Baseball: Diamondbacks give Hill 3-year $35M extension

2013-02-09T00:00:00Z Baseball: Diamondbacks give Hill 3-year $35M extensionThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks and Aaron Hill have reached a deal that will keep him under contract through the 2016 season.

The deal adds three years and $35 million to his existing deal, which pays him $5.5 million this year. That means the overall contract is worth $40.5 million over the next four years.

General manager Kevin Towers said Hill has become "one of the premier second basemen in the game, not only in the National League but in all of baseball."

The 30-year-old infielder - Toronto's first-round draft pick and the 13th selection overall out of LSU a decade ago - hit a career-high .302 with 26 home runs, 44 doubles and 85 RBIs last season, earning him a Silver Slugger award, the first for a Diamondbacks infielder.

He came to Arizona as part of a trade with Toronto in August 2011 and was a big part of the team's stretch run to the NL West title that year.

"I love playing baseball. I just love being out here," Hill said Friday in a conference call. "Our family and I are very, very happy here. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Hill hit for the cycle twice in an 11-day span last season, against Seattle on June 18 and against Milwaukee on June 29. The only other player to hit for the cycle two times in a season during the modern era of baseball was Babe Herman of Brooklyn in 1931.

Hill was voted the 2012 team's most valuable player by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers of America.

Among second basemen since 2009, Hill ranks second in extra-base hits, third in total bases, home runs and RBIs and fourth in doubles. Only Dan Uggla (118) and Robinson Cano (111) have more home runs than Hill's 96 in that span.

Pitchers and catchers report to the Diamondbacks spring training facility in Scottsdale on Monday, with the first workout Tuesday. All players report Thursday.

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