There was never any doubt the veteran shortstop would hit the open market after Arizona designated him for assignment last Wednesday. Players in DFA limbo have to go on waivers after the trade deadline. Ahmed has well more than the five years of major league service necessary to decline a minor league assignment while retaining his entire salary. With around $1.4MM in remaining guarantees on his $10MM salary at the time of the DFA, no other club was going to put in a claim.
The 33-year-old infielder becomes a free agent for the first time in his career. He’d signed a $32.5MM extension with the D-Backs going into the 2020 campaign, which would’ve been his platform year. The defensive stalwart hit .230/.285/.351 in 954 plate appearances over the course of that deal. That includes a .212/.257/.303 slash this season.
Ahmed has been healthy this season after losing most of last year to shoulder surgery. He’s still a quality defensive shortstop. The D-Backs turned to 21-year-old top prospect Jordan Lawlar to try to add some spark to the lineup, though, pushing Ahmed off the roster a few weeks before his contract was set to expire.
The 10-year veteran will surely at least find minor league interest based on the strength of his glove — although that might not materialize until the winter. Now that the calendar has turned to September, he’d be ineligible for postseason play elsewhere. As a result, he could elect to sit out the final few weeks of this season and look for a new landing spot during the upcoming offseason.