Infielder Kevin Newman to sign with Arizona Diamondbacks
Jan 3, 2024, 8:40 AM | Updated: 9:15 am
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sign former Pirates and Reds infielder Kevin Newman to a contract on Wednesday, reports the New York Post’s Jon Heyman.
MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds the contract is a minor league contract with a spring training invite.
Newman, who played collegiately with the Arizona Wildcats before becoming a first-round draft pick in 2015, appeared to confirm the news with Arizona Diamondbacks references in his Instagram and X profiles.
The move will add reliable depth, with Newman having extensive experience at shortstop (19 games), second (16) and even third base (24) last season.
Most of Newman’s 500 career games over six seasons have been at shortstop (335 games).
The 30-year-old slashed .253/.311/.364 with 28 runs and 28 RBIs in 74 games last season with the Reds playing behind a youth movement before his year ended in August with an oblique injury.
To frame the righty’s ability to make contact with the ball, Newman walked only 17 times and added 34 strikeouts over 253 plate appearances. The 19th overall pick by Pittsburgh in 2015 added eight stolen bases.
Where would Kevin Newman fit with the Diamondbacks?
Based on the Diamondbacks’ roster makeup, Newman could jump around positionally as he did in his single season with Cincinnati last year by relieving regulars like Ketel Marte (second), Geraldo Perdomo (shortstop) and newcomer Eugenio Suarez (third).
Also competing for spot time in the infield will be prospect Jordan Lawlar, who made his MLB debut late last season, plus veterans Emmanuel Rivera and Jace Peterson.
At the least, Newman is insurance.
Arizona had relatively good health last year with Marte and Perdomo playing 150 and 144 games, respectively.
Suarez additionally appeared in every game for the Seattle Mariners in 2023 before he was traded to the D-backs for reliever Carlos Vargas and catcher Seby Zavala.
Newman, who started 58 games and subbed in for just 16 last season, hit lefties at a much higher clip.
He slashed .278/.349/.464 against southpaws compared to .234/.282/.289 against righties.