D’Backs catcher Miguel Montero cut off extension talks with the Arizona front office earlier this spring.
And it sounds like they might never resume.
According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Montero “is said to be looking for a deal similar to Victor Martinez’s $52-million, four-year contract (with the Tigers), and the chances for him to make a deal with Arizona appear slim under those conditions.”
Also hurting the Snakes’ cause is the recent five-year, $75 million extension struck between the Cardinals and Yadier Molina.
Montero, 28, posted a .282/.351/.469 batting line with 18 home runs and 86 RBI in 140 games last season. He’ll earn $5.9 million in 2012 before hitting the free agent market five days after the World Series.
Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.
Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.
Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.
After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.