D-Backs Notes: Marte, Ahmed, Luplow
Ketel Marte will remain in Arizona for quite some time after agreeing to this week’s contract extension. The deal, which exercised his preexisting 2023 and 2024 options, tacked on three more years and gave the Diamondbacks a 2028 club option as well. Zach Buchanan of The Athletic notes that, in total, the new contract gives the D-backs the opportunity to control Marte for another four years at a total of $63MM (although the deal contains various incentives and escalators that can further bolster that price). Marte tells Buchanan and others that he hopes to spend the remainder of his career with the Diamondbacks, citing, a strong relationship with Torey Lovullo among his reasons for wanting to stay put.
The D-backs could’ve traded Marte for a king’s ransom, but Hazen tells Buchanan and others that the front office also feels it necessary to “make some commitments,” both to current stars and perhaps to future core pieces they hope will be rising up to the Majors sooner than later.
More on the D-backs…
- Shortstop Nick Ahmed received a pair of injections in his right shoulder as he continues to battle discomfort, manager Torey Lovullo told reporters (video link via Jake Anderson of 98.7 Arizona Sports). Ahmed will be shut down from baseball activities entirely for at least the next 10 days and will be reevaluated at that point. That 10-day window will carry Ahmed through Opening Day, which makes it quite likely that he’ll begin the season on the injured list. Ahmed’s shoulder has been problematic dating back to the 2020 season, when he first says he “jammed” it while diving for a ball at shortstop. The barking shoulder seemed to impact both his offense and his throwing during the 2021 season. Ahmed acknowledged this week that surgery may ultimately prove necessary (link via Nick Piecoro and Jose Romero of the Arizona Republic), but for now it seems he’ll hope the cortisone treatment can help him avoid that fate.
- Also likely headed to the injured list when the season begins is outfielder Jordan Luplow, who is dealing with a Grade 1 oblique strain, according to Lovullo (video link via Anderson). There’s no specific timetable for Luplow’s return just yet, but Lovullo hinted that it’ll be an absence of some note, stating that it will not be measured “in terms of days” (implying instead that it will be measured in weeks). Every injury is different, but it’s common for even Grade 1 oblique strains to sideline players for a month or more. Acquired from the Rays this winter, Luplow reported to camp as an important piece for the D-backs against left-handed pitching. The right-handed-hitting 28-year-old carries a career .245/.360/.539 batting line in 378 plate appearances against southpaws. With lefty bats David Peralta, Daulton Varsho and Pavin Smith in line for outfield work, having a righty complement carries obvious appeal, but it seems the Snakes will have to wait a bit before Luplow can help out.