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.