Montero's price might be too steep for D-backs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Miguel Montero may have priced himself out of the Diamondbacks’ future.
A first-time All-Star last year, Montero was seeking a multi-year contract worth about $12 million-$13 million a year before the sides broke off negotiations this spring, a source with knowledge of the talks said Thursday.
The D-backs, who broke their budget to sign free agents Jason Kubel and Joe Saunders over the winter, are unlikely to be able to reach that number -- which is very near the top of the market for catchers -- this offseason. Montero is playing for $5.9 million this year and will become a free agent in 2013.
"Who knows? It can happen. It’s part of the business. I’m here right now. I have to enjoy the moment here, because you never know where you are going to be tomorrow. It’s like everybody’s life. You are here today. You don’t know where you are going tomorrow," Montero said.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina signed a five-year extension worth $75 million this spring, just as the D-backs' talks with Montero broke off. Detroit’s Victor Martinez signed a four-year, $50 million deal over the winter. Top-tier catchers Brian McCann of Atlanta and Mike Napoli of Texas have either expiring contracts or options for 2013.
Montero’s 2011 offensive numbers compare to those players, although most have a longer track record. Martinez will miss this season because of a knee injury suffered while he was working out in the offseason.
Montero hit a long three-run homer to help the D-backs to a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
“I know there are good players out there, good catchers. I don’t compare myself with anybody. I just compare myself with me, to be the best I can be,” said Montero, who is in the top three in most offensive categories among NL catchers since 2009.
"I can’t worry about them. I have to worry about myself. I have to worry about playing baseball the right way and having a good season.”
Montero would not confirm the reports that he was seeking a deal worth $12 million-$13million this spring.
“They can say whatever they want. Right now, it’s not that I’m looking for $12 (million) or $13 (million). I’m just looking to have a good season and win a lot of ballgames. The rest will take care of itself.
Montero was noncommittal when asked if he would consider a hometown discount for the D-backs, the only organization for which he has played.
"I can’t really think about that right now," he said.
Montero is a favorite of D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.
"Miggy has the most energy of anyone on our team," Gibson said. "He's part-catcher, part-coach, part-psychologist. And a good one."