PHOENIX -- On March 28 last year, D-backs infielder Ketel Marte was told he would not make the Opening Day roster and was instead ticketed for Triple-A Reno.Almost one year later, Marte agreed to a five-year contract extension, worth $24 million according to a source, that includes two option years
PHOENIX -- On March 28 last year, D-backs infielder Ketel Marte was told he would not make the Opening Day roster and was instead ticketed for Triple-A Reno.
Almost one year later, Marte agreed to a five-year contract extension, worth $24 million according to a source, that includes two option years worth a combined $22 million, which could make the total agreement seven years with a value of $46 million. The deal was announced by the D-backs on Tuesday.
Marte is under contract for a longer period of time than any of his teammates, with only ace Zack Greinke, who has four years left on the mega deal he signed two offseasons ago, within shouting distance.
After taking over at general manager for Dave Stewart in October 2016, one of Mike Hazen's first big moves was acquiring Marte, along with Taijuan Walker, from the Mariners in exchange for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis.
Walker got most of the attention in the deal, but by the end of the season, D-backs fans knew all about Marte.
Marte's rise from one of the final cuts last year to a key cog in the team's future began after the D-backs suffered a pair of injuries to shortstops last year.
First, shortstop Nick Ahmed suffered a fractured right hand after being hit by a Trevor Rosenthal pitch on June 27. With Ahmed set to miss six to eight weeks following surgery to repair the hand, Marte was called up from Reno and inserted into the lineup.
Then on July 30, when Chris Owings was hit by a pitch while attempting to bunt and suffered a fractured right middle finger, Marte took on an even greater role.
"He went down and earned his way back here as a more complete player," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said last year about Marte. "So without him, we had two shortstops go down during the course of the year that would have devastated other organizations, but because our front office built depth and Marte stepped in there, that was a saving moment for our season."
Marte played 73 games in his first season in Arizona, hitting .260/.345/.395 with five homers and 18 RBIs, but he really shined in the postseason, hitting .412 with a home run.
The D-backs liked what they saw from Marte, because they traded infielder Brandon Drury early in spring and made it clear that Owings, who won the starting shortstop job last spring and who started at second base the year before that, would be used in more of a super-utility role.
With Ahmed an elite defender at short, Marte got most of his reps at second base, and that's where he figures to be on Opening Day.
Whether he one day returns to his natural position at short or not, one thing is abundantly clear -- his future is in Arizona.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.