The Arizona Diamondbacks signed newly acquired Martin Prado to a four-year, $40 million deal today. The organization insured that the versatile Prado was not a one-year acquisition and secured his future services by rewarding him with a contract that will pay him $7 million this season and $11 million a year over the next three seasons.
Prado turned down the ability to seek arbitration or free agency at the end of the season, as he looked for the security of a long-term deal instead. Prado told ESPN.com that he was looking for a place where he could contribute for a long time.
Sept. 19, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Martin Prado (14) starts to field a base hit by Miami Marlins center fielderGorkys Hernandez
(not pictured) during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
“Since I got to the big leagues I’ve been looking to be more secure,” he said, “to be in the right spot and not have to worry about going through free agency. The way I am right now, I’m happy. I’m going to play more relaxed. I think I needed it.”
Prado will most likely play third base the majority of the time for the D’backs this season. He has played shortstop, second base, first base and both corner outfield positions in his seven-year major league career. His versatility is one of the main reasons why Arizona asked for him in return for outfielder Justin Upton.
The 29-year-old Prado told ESPN.com today that he was initially shocked about the trade but is excited to get to work in Arizona.
“Now I see everything more clear, and I’m happy to be aboard with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Prado said.”
Prado is eager to see where he fits into the lineup this season. Aaron Hill had a great season last year hitting second for the D’backs. Prado is one of the game’s elite contact hitters and while he said that his preference throughout his career was to hit second, he did not care where he hit and could make adjustments if necessary.
“I’ve been in the second hole pretty much all my career,” Prado told ESPN.com. “I can put the ball in play, I can hit the ball to right field. That’s more me, but I can adjust myself to any situation in the game, he stated.”
Prado prides himself on doing the little things well and he likes that manager Kirk Gibson looks for that in his ball players.
“What I heard is he’s an aggressive guy,” Prado said. “He likes the little things. He likes to move the runner, and I like that, man. He understands. He played the game a long time. He played the right way, and he likes those guys.”
The Diamondbacks have answered many doubters who believed that Prado would be a one-and-done player in Arizona. Some felt that he would parlay any success this year into seeking a huge deal on the open market. But, the D’backs told their fans that they were going to sign him long term and they did just that today, securing a big part of their future for the coming years.