Expect the Arizona Diamondbacks to try and offload a lot of expensive contracts this offseason after a terrible 2014. One of them will be catcher Miguel Montero, who’ll probably generate interest among the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers.
Montero ,a two-time All-Star, has spent his entire career with the Diamondbacks. He began his career in 2006 and after being one of the best hitters at his position from 2009 through 2012, he declined over the last two years, hitting just .243 in 2014, with his slugging dropping to below the .400 and his OBP to below .700. An injury had something to do with it, as he did a bit better this season compared to 2013.
But the Diamondbacks, paying $112 million in salaries last season, also lost 98 games (64-98). With such a payroll and such an awful production, hanging on to the expensive players doesn’t make sense. Starting from scratch, going with the young players coming through the minors and their farm system is the new objective, as it should be for most teams that can’t generate the kind of money the more established, bigger franchises can.
Montero isn’t the only expensive player on the team. He is due to make $40 million over the next three seasons, including $12 million in 2015, but that ties him with Aaron Hill and Trevor Cahill. Unlike the duo, Montero has market value. He doesn’t have an injury recently for teams to be wary of. He might be hitting worse than before, but he’s still excellent at his defensive job, maybe more important to teams these days. There is a market for him.
Teams that could do with a less offensive type of catcher will be the Cubs, White Sox and Rangers. Russell Martin, a free agent, is the best catcher on the market and probably the most expensive one. If he doesn’t stay in Pittsburgh, the White Sox are the most likely landing spot, leaving the battle for Montero between the Cubs and Rangers.