The San Diego Padres had a incredible bullpen in 2022: we already saw glimpses of it during the regular season, it improved when trade acquisition Josh Hader found consistency, and it became nearly unhittable as the Friars made it all the way to the National League Championship Series.
Robert Suarez was a big part of that unit, particularly in the postseason.
The 31-year-old flamethrower will now be available, just for a ton of money.
“Right-hander Robert Suarez has opted out of his contract with the San Diego Padres. He will be a popular free agent,” MLB insider Robert Murray tweeted.
Right-hander Robert Suarez has opted out of his contract with the San Diego Padres. He will be a popular free agent.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 7, 2022
In the regular season, Suarez had a 2.27 ERA in 47.2 innings, striking out 61 hitters in the back of the Padres bullpen.
Excellent Playoff Performance
His excellent performance reached a national audience in the playoffs, as he was impressive against the New York Mets in the Wild Card round and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series.
Many fans will undoubtedly remember him as the one who gave up the home run to Bryce Harper with which the Philadelphia Phillies sealed their last win of the NLCS to eliminate San Diego and advance to the World Series.
However, it was an isolated incident against one of the best hitters in the game, so teams will likely give him a pass.
Even with that home run, Suarez had a rock-solid 3.00 ERA in the 2022 postseason.
As a reliable arm with a high-octane fastball, poise, and a bulldog mentality on the mound, teams will likely be all over Suarez in free agency.
Premium relievers are hard to find and are needed to make a deep playoffs run.
Suarez is, by all accounts, a premium reliever.