Diamondbacks sign Eduardo Escobar to 3-year contract

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Monday that they have agreed to terms with infielder Eduardo Escobar on a three-year contract through the 2021 season.

The contract is worth $21 million.

“(He’s) somebody when we had acquired at the trade deadline we’d heard unbelievable things about,” Diamondbacks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Hazen said. “We got a chance to see that first hand over the second half of the season. Thankfully over the last month or so, we’ve been able to turn some conversations into a long term deal.”

Escobar was acquired at the end of July from the Twins in a trade that sent three D-backs prospects to Minnesota.

Upon arriving in Arizona, Escobar said the desert felt like home right away for him and his family.

“I became a part of a group that treated me and my family so well,” Escobar said. “I really felt that it was the kind of group where I belong.”

In 2018, Escobar hit at .272 in 151 games with the Twins and D-backs. He had career-highs in home runs with 23, walks with 52, RBI with 84, hits with 154 and doubles with 48.

His 48 doubles were second in all of MLB behind Astros’ All-Star Alex Bregman with 51.

Escobar also hit his first career walk-off home run back in September off of the Dodgers.

In the field, Escobar led all third basemen in fielding percentage for the 2018 season with a .983.

Escobar’s return in 2019 will add valuable infield depth for the D-backs again next season assuming that Jake Lamb, Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte all remain with the club as well. 

“We see Eduardo fitting in nicely just as he did during the course of the season,” Hazen said. “I think what we have on our roster, currently and with Eduardo, is a tremendous amount of flexibility. We’re going to hopefully use that to our advantage.”

Between the Twins and the D-backs, Escobar played 131 games at third base, 21 games at shortstop and one game at second, so he has an ability to be versatile across the infield.

“We foresee him being in the lineup everyday,” Hazen said of Escobar’s role in 2019. “What that ultimately looks like, we’re not ready to talk through that just yet.”

In the two months he was with the D-backs, Escobar said he told manager Torey Lovullo that he would play wherever was needed in order to help the team win. With the flexibility the D-backs will likely have, Escobar said he will keep that mindset in 2019.

“The most important thing for me is to help the team,” Escobar said. “I told Torey, I said, wherever you need me, whatever position, I’ll be ready. The most important thing is to play everyday and play hard to help the team win.”

In terms of the D-backs rebuilding or not with this signing, Hazen said he asks fans not to read into either side of that topic. Signing Escobar is a step in the right direction, but Hazen said there is still work to be done this offseason.

“It’s a great first step for us, but that’s what it is,” Hazen said.