at FanGraphs and via Statcast. Zavala’s 14% caught-stealing rate this past season was well shy of the league-average 20%, as is his career 17% mark. He nabbed a roughly average 24% of would-be base thieves in 2022, however, and he’s hardly the only backstop who struggled to control the running game in 2023, when MLB’s new rules regarding pickoffs and slightly larger bases dramatically increased stolen bases throughout the league.

Zavala doesn’t have any minor league options remaining, so he’ll have to open the season on the Mariners’ active roster or else be traded or placed on outright waivers. The M’s saw Tom Murphy become a free agent at season’s end, so Zavala gives them an option to replace him as Cal Raleigh’s backup behind the plate.

More to come.

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