The Diamondbacks have interest in signing catcher Miguel Montero to a long-term deal, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reported yesterday. Managing general partner Ken Kendrick mentioned the idea, though negotiations have not begun. Montero would like to sign long-term.
Montero, 26, played his first full season in '09 and posted an excellent .294/.355/.478 line in 470 plate appearances. His progress makes Chris Snyder expendable. If Snyder comes back successfully from back surgery, the D'Backs will be one of very few teams with two legitimate starting catchers.
Montero will earn $2MM in 2010, his first arbitration year. The D'Backs will presumably want to buy out his '11 and '12 arb years and a free agent season or two. Instead of using the more expensive contracts of Snyder and Ryan Doumit as comparables, perhaps the D'Backs will look at more recent deals for Chris Iannetta and Carlos Ruiz as models. Both players gave up their arbitration years more cheaply and allowed for club options on their first free agent seasons.