The Arizona Diamondbacks Need to Extend Nick Ahmed

Nick Ahmed
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 07: Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks dives into home plate to score a run past catcher J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 07, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Nick Ahmed Needs an Extension

With the trade of Zack Greinke, the Arizona Diamondbacks made the biggest splash at the July 31st trade deadline. Not only were they able to acquire players to upgrade the minor league system, they picked up two MLB starters in Mike Leake and Zac Gallen. However, the trade of Zack Greinke will turn out to be more than just acquiring players.

Able to Free Up Money, Allowing Players to Stay

The trade of Grienke certainly was not about his ability and performance. In fact, he more than lived up to it. It came down to creating a deeper talent of players in the minors and much-needed relief on the payroll.

By packaging Greinke and $53 million of the $77 million remaining on the contract to the Houston Astros, it also delivered money that can be spent on soon-to-be free agents after this year and in 2020. A partial list includes Nick Ahmed, Adam Jones, Jake Lamb, David Peralta, and Robbie Ray. They might even be able to look at free agents from other teams.

Sign Nick Ahmed

With the extra money the team now has after the trade deadline, they should look at extending Nick Ahmed. He currently is making $3,662,500. There is one more year of control the team has, then, after the 2020 season, he will be a free agent.

Shortstop is often considered the most important and demanding defensive position after pitcher and catcher. He must be agile, must cover a larger area of the infield than a third baseman, and must make longer throws than a second baseman. Ahmed doesn’t have overwhelming tools, but he earns praise for his work ethic and his desire to improve both offensively and defensively.

Gold Glove in 2018 and Improved Offense

Ahmed is sure-handed and dependable at his position, with quickness and good range in all directions. He also has a quick arm that rarely seems to miss its mark. At a position filled with defensive standouts throughout both leagues, he makes plays, both routine and spectacular, with regularity. He led National League shortstops with 21 defensive runs saved en route to his first career Gold Glove Award in 2018.

As for his offense, coaches and players were always certain he was a better hitter than he had shown up to that point in his career. He was considered a great fielding shortstop but wore the label of “light-hitter.” For 2018, he put up his best statistics in at-bats, runs, hits, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, and RBI. Most of that can be attributed to going to the plate with a better plan of how to attack the pitcher, especially right-handed pitching. Being healthy after two injury-filled seasons helped as well. (A hip injury limited him to 90 games in 2016 and a fractured hand saw him only play 53 games in 2017.)

Nick Ahmed Keeps Getting Better

Nick Ahmed keeps getting better and better as an all-around baseball player. Through 121 games this year, he is on pace to beat last year’s offensive numbers. His leadership, defense, batting, base running, and durability make him a favorite with his teammates, coaches, and the fans.

With all the changes that the Arizona Diamondbacks have had the past year, retaining Ahmed will only help by keeping the core team intact. However, we are not sure if he is open to an extension. His name has been involved in previous trade talks, so there will be a lot of dialog with his agent and the Diamondbacks to try and complete a deal.

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