Ketel Marte and Diamondbacks finalize $24M, 5-year deal

Associated Press

Infielder Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized a $24 million, five-year contract, a deal that contains a pair of club options that could make the agreement worth $46 million over seven seasons.

The 24-year-old was on track to become eligible for salary arbitration next winter and for free agency after the 2022 season.

Marte gets a $2 million signing bonus payable May 15 and salaries of $1 million this year, $2 million in 2019, $4 million in 2020, $6 million in 2021 and $8 million in 2022.

Arizona has a 2023 option at $10 million with a $1 million buyout and a 2024 option at $12 million with a $1.5 million buyout. The 2024 option would become guaranteed if he has at least 1,100 plate appearances in 2022-23 combined, including at least 550 in 2023, and does not finish 2023 on the disabled list.

His salary in the option years could escalate by up to $2 million depending on his finish in MVP voting in prior seasons: $2 million for winning, $1 million for second to fifth and $500,000 for sixth to 10th.

A switch-hitter who plays both middle infield positions, Marte was obtained from Seattle after the 2016 season and filled in when shortstops Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings were hurt last year. He batted .260 with five homers and 18 RBIs in 73 games, then went 7 for 17 at the plate in four postseason games, including triples from each side of the plate in the NL wild-card win over Colorado.

"We saw in Ketel a very dynamic player, someone that could man the middle of the infield, his speed, his ability to just be a very good baseball player all the way around," general manager Mike Hazen said Tuesday.

Manager Torey Lovullo said Marte will be in the lineup for Thursday's opener against Colorado.

"We really believe in this player," Hazen said. "We trust Ketel, his skillset, his ability on the field. The things that we value, he does a lot of those things."

Marte had agreed last month to a one-year contract calling for $578,200 in the major leagues and $207,985 in the minors.

Notes: RHP Brad Boxberger will open as closer, earning the job over Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano. A 2015 AL All-Star with Tampa Bay, Boxberger led the AL with 41 saves that season but hasn't had one since. He was limited by injuries to 57 appearances during the past two seasons.

Boxberger had a 1.50 ERA during six innings in spring training . "Archie will continue to be in the role that he was last year. He excelled in that role," Lovullo said. "Hirano will find himself in the thickness of the back of our bullpen.

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