Martin Prado could be called the $40 Million Dollar Man…
The 29-year-old Venezuelan pro baseball player has agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks only a week after being acquired in a team trade that sent Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves.
Prado, who made the All-Star team as the Braves’ second baseman in 2010, has been tapped to play third base for the Diamondbacks.
Prado, who will play for Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic, is a career .295 hitter. Arizona sent two-time All-Star Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to the Braves for Prado, right-hander Randall Delgado and three minor leaguers.
Prado, who said that the trade initially took him by surprise, has a new outlook.
“Now I see everything more clear, and I’m happy to be aboard with the Arizona Diamondbacks,” he said.
Prado will earn $7 million this season, then $11 million each of the following three years. He could have gone through arbitration and become a free agent after this season, perhaps getting a more lucrative deal.
“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,” said Prado. “The way I am right now, I’m happy. I’m going to play more relaxed. I think I needed it.”
General manager Kevin Towers said that adding a contact hitter in Prado should help the team be less reliant on the home run.
Prado prides himself on being able to do “the little things” to make a team successful.
“You know that in the National League, more often you can play the game and do the little things right, you can take advantage of the other team,” he said. “That’s my thing, just trying to make that as a routine because in small games, that can make a difference, and one game can make a difference at the end of the year.”
Prado hit .301 last season with 42 doubles, 10 home runs and 70 RBIs in 156 games. He led the National League with 60 multi-hit games and was fourth in hits and fifth in doubles. He played several positions, primarily left field but also third base, second base, first base and shortstop. He has never played an entire season at third base.
Pitchers and catchers report to the Diamondbacks’ Scottsdale spring training facility on February 11, with all players reporting three days later.