Martin Prado, who was previously acquired along with David Phelps in a trade with the New York Yankees in 2014, has signed a deal that will keep him in Miami through the 2019 season. Prado's contract will pay him $40 million within those three seasons, which is a decent increase in annual pay in comparison to his last deal which was $40 million over four years instead of three. Had this agreement not been reached, Prado would have entered this upcoming offseason as a free agent.
All things considered, this is both a productive and fair deal for all parties involved. While Prado has never been a big-time power hitter, he has still been a consistently prolific offensive player by continually hitting for average. In his time with Miami, he has hit a combined .296 while collecting 63 RBI in 2015 and 73 RBI during 2016 thus far. That just about matches up with his 162 game average over his career, which is a .293 batting average with 72 RBI's and 12 home runs. His .305 average this year also leads all national league third basemen. Also, his 3.6 WAR (wins above replacement) is the fifth best amongst NL third basemen. Prado classifies as a player who will almost definitely hit for a high batting average while knocking in runs at an above average rate. With such consistent and efficient offensive players hard to find these days, it made sense for the Marlins to ink Prado for at least the next three seasons.
Prado will continue to round out a lineup that has an incredible amount of potential for the coming seasons. With the combination of Stanton, Gordon, Yelich and Prado, Miami will be well positioned to compete in the National League East for at least the next several years. Marcell Ozuna, who is another one of their young players that the club depends on, will be a free agent at the end of the 2016 season. It remains to be seen whether or not the club will also re-sign the center fielder in an effort to maintain the core of their 2016 lineup.
It's also very possible that given the circumstances regarding José Fernández, the team is looking to solidify their main core of players for the upcoming seasons. During the team's initial press conference regarding the death of their beloved teammate, Prado was the player chosen to speak on behalf of the team, as he sat with manager Don Mattingly, general manager Michael Hill, and team president David Samson. Keeping the team together, both on and off the field, will now be more important than ever after such a tragic loss. By resigning a respected veteran such as Prado, the front office has at least began to assure that their team will be as solidified as possible, as they try their best to retain a team that was (and technically still is) very close to reaching the postseason this year.