D-backs sign Escobar to 3-year, $21 million contract

Sarah Sachs/Sarah Sachs/ Arizona Diamondbacks

PHOENIX — Eduardo Escobar arrived in Arizona via a midseason trade from Minnesota.

He saw enough in two months with the Diamondbacks to know the desert was where he wanted to stay.

The Diamondbacks signed Escobar to a three–year, $21 million contract on Monday, locking up a versatile player who gives them roster flexibility.

“I think the most important thing for me coming here was the people here,” Escobar said. “There are great people here. Everybody took care of my family and that’s the most important thing for me. I signed it because I like it here. I’m happy to be here and ready for next season.”

Arizona acquired the switch–hitting Escobar from Minnesota on July 27 for three minor league prospects. Between the two teams, the 29–year–old infielder set career highs in home runs (23), doubles (48), walks (52), runs (75), games (151), hits (154) and total bases (277). His 74 extra–base hits were 14th–most in the majors.

He started 144 games, including 124 at third base, leaving open the question of what will happen when left–handed third baseman Jake Lamb returns from injury. Escobar can play multiple infield positions, so the Diamondbacks could possibly look at moving players to different positions or trading some of the players they have now — possibly face–of–the–franchise first baseman Paul Goldschmidt before he becomes a free agent at the end of next season.

“I think what we have on our roster currently and with Eduardo is a tremendous amount of flexibility, guys that play multiple positions around the diamond,” Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen said. “We’re going to hopefully use that to our advantage. Really, that’s how he fits in. How it’s going to ultimately look at the end of the offseason, that’s obviously still to be determined.”

Escobar got a $500,000 signing bonus. He will earn $6 million next season, $7 million in 2020 and $7.5 million in 2021.