PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Kole Calhoun to a two-year contract worth $16 million that includes a club option for 2022.
The 32-year-old Calhoun, who lives in nearby Tempe, Arizona, has played eight major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, batting .249 in his career with 140 homers. In 2019, he hit .232 with a career-high 33 homers while playing mostly right field.
“This is really kind of a dream come true, honestly,” Calhoun said. “I'm born and raised here, grew up a Diamondback fan. Anybody who dreams of playing in the big leagues and you get there, your dreams come true. But as a kid growing up, I always dreamed of playing for the Diamondbacks and now I've got that opportunity. I couldn't be more excited.”
Calhoun is a four-time Gold Glove finalist and won the award in 2015. His new deal is worth $6 million in the first year, $8 million in the second and has a $2 million buyout for 2022. He played in college at nearby Arizona State.
“I think he's a pretty natural fit for us,” Arizona GM Mike Hazen said. “We think his combination of defense, offense, on-base skills and power fit us very, very well. We love his makeup, the way he plays the game and he was an early target for us going into the offseason.”
Calhoun could replace Adam Jones, who was the team's primary right fielder last season but is now a free agent. The D-backs have been active with free agents during the offseason, signing veteran pitcher Madison Bumgarner earlier this month.
Calhoun said the Diamondbacks showed interest in signing him almost immediately after the Angels declined his option for 2020. He said that interest — along with Arizona's encouraging 85-win season last year — were some of the factors in his decision to sign with the D-backs.
“I wanted to go to a team that's really looking to win,” Calhoun said. “This is a team coming off an 85-win season, a team that's made a splash with a big free-agent arm and a team that's really showing they're ready to take the next step.”