Getting traded in the offseason can be stressful.
Players have to uproot their lives and smooth out the details off the field, while continuing to perform on the field. With a slow-moving offseason, the Diamondbacks had to make a deal after starting up camp to bring in outfielder Steven Souza Jr. Compared to Deven Marrero, however, Souza seems like an established member of the #ItsAVibe crew.
The Diamondbacks traded for the Red Sox infielder four days before Opening Day. While Marrero tries to get his feet under him at Chase Field, he did once call Arizona home. The infielder was a three-time All-Conference selection and 2011 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in for Arizona State.
“I came here at 18 years old and left here a man,” Marrero said. “I learned a lot about the game, a lot about life. I got my degree here, that’s something no one can take away from me. I did a lot here that I won’t forget.”
And while Marrero is familiar with the state, the leaders of the Diamondbacks are familiar with him. Current Diamondback general manager Mike Hazen and Lovullo both worked with the infielder in Boston.
“He’s going to come in here and be one of our main backup infielders, and I know his world got turned upside down, gets traded four or five days ago,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s now on our roster as opposed to the Red Sox roster and that takes a little getting used to, but he’s shown a great deal of comfort in coming over here. We know Deven because our connection to the Boston Red Sox, so hopefully that’s helped his transition.”
Marrero said he was excited to reunite with the reigning National League Manager of the Year, and wasn’t surprised at all at Lovullo’s success in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
“I knew he was going to be at the top eventually. He’s a manager that everyone wants to be with. He’s a guy that relates to players very well, he knows the game, very intelligent and just loves people. He’s a people person, he cares not only what you do here but what you do outside of here. He really cares about your life and that’s special.”
Lovullo said Marrero was a strong third baseman and shortstop when the two were with the Red Sox, but the infielder has since developed as a first and second baseman as well. Seeing how Lovullo implemented versatile players like Daniel Descalso and Chris Owings in 2017, Marrero should see opportunities in the upcoming year.