Eugenio Suarez has agreed to a seven-year $66 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds, making the third baseman the team’s foundation for its long-term re-building process.
The deal, which was announced on Friday, supersedes a one-year deal of $3.75 million the 26-year old was given after losing a case of salary arbitration last month. The team has an option year for 2025 at the rate of $15 million, with a buyout of $2 million that would in all, make the deal $79 million for eight years.
Cincinnati began its overhaul back in 2015 when it traded top players for high-rated prospects. They have lost 90 games or more and finished last each of the last three seasons in the National League Central.
Dick Williams the Reds’ general manager said the team was sending a signal to fans that work that has been put in the last few years is beginning to payoff.
He added that the front office and coaching staff is identifying the building blocks that they want to build the team around and Geno is one of them.
Suarez, who is 26, will be paid a signing bonus of $2 million due within 30 days of the approval of the deal by Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office. He will receive a 2018 salary of $2.25, in 2019 $7 million, in 2020 $9.25 million, in 2021 $10.5 million and for the years 2022-2024 $11 million each season.
Cincinnati, in a December 2014 trade with the Detroit Tigers, obtained Suarez, who earlier in his professional career played shortstop, but was moved to third by the Reds after the team traded veteran Todd Frazier.
He has become a top player at third in the league, leading the NL last season in fielding percentage. He batted .260 with a career high of 26 home runs and 82 runs batted in. Suarez and the team began talks about a deal prior to arbitration.
Suarez called it an honor to be a part of the Reds organization.
Cincinnati now has Joey Votto under contract through the end of the 2023 season and Tucker Barnhart at catcher through the end of 2023 as well. First baseman Votto is on a 12-year deal for $251.5 million.