FanPost

Yadier Molina's new contract and Miguel Montero

Back in early September, I posted a piece about what would be a fair contract for Miguel Montero here:

http://www.azsnakepit.com/2011/9/8/2412744/miguel-montero-extension

It was difficult to do because there weren't many comps for Montero, but I believe I came to a reasonable conclusion of a 4year/$30mil deal with a team option that could extend it to 5year/$40mil deal. From what I've read, it seems like the Dbacks and Montero are in agreement with the length of a possible new deal (however long that might be), but are far apart in terms of the money (again, however much that may be).

I believe the new contract that Yadier Molina just received (5year/$75mil) may become an even bigger challenge for the Dbacks ability to sign Montero to an extension. Previously, I attempted to compare a possible Montero deal to the ones that Victor Martinez received from the Indians and Brian McCann, but they were difficult comps since Martinez and McCann have been superior offensive players to Montero. Molina, even though he is wildly considered the best defensive catcher in baseball and has been very durable, has not been the hitter Montero has been.

Let's do a comparison of the two players:

Molina (age 29) - Fangraphs wOBA: 2009 - .337; 2010 - .299; 2011 - .349

Montero (age 28) - Fangraphs wOBA: 2009 - .357; 2010 - .333; 2011 - .351

Molina has definitely been MUCH more durable in his career and has the consistency in playing time. However, he is one year older than Montero, and last year's offensive spike is due to a career high BABIP. Every projection I've seen of Molina for 2012 has him at his 2009 season or worse. Montero, on the other hand, looked as if he had turned the corner defensively and became an asset instead of a liability behind the plate.

I don't believe Molina should have been given a $75mil deal for his age 29-33 years. However, I would think after seeing Molina's deal, Montero would have to be asking for a 5year/$50mil+ extension with the possible thoughts of playing out this year and becoming a free agent. It is very possible that he would be able to get a 5year/$60mil+ deal from big market teams that are going to be looking for catchers (Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Mets, Dodgers). $60mil may seem steep for Montero, but if he's allowed to hit the free agent market, and has another season offensively while staying healthy this upcoming year, he will get that sort of deal, IMO.

I would appreciate any thoughts, opinions. Thanks!

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