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.

Brewers’ and Dodgers’ benches empty after Manny Machado and Jesús Aguilar get into it

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The Brewers and Dodgers haven’t had much action in Game 4 of the NLCS, bringing a 1-1 game through 10 innings and about four and a half hours. We finally got something to get the blood pumping, though, when Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado and Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar exchanged some words with each other, prompting both teams’ benches to spill onto the field.

With one out, Machado grounded a 3-1, 95 MPH fastball to shortstop Orlando Arcia, who made an easy throw to first base to complete the out. Machado, running the play out, dragged his left leg, slamming it into Aguilar’s leg as he crossed the bag, causing himself to stumble momentarily. Machado went back and jawed at Aguilar like it was his fault.

Machado has not had the best press in the NLCS. He failed to run out a grounder in Game 2, then made a couple of slides in Game 3 that attempted to interfere with Arcia at the second base bag. He was called for interference on the second one. Machado hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt for his actions tonight.

It’s difficult to imagine Machado’s behavior during the NLCS will affect his windfall as a free agent this offseason, but he’s proving to be somewhat of a distraction for a team trying to get back to the World Series. And that’s not good.