This past week Yadier Molina signed a contract extension with the St. Louis Cardinals, a contract which potentially could have repercussions for the Arizona Diamondbacks. If you haven’t heard, Molina signed a five-year deal to begin in 2013, worth $75 million which means he will make $15 million a year, up from his current $7 million a year salary.
Current Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is only signed through the end of this season and talks between the team and Montero about signing a contract extension have broken down and both sides have agreed to shelve the talks until the end of the season. Our own Thomas Lynch has already provided his spint on the situation–and I have already discussed Montero’s importance to the team here–but this new deal for Molina may have put Montero out of the Diamondbacks price range.
Montero last year had a big season for the D-backs while only making $3.2 million and will make $5.9 million this season. He has proven to be a better offensive player than Molina and if he improves his defense this season he may play himself right out of a D-backs uniform in 2013.
Montero hit .282 with a .469 slugging percentage, 86 RBIs, and 18 home runs. Molina on the other hand hit .304, with a .465 slugging percentage, 65 RBIs and 14 home runs. Montero also threw out 40 percent of potential base stealers, which was first among National League catchers, while Molina only threw out 29 percent of base stealers.
Now statistically speaking it would appear Montero will not be returning next season, especially if he is expecting money like Molina received. It just seems too expensive for GM Kevin Towers. If Montero and the D-backs can’t come to an agreement, they will have to look elsewhere for a replacement, whether it be in the draft or through free agency.
One possibility in the draft is taking a catcher, one possibility is taking Stryker Trahan, if he falls to the D-backs at the 26th pick. One website, draftsite.com, has Trahan falling clear till the 25th pick and then Seedlings to Stars writer Robbie Knopf has him going 6th overall to the Cubs in his mock draft. Trahan is still in high school, but it would be worth it to draft a replacement for Montero and maybe sign a veteran free agent pitcher this off-season to bridge the gap between the two. If it is possible to get Trahan, I would like to see the D-backs go after him. According to his draft profile, Trahan hit .460, with a .545 slugging percentage and 5 home runs. His athletic ability and his offensive prowess make him a prospect worth going after.
No matter what the Diamondbacks do they are going to have to prepare for the departure of Miguel Montero. I just don’t see him not asking for a Molina-type contract and the team just can’t offer that kind of money to him.
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