Literally minutes before an arbitration hearing was scheduled to begin in Tampa, the Diamondbacks and Miguel Montero agreed on a one-year deal worth $5.9 million. Montero told Steve Gilbert, "I was sitting in the [hearing] room. I was getting a bottle of water right before it was supposed to start and they told me to step outside to talk." The final figure was a good bit closer to the team's submitted figure of $5.4m, than what Montero was seeking ($6.8m).
It has also just been announced that Ryan Roberts and the team have agreed on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, settling at $2,012,500. I'm sure it was the extra $500 that did it. :) This deal slightly favors Roberts: the team offered $1.65 million, while the Dread Pirate wanted $2.275 million in booty. It leaves Arizona's streak of seasons without an actual hearing, intact - at least, for now. The last was in 2001, but one player is still outstanding - new reliever, Craig Breslow.
The bigger issue still remains, however, in that Montero will be eligible for free-agency at the end of this season, unless a contract extension is agreed. "I don’t know what’s going to happen," Montero said of that topic. "I haven’t thought about that yet, just about arbitration so we’ll see what happens." The last we heard, the team was still very interested in such an extension, but "we haven't made much progress," according to GM Kevin Towers. "There's just not a lot of relevant comps, so it's kind of hard." Keep an eye on that story, and we'll see what develops over the coming months.
With regard to this year's settlement, the $5.9m figure is roughly comparable with what Brian McCann received from the Atlanta Braves at the same point in his career. McCann got $5.7m, but that was as part of a multi-year deal, signed when McCann had less than two years of service-time. It is, however, a good deal more than MLBTradeRumors projected Montero to receive from Arizona: their system had him down at $5.3m, but that would actually have been less than the Diamondbacks offered.
Either way, it seems a good thing to have avoided the hearing: Montero seemed particularly pleased to have got it done, telling Gilbert "It feels so nice. I feel relieved and happy to get it done, man. I can’t wait to get to Spring Training and start playing. That’s the fun part. That’s what it’s all about." I suspect Roberts' deal, which seems to have been similarly last-minute, will result in a very similar reaction from him.