Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers and catcher Miguel Montero announced today they'll shelve contract extension talks until after the season, with no hard feelings. The two sides were unable to find common ground, explained the GM. Montero said the D'Backs will be his offseason priority.
Montero, 28, will be eligible for free agency after the season. Last month, Montero and the D'Backs narrowly avoided an arbitration hearing, settling below the midpoint at $5.9MM. Given the difficulty in hammering out a 2012 contract, it's no surprise a long-term agreement could not be reached. Even with another strong offensive year it's unlikely Montero can approach Yadier Molina's new five-year, $75MM deal, but it may at least become a point of reference despite claims to the contrary. Montero will still have decent competition if he reaches free agency, with Mike Napoli, Russell Martin, and Chris Iannetta expected to be eligible. Montero is the youngest of the four.