The Arizona Diamondbacks have just announced a four-year, $40 million extension with third baseman Martin Prado. The deal goes through 2016, buying out his arbitration year this year and tacking three more on top. He made $4.75 million last season. His arbitration demand for this year was $7.05 million with the club countering at around $6 million. So one way to think of this is as a three-year, $33-34 million deal.
Which is not terrible. He’ll certainly be worth it for a couple of years. The deal takes him through his age-32 season, so there is some risk of decline, obviously. And given how gritty a grinder he is, you have to worry about injury.
Prado has hit .295/.345/.435 over the course of seven big league seasons, the last four of which came as a full-timer. He can play multiple positions, most recently serving as the Braves’ left fielder, but he will play third for Arizona.
Prado, along with Randall Delgado and other prospects, came to the Dbacks in the Justin Upton trade. It was said at the time of the trade that they wanted to extend him and now they have.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.