It’s been a week since the Arizona Diamondbacks traded two-time All-Star right fielder Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves, and finally, we’ve heard from the centerpiece of the package they received in return.
All-Star do-everything player Martin Prado signed a four-year contract extension with the Diamondbacks Thursday, and joined Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo to talk about his new deal and his new team.
“It was hard for me because I had spent my whole career with the Braves and I grew up in that organization,” Prado said. “I was surprised but I think that sometimes things happen for a good reason.”
Prado is a very versatile player who has played every defensive position except center field and catcher in his seven-year Major League career. Prado is expected to be the Diamondbacks’ every day third baseman, where he’s played just 191 games in his career, but the Venezuelan is just happy to be anywhere on the field.
“I’m a team guy and I understand that people like to see me playing second base, there’s so many people that like to see me playing left field, there’s so many people that like to see me playing third base or shortstop, but I’m one of those guys that I just want to be in the lineup for my team,” Prado said. “The best position for me is just being in there and doing my best and giving one hundred percent for my team — that’s the best position I can play.”
In addition to his many on-field strengths, Prado is also considered a great clubhouse presence.
“Off the field, I wanted to be the best person I could be to make everything around me better and I want my teammates to know I support them when we’re out there playing on the field and I support them when I’m off the field,” Prado said. “When they need a friend, I was there for every single guy in my clubhouse and I want to make all my teammates feel comfortable to be around me.”
Prado’s departure wasn’t easy for his Braves teammates either. The veteran says he received a goodbye text message from every player on the team.
“That means a lot to me, that means everything I did for the team, they appreciated it and that makes everything easier for me.”