As February came to a halt, so did the contract talks of Arizona Diamondback catcher Miguel Montero. Entering his age 28 season, Montero and Arizona could not reach an agreement entering spring training and decided to put contract talks on hold, according to D-backs GM Kevin Towers. This comes only weeks removed from Montero’s arbitration case, which was settled only moments before the hearing, actually signing him in the waiting room to a one-year, $5.9 million contract, no details were released on why the talks were put on hold, or why the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.
Montero was a first-time all-star in 2011, hitting .281 with 18 home runs and 86 RBI, helping Arizona to a NL West title. With the trend of catcher activities in the past few weeks, Yadier Molina signing, Jason Varitek retirement, Montero could indeed cash in on testing the free agent market next winter, with a productive 2012 at a premium position. Molina and St. Louis came to terms with a five-year extension worth $75 million, which can only help the case for Montero being one of baseball’s elite at the catcher position. If the D-backs end up losing Montero to free agency, their other options include Konrad Schmidt, a .294 career hitter in his five years spent on the farm. Schmidt is also highly touted as a top-notch defender. Look for Arizona to possibly draft another catcher come June.