D’Backs avoid arbitration with Montero via $3.2M deal

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As first reported by Mike Axisa of MLB Trade Rumors, the Diamondbacks avoided arbitration on Wednesday evening with Miguel Montero by agreeing to a one-year contract that will pay the catcher $3.2 million in 2011.

Montero was eligible for arbitration this winter for the second time in his career.  Last season he pulled in $2 million while batting .266/.332/.438 with nine homers and 43 RBI across 331 plate appearances.  He missed about two months due to a torn meniscus and subsequent surgery.

Montero has good power potential and plays half of his games at Arizona’s Chase Field, a park that tends to help power hitters shine.

If the 27-year-old Venezuelan native can stay healthy, he should do damage in what will be his sixth major league season.  He’s likely to bat near the heart of the Diamondbacks’ batting order.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.