Nick Piecoro indicated that the two sides were unable to find common ground (twitter), although Miguel Montero did tell Jack Magruder that he considered the Diamondbacks to be his priority following this upcoming season.
Regardless, it looks like Miguel Montero will be joining a relatively stacked group of free-agent catchers (Napoli, Martin and Ianetta) in 2013 (kudos to MLBtraderumors for keeping tabs on these things).
Previous reports have indicated that the length of the contract was not the obstacle, so process of deduction leads us to conclude that it was – as usual – coming down to the dollar amount.
Over the weekend, we looked at why the two sides might not have been able to reach an agreement. For more speculation about each side’s possible thoughts on an extension, feel free to re-visit this post and read up on Montero’s history of inconsistent playing time, his valuable offensive contributions in 2011, and how he could price himself outside of the Diamondbacks’ budget by testing the free agent market – simply by staying healthy.
And, given the recent Yadier Molina extension (5 years @ $75 million), the timing of the sudden “breakdown” in contract talks seems little suspect. Again, Nick Piecoro indicated that both sides are insisting that they weren’t affected by that recent news, but it seems highly coincidental that two groups of people who were already (one would assume) not seeing eye-to-eye on value would all of a sudden just spontaneously decide to end negotiations following the signing of the third largest contract for a catcher – ever.
Perhaps the announcement isn’t so much odd as it is reflective of a gap between the sides that was either:
1. Larger than previously appreciated. Or,
2. Suddenly larger following the events of earlier this week.
Although Yadier Molina has shown far more durability over his career, their offensive production had been comparable in the last few seasons – with Montero even collecting a slight advantage over Molina in some categories.
So, while a good season in a contract year will likely be very helpful to the Diamondbacks’ goal of repeating as division champions, they’re probably going to have to start saving their pennies, because the ink isn’t even dry on Molina’s new contract and it seems like Miguel Montero’s asking price is going up.