Diamondbacks and Miguel Montero end extension talks

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Shortly after Yadier Molina and the Cardinals agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal that will keep him from hitting the open market next offseason fellow impending free agent catcher Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks announced that they’ve stopped negotiating a long-term extension.

While standing alongside Montero at a podium general manager Kevin Towers told reporters that they were “unable to find common ground” and will revisit things after the season.

Of course, at that point Montero won’t have any incentive to sign long term because he’ll be eligible for free agency, so if the two sides are indeed ruling out an extension before then his odds of staying in Arizona beyond 2012 seemingly just took a major hit.

Montero is coming off a career-year, hitting .282 with 18 homers and an .820 OPS while making his first All-Star team at age 27. He also led the NL by throwing out 40 percent of steal attempts and combined during the past three seasons Montero has an .812 OPS compared to .745 for Molina.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.