SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Diamondbacks officially announced a 5-year contract extension for 2B Ketel Marte at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale on Tuesday.
General Manager Mike Hazen spoke glowingly about Marte, even calling him the club's best player, and said Marte will be an anchor that the D-Backs will build around as they look to start winning after a 110-loss season in 2021.
"I think at some point as we build toward winning and pushing to win and the young players that will be coming up with Ketel, we need to anchor around guys," Hazen said. "I have made some trades where we have moved some of our better players out of here. It's not necessarily things that I look back on and celebrate in a lot of ways. We've had those conversations at the time. We need to make some commitments here, both for the guys that are in this clubhouse now and the guys that are going to be coming into this clubhouse in the next couple years."
Trades that Hazen may have been referencing include trading 1B Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018 and sending P Zack Greinke to the Astros in 2019.
Hazen was asked point-blank if this was the start of the D-Backs investing more in the team, to which Hazen responded, "Yeah, that's our intention."
That statement is great news for D-Backs fans as it will hopefully lead to the team keeping players like OF/DH J.D. Martinez around. Martinez, who was acquired by the D-Backs from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline in 2017, signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent that offseason. Martinez has been with the Red Sox ever since, helping them win a World Series in 2018.
Hazen added that Marte's extension is one of the first steps to turning the franchise around, and hopefully winning their 2nd-ever World Series title.
"This is a first step in us, again, building around areas of our team that we feel are extreme strengths," Hazen said. "Areas of building into the community, our fan trust, building that back into what we're putting out on the field every day. Players that fans can get behind and celebrate as we begin to win. That's really the overarching implications here. Beyond, somebody said to me in the offseason, talking through our roster, it stuck with me, we don't need fewer Ketel Martes, we need more Ketel Martes, as we had conversations about the roster, and I believe that."
The D-Backs will open the 2022 season at home at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix on April 7th when they take on their NL West rival, the San Diego Padres. The first pitch will be at 6:40 p.m.