D-backs and Montero agree on one-year deal $5.9 million
PHOENIX — Just moments before a scheduled salary-arbitration was scheduled to begin the D-backs and catcher Miguel Montero settled on a one-year deal worth $5.9 million.
“I was sitting in the [hearing] room,” Montero said by phone from Tampa. “I was getting a bottle of water right before it was supposed to start and they told me to step outside to talk.”
When arbitration numbers were exchanged a couple of weeks ago, Montero filed at $6.8 million, while the D-backs came in at $5.4 million. The arbitrator would have had to pick one of the two figures.
“It feels so nice,” Montero said of having the issue settled. “I feel relieved and happy to get it done, man. I can’t wait to get to Spring Training and start playing. That’s the fun part. That’s what it’s all about. We’re going to have a good team again this year.”
The D-backs pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 20 and have their first workout the following day.
Montero has said he would like to stay with the D-backs long-term and while the two sides have talked this offseason about a multi-year deal, they have not been able to get one done. Montero will be eligible for free agency following the 2012 season.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Montero said. “I haven’t thought about that yet, just about arbitration so we’ll see what happens.”
In 2011, Montero led National League catchers in doubles (36), RBIs (84) and slugging percentage (.471) and was second in home runs (18) and on-base plus slugging (.821).
The D-backs have not gone to a salary-arbitration hearing with a player since they lost to Damian Miller in 2001 and have been to a hearing just twice in franchise history. They beat Jorge Fabregas in 1998.
The D-backs still have two unsigned players eligible for salary arbitration this year in third baseman Ryan Roberts and left-handed reliever Craig Breslow.