D-backs reach deals with all 3 arb-eligibles

January 16th, 2021

PHOENIX -- The D-backs agreed to one-year contracts with all three of their salary-arbitration players Friday, a list that included catcher , left-hander and right-hander .

Kelly, who hit .221/.264/.385 last season with five homers and 19 RBIs, signed for $1.7 million after making $581,700 in 2020.

Smith came over from the Marlins prior to the Trade Deadline in the deal that sent outfielder Starling Marte to Miami. He made four appearances (three starts) for the D-backs and had a 2.45 ERA. Smith will receive $1.465 million in 2021, a raise from $586,500 last year.

Weaver struggled to get on track in 2020 and finished the year 1-9 with a 6.58 ERA in 12 starts. He will receive $1.95 million, a raise from $597,000 last year.

The D-backs are counting on all three to play key roles in 2021, with Kelly expected to start behind the plate and Weaver and Smith heading into Spring Training as favorites to win spots in the starting rotation.

All three players were in their first year of arbitration eligibility.

No decision yet on Marte
Whether will play second base, center field or a combination of both next season is still to be determined.

A big part of the equation could be whether the D-backs are able to find a second baseman or center fielder via trade or free agency. That's something they are working to determine.

"We're still trying to figure out the market and where this is all going to land," Hazen said. "We're going to have to make that decision at some point, though there may be a scenario where there might be a little bit of both. He's always been open-minded about doing what's best, and there are some alignments where it's better for him in the outfield and some where it's better at second base. We'll see."

The D-backs do have options at both positions, some better than others.

, and are among the candidates at second, and could also move over there, opening third base for someone like .

In center, the D-backs have as well as and prospect Pavin Smith.

"There's enough maneuverability that we have some flexibility as to how this could all come together," Hazen said.

Taking over for Porter
Hazen lost one of his most trusted assistants when Jared Porter was named Mets GM, and the D-backs will look to fill the void by giving others in the front office additional responsibility.

Amiel Sawdaye, senior vice president/assistant GM, along with VP of research and development Mike Fitzgerald, director of pro scouting Jason Parks, director of baseball operations Sam Eaton and director of player development Josh Barfield will all see their roles increase.

"We're going to fill internally," Hazen said. "We have a lot of really good people here that are going to take on more responsibility and are ready for that challenge."