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Diamondbacks and Prado already talking contract extension

By Mike Axisa 2 | Blogger
Prado has hit .300 in four of the last five seasons. (US Presswire)

The Diamondbacks acquired Martin Prado from the Braves just earlier on Thursday, and the two sides are already talking about a long-term contract extension, according to GM Kevin Towers. "He's looking for some security," Towers said to reporters on Thursday afternoon. "We're confident we can get a deal done."

Prado, 29, is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2013 season. He filed for $7.05 million in salary arbitration prior to last Friday's deadline while the Braves countered with $6.65 million, and Arizona assumes that offer through the trade. If the two sides go to an arbitration hearing next month, the three-person panel will pick one of those two salaries for the upcoming season. Prado and the Diamondbacks, however, can agree to a contract involving any terms before then.

Prado has quietly been one of baseball's best and most consistent players in recent years. He hit .301/.359/.438 with 10 homers and 17 steals last season, which is right in line with his .294/.342/.436 performance since becoming a full-time player in 2009. Although the Diamondbacks will presumably use him at third base, Prado also has plenty of experience at second base and in left field. He's also manned shortstop and first base.

The going rate for players of Prado's age and caliber is upwards of $10 million annually, with Rickie Weeks (four years, $38.5 million) representing the low end and Ian Kinsler (five years, $75 million) the high end. Both of those deals were signed when the player was one year away from free agency, and also include one option year. Prado and his agent should be shooting for a similar framework, though Towers hinted at a 3-4 year contract.

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