Montero, Diamondbacks Likely To Go To Hearing

The Diamondbacks and catcher Miguel Montero appear to be headed to a hearing on Tuesday morning, major-league sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The 28-year-old is asking for $6.8MM while the Diamondbacks are offering $5.4MM.

Earlier this month, D'Backs GM Kevin Towers said that he hoped to keep Montero "well beyond this year".  At the time, Towers said that there weren't a lot of relevant comparables at the catcher position. 

According to Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks view Mike Napoli as Montero’s biggest comparable but Montero’s agents at Octagon disagree.  Napoli, they argue, is only a part-time catcher while Montero tied Yadier Molina's for the most starts at the position last season with 131. 

Napoli signed with the Rangers for $5.8MM in arbitration last season as a player with a little more than four years of service, one fewer than Montero.  A midpoint settlement of $6.1MM for Montero would give him more than what Brian McCann and Yadier Molina earned as five-plus players in multiyear deals.

Last year, Montero hit .282/.351/.469 with 18 homers in 553 plate appearances.  If Montero and the D'Backs don't reach agreement on a multi-year deal, the catcher will be a free agent after the 2012 season.

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