The Arizona Diamondbacks lost 110 games in 2021, but they want former All-Star Ketel Marte to be around when the team returns to contention. The D-Backs have agreed to a contract extension through 2027 with Marte, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. He’ll earn $76 million and the contract includes a club option for 2028, as well as escalators tied to performance and health.
Marte, 28, is entering the final guaranteed season on the five-year, $24 million extension he signed in March 2018. That contract will pay Marte $8 million in 2022 and includes club options for 2023 ($10 million) and 2024 ($12 million). The new extension guarantees those club option years at slightly different salaries, and includes $51 million in new money.
Acquired from the Mariners in Taijuan Walker/Mitch Haniger trade in Nov. 2016, Marte blossomed into an All-Star in 2019, when he authored a .329/.389/.592 batting line with 32 home runs and only 86 strikeouts in 144 games. Last season Marte hit .318/.377/.532 with 14 home runs in 90 games around a series of hamstring injuries.
The switch-hitting Marte has bounced between second base and center field in recent years, though last year’s hamstring issues prompted a move to second base full-time, and Marte is expected to remain on the infield going forward. That won’t be a problem seeing how Arizona’s best prospects are all ultra-athletic outfielders.
The D-Backs have a long way to go to return to contention in the top heavy NL West, though locking up a player as talented and as productive as Marte through his prime is rarely a bad move. The signing presumably takes him off the trade market — teams called about Marte more than the D-Backs shopped him — at least for the foreseeable future.
Moving forward, Marte will be part of an Arizona core that includes catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, and outfielders Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll. The D-Backs open the 2022 season at home against the Padres on April 7.