The Diamondbacks officially announced this morning what’s probably their biggest move since the signing of Madison Bumgarner in December 2019. Ketel Marte, the team’s best performer over the last three years, is now under contract for at least six seasons, including the one about to begin, with a team option for the year after that. Marte was already under team control through the end of 2024, but the salary for those years has been reworked as part of the new deal. According to Bob Nightengale, the extension “guarantees him an extra $52 million and increases to $56 million with his signing bonus and buyout.” Here’s the year-by-year breakdown:
- 2023: $11 million
- 2024: $13 million
- 2025: $16 million
- 2026: $16 million
- 2027: $14 million
- 2028: $13 million club option, $3 million buyout
At Salt River Fields this morning, General Manager Mike Hazen and Marte spoke about the extension, and what it meant to be both the team and the player. Marte said through his interpreter that he was super happy, and thankful to the organization for allowing him to stay with Arizona. Mike Hazen then discussed the timing of the move, and how as they moved closer to the ending of the current deal, “This just creates more uncertainly about what might happen down the road... As we build towards winning, we need to anchor around guys. There is a trust that we have with Ketel and his talent, who he is and what he can be for our team, and that’s really what the impetus was.”
Ketel said an extension was not on his mind coming into spring training, but he did feel something was approaching. It’s a special moment for him, and the team’s confidence in Marte is something he’ll remember, even after he retires. Hazen stressed “This is a first step in us building around areas of our team that we feel are extreme strengths,” as well as rebuilding fan trust, retaining players fans can get behind. Ketel said that nothing would change for him as a result of the new contract. He intends to help the youngsters, be humble, bring energy to the clubhouse and be the same Ketel Marte. He reckons the main thing is going to be staying healthy.
Here’s full video of the event, including Hazen speaking highly about Marte’s willingness to do what’s best for the team. But he also stressed that this is just the first step of the process. They now need to get the players to go around Marte: it’ll be interesting to see how that will be managed.