Montero cashes in on catcher shortage

Montero cashes in on catcher shortage

Published Jun. 4, 2012 3:09 p.m. ET

June 4, 2012

I’m not sure it’s ever a good idea for a team to give a player big money
as a last resort. But that’s sort of how the Diamondbacks got sucked
into signing catcher Miguel Montero to a five-year, $60 million

The D-Backs do not have a quality
minor-league catcher behind Montero. They explored the trade market for
young catchers, but the price for the Blue Jays’ Travis D’Arnaud or
Yankees’ Austin Romine would have been a package that started with
Double-A left-hander Tyler Skaggs. The D-backs understandably
did not want to compromise their pitching depth.

veteran catchers such as the Blue Jays’ J.P. Arencibia, Reds’ Ryan
Hanigan and Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli also would not have come
cheaply, if they even were available at all. And the coming free-agent
market offered little in the way of

Montero, who turns 29 on July 9, is
preferable to A.J. Pierzynski, Chris Iannetta, Russell Martin, et al
(Pierzynski’s current .850 OPS would be a career high, but he will be 37
next season). And the D-backs figured that 10 to 12 teams – and perhaps
five or six high-revenue clubs – will be in the market for catching
this offseason.

So in the end, the D-backs chose to
bank on Montero. Did they overpay? Probably. Will they regret the deal?
Perhaps. But the scarcity of catching forces teams into difficult
decisions. Montero was a classic

--Ken Rosenthal,

Excerpted from Ken Rosenthal's
weekly notes column. Rosenthal also weighs in on what figures to be a
predictably unpredictable countdown to the trade deadline for teams like
the Cubs, White Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles and Astros. Click
here to read more.