Carroll filled with gratitude after signing record deal

March 12th, 2023

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When the D-backs selected  with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, it wasn’t based solely on the outfielder’s athletic ability. They believed that his makeup would allow him to get the most out of that ability.

Carroll’s rapid rise through Arizona’s farm system made the club look smart, and in deciding to sign the No. 2-ranked prospect in baseball  to an eight-year, $111 million extension Saturday -- a record sum for a player with fewer than 100 days of Major League service time -- the D-backs doubled down their bet on his talent and makeup.

“I don't have a crystal ball on these things, so I don't know exactly where some of that will come down from a performance standpoint,” GM Mike Hazen said. “But I do know some things. And I'll tell you exactly what I know about the human being that we're signing. That human being, I'm convinced, goes to bed every night fixated on how he is going to be a better player the next day, and what he could do to help the organization and the team win.”

And that’s why the D-backs were willing to commit to Carroll through the 2030 season with a club option for ‘31. If the option is exercised, it would cover Carroll’s first three years of free agency. There are various escalators in the deal that could make it worth as much as $154 million.

“It’s just a day of a lot of gratitude for me,” Carroll said. “Gratitude to this front office, gratitude to this ownership group. Gratitude to my parents, friends, teammates. All of our staff here, you know the medical staff, strength staff, the cooks that feed me every day. Everyone. I just couldn't be more grateful to my agent, Joe Urbon with CAA [Creative Arts Agency]. The trust that's been given to me, I just I really appreciate it and that's just something I want to live up to every single day. And I don't think that involves anything other than just being myself.”

While Carroll could possibly have made more if he had gone year-to-year through the arbitration process and then signed a free-agent deal, this contract gives him immediate security and also allows him to hit the free agent market at age 31 at the latest.

“To me, it felt like it needed to make sense to both sides in terms of what you're giving up in terms of risk and leverage,” Carroll said. “And when we got to a place that was a win-win. I thought it was a no-brainer.”

Urbon said that the idea of a contract extension was first broached to him by assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye during the Winter Meetings last December.

About a month ago, talks began in earnest and with not a lot of precedent for a deal with a player who has such little big league time, there were a lot of different concepts tossed about.

Carroll took an active part in the negotiations, speaking with Urbon each night, but as with everything in his life, he was very disciplined about it.

“Corbin prides himself on being educated and doing due diligence and asking questions,” Urbon said. “We spoke every day, but it was very compartmentalized. He went through his morning, his afternoon, his evening and I knew there was time to speak about it and I felt very comfortable he was giving me that window of time and that was my time to talk to him about it.”

Outside of that window, it was all baseball for Carroll.

“One thing I can say for sure is just anytime I was at Salt River I was thinking about that [baseball] and even going home,” Carroll said. “That's just in my nature. That's who I am, I'm always thinking just baseball, baseball, baseball. That’s what I love. Maybe after the day was over, maybe after dinner, just have a conversation or two [about the contract] and so I liked the way that that was kind of contained there.”

Carroll is part of a young core of players the D-backs are hoping to build around, and after trading away a face of the franchise type player in Paul Goldschmidt a few years ago, Hazen is looking forward to having Carroll locked in.

“We're trying to anchor down around the players that are here, that have come up through our system, that we feel we know the most,” Hazen said