Long-term contract talks between Diamondbacks and Miguel Montero “are at a standstill”

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Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said yesterday that he’d like to sign catcher Miguel Montero to a long-term contract extension, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that talks “are at a standstill.”

Montero is coming off a career-best season and his first All-Star selection, so with free agency one year away he may not be all that motivated to pass up the open market. Montero will likely earn at least $5 million in 2012 via the arbitration process and another strong season would put him in line for a big payday as a 28-year-old free agent.

Piecoro speculates the Arizona is offering a three-year deal and Montero is asking for a five-year deal, and if that’s the case Montero has good reason to turn down the Diamondbacks’ proposal. Rarely does an in-his-prime, All-Star player accept a three-year contract when he’s just one season away from free agency.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: