Long-time Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed designated for assignment

Sep 6, 2023, 4:48 PM | Updated: 7:59 pm

Infielder Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a single hit by the Colorado Rockies du...

Infielder Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a single hit by the Colorado Rockies during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on September 05, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have designated shortstop Nick Ahmed for assignment, manager Torey Lovullo said after Wednesday’s win over the Colorado Rockies.

The move opens up a spot for top prospect Jordan Lawlar, who was called up in the related transaction.

Ahmed has largely struggled for the past two-plus seasons but the move still holds some shock value given his time with Arizona. The 33-year-old was the longest tenured member of the team, first debuting in 2014. Ahmed ranks fifth in franchise history for games played, 888.

He became Arizona’s everyday shortstop in 2018 and won back-to-back Gold Gloves. In 2019, Ahmed also had a career year at the plate, posting bests in homers (19), RBIs (82) and OPS (.753). That helped earn Ahmed a new four-year contract with the D-backs worth over $32 million.

Since that extension, however, Ahmed has been brutal at the plate and dealt with injuries. Ahmed worked through a nagging shoulder problem last year that cost him most of the season, and in his return this year, he entered Wednesday’s game with a .212 batting average and .560 OPS in 210 plate appearances.

The future of the position is certainly Lawlar, who was called up to Triple-A Reno just a few weeks prior and has been tearing it up there. He was the D-backs’ top-rated prospect coming into the season and is seen as one of the best in baseball.

The D-backs saw that coming, with the timing of Ahmed’s extension expiring this season helping as well.

What they didn’t see coming was Geraldo Perdomo, who took Ahmed’s place as the everyday shortstop in 2022 and had big-time trouble at the plate, batting .195 with a .547 OPS. The 23-year-old, however, has had a terrific 2023, making the All-Star team and raising those numbers to a .264 batting average and .753 OPS coming into play on Wednesday.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reports Lawlar is expected to play both shortstop and third base. The latter has been a revolving door of sorts with a handful of contributors, and playing Lawlar there would retain the middle infield of Perdomo and second baseman Ketel Marte. Perdomo has also been playing more second base lately, and Marte can slot into the designated hitter at times too.

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