SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have decided to anchor their offensive future around Ketel Marte's ample talents.
The club announced on Tuesday that it had finalized a $76 million, five-year contract with Marte that begins in the 2023 season and includes a team option for the 2028 that could be worth up to $13 million.
It's a significant financial commitment for a franchise that's chasing bigger spenders like the Dodgers and Padres in the NL West.
"I don't think it's lost on anyone that he's our best player," general manager Mike Hazen said. "We have talked about what we need to do to win, and turn around from where we are today, and you do that with elite players.
"Ketel is certainly an elite player," he said.
The 28-year-old Marte has clearly been the D-backs' best hitter over the past few seasons. The only problem has been keeping him on the field. Marte batted .318 with 29 doubles and 14 homers last season despite being limited to 90 games because of hamstring injuries.
He was one of the best players in baseball in 2019, hitting .329 with 32 homers and finishing fourth in the NL MVP voting.
"It's a special moment for me," Marte said. "The organization knows what they have in me. It's something I'll take with me even after I retire — that confidence they have in me."
Marte is also a good defender at multiple positions though the D-backs hope to play him mostly at second base this season.
Hazen said securing Marte to a long-term deal is important as the team tries to build back toward playoff contention. Arizona lost 110 games last season, which was the second-worst year in franchise history. The D-backs last made the playoffs in 2017 and won their only World Series title in 2001.