PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract with Martin Prado just a week after acquiring the former All-Star infielder in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta.
Prado made the All-Star team as the Braves’ second baseman in 2010 but is slated to play at third base for the Diamondbacks.
The 29-year-old infielder, who will play for Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic, is a career .295 hitter. Arizona sent two-time All-Star Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson to the Braves for Prado, right-hander Randall Delgado and three minor leaguers.
Prado said in a conference call on Thursday that the trade took him by surprise.
But, after a week, he said, “Now I see everything more clear, and I’m happy to be aboard with the Arizona Diamondbacks.”
Upton had three years left on a contract owing him $38.5 million so the Prado deal is not a significant increase to the Diamondbacks’ payroll. Managing partner Ken Kendrick said last week that he expects the payroll to be somewhere above $90 million for the coming season.
Prado will earn $7 million this season, then $11 million each of the following three years. He could have gone through arbitration and become a free agent after this season, perhaps getting a more lucrative deal.
“Since I got to the big leagues I’ve been looking to be more secure,” he said, “to be in the right spot and not have to worry about going through free agency. The way I am right now, I’m happy.
“I’m going to play more relaxed. I think I needed it.”