Miguel Montero’s market is heating up. Photo Courtesy of Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Its becoming increasingly more likely that the Diamondbacks will trade C Miguel Montero. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Dbacks have had discussions with many clubs including the Cubs, WhiteSox, and Dodgers.
This is what Piecoro wrote in the Arizona Republic:
“The Diamondbacks continue to have dialogue with other clubs on a variety of players, including catcher Miguel Montero . . . Among the teams the Diamondbacks have spoken to about Montero are the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.”
The free agent market for catchers has significantly depleted since Russell Martin signed a deal with the BlueJays. John Buck and Ryan Doumit are other options, but there nowhere near Montero. His market is going to start heating up, and I’m sure the Diamondbacks could get something nice in return.
Diamondbacks General Manager Dave Stewart has said that any trade involving Miguel Montero would have to include a starting pitcher that would better the rotation right now.
The Cubs have always been rumored to be interested in Montero. Their farm system is stocked with elite infield and outfield prospects, but the one position their lacking at is behind the plate. They have Welington Castillo, but the Cubs young pitching staff could benefit from Montero’s leadership.
The left handed hitting 31 year old’s offensive numbers have declined over the past two seasons hitting .230 and .243 respectively which is down from .286 in 2012. However he has improved his swing mechanics, and will probably rebound in 2015.
Here is the problem for the Cubs. They don’t have a whole lot of starting pitching depth, and if Stewart wants a starting pitcher, then the Cubs might not be the perfect trade partner. Edwin Jackson might be offered, but trading two bad starters with bad contracts isn’t accomplishing anything.
The Dodgers already have a starting catcher in A.J. Ellis, but the Dodgers are still looking for an upgrade after Ellis had a bad year at the plate in 2014. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw really likes working with Ellis.
Many are speculating that Ellis will be the backup and the personal catcher to Kershaw. There is no question that the Dodgers have the money, but who could they provide in return in terms of starting pitching. Dan Haren might be an option but I just don’t know if that is worth trading Montero. I highly doubt their willing to part with Hun Jin Ryu.
The WhiteSox are desperately looking for a fixture at the catching position, and Montero could provide that. However, are they willing to pay him 36 million dollars over the next three years? Other than Chris Sale, I don’t know if the WhiteSox have any starters that would interest Arizona.
Montero’s market might be heating up, but it would be a bad move to trade him this winter. If there is one place that the Dbacks lack depth at it’s the catchers position. Some suggest that Peter O’Brien is ready but I think he needs more time to refine his catching skills, and I’m just not sure Tuffy Gosewisch is good enough to be in the lineup everyday.
The bottom line is there isn’t a better option for the Dbacks right now, and trading him would just further deplete an already weak position.
What the Dbacks can do is decrease his workload. No catcher has caught more innings than Montero over the last three seasons, and I think resting him more will help his declining offensive numbers.
So what do you think? With his market heating up, should the Diamondbacks trade the veteran catcher?