Well how about that? The World Series doesn’t start until tomorrow, but we already have our first notable free agent (re-)signing of the offseason, with a quality utility infielder going off the board.
OFFICIAL: #Dbacks agree to terms with INF Eduardo Escobar on a 3-year contract through the 2021 season.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 22, 2018
I’m told it’s for three years and $21 million.
— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) October 22, 2018
Free agents are not eligible to sign with new teams until five days after the World Series, so the current period is an opportunity for teams to do what the Diamondbacks just did. Interestingly, Escobar was a mid-season trade acquisition, and you rarely see them re-up with a team before free agency in those situations. He and the Diamondbacks must have really enjoyed their time together, and the Diamondbacks must not be conceding a total sell-off rebuilding project immediately (though I’ll admit, this seems just a good asset/contract to have, even if you were thinking you might sell in the next year or two).
The 29-year-old infielder hit .272/.334/.489 (116 wRC+) this year between the Twins and Diamondbacks while playing his typically average defense, and, on first blush, this seems like a killer deal for the Diamondbacks. You’d think a guy like Escobar could have done quite a bit better than three years and $21 million in free agency, especially with so many big spenders back on the market this year. Then again, his previous big league experience was nowhere quite near that 2018 level of offensive productivity, so perhaps he and his agents feared there wouldn’t be a significant market for a guy with one year of high-level success.
There it is: the first big-ish signing of the offseason, with a quality utility infielder/bat off the market. It begins.