The never-ending rash of extensions for young players continues with Miguel Montero of the Diamondbacks, who has signed a five year extension with the club worth $60 million in total. The news was first reported by Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. The deal is $15 million less overall than Yadier Molina's extension signed this spring, who is a year older than Montero and has a good 400 more games than him in the majors. Montero was making $5.9 million this year, and was scheduled to hit free agency after the season.
Last year for the Diamondbacks, Montero played in 140 games, and had a banner year, posting an .820 OPS an 18 homers. Montero is a very good defensive catcher in addition to being good offensively. GM Kevin Towers can now add Montero's bat to his long-term lineup that already includes Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Jason Kubel in the outfield, as well as Trevor Cahill and cost-controlled Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson in the rotation. It's obviously a great strategy for the Diamondbacks, who are inking their best players (aside from maybe Kubel, but that's a whole different topic) to long-term, below market deals.
What this signing does is also sets the market for soon-to-be free agent Braves catcher Brian McCann. The 28 year-old McCann is under contract this year for $11.67 million, and has a club option for next year for $12 million. It appears other teams were modeling the average annual value of their catcher contracts to that of McCann's final two seasons, guaranteeing that the Braves will have to pay him a mint to keep the Georgia native a Brave for the rest of his career. Another guy to keep an eye on is Matt Wieters of the Orioles, a blossoming superstar and probably the best catcher in the AL this year. Wieters still has three arbitration years left, so it's not urgent for Batlimore to get a deal done with him...but following today's Adam Jones extension, it would do a lot towards cementing the Orioles as a possible contender in the AL East over the next few seasons.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com
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