Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Diamondbacks and catcher Miguel Montero have agreed to a five-year, $60 million contract extension. The deal is expected to be officially announced at a press conference tomorrow.
Montero was due to hit free agency this offseason, but he’ll now be signed through the 2017 season. The new deal falls short of Yadier Molina’s recent five-year, $75 million extension with the Cardinals, but it’s still a nice chunk of change for someone who is just realizing his potential. The Diamondbacks paid a premium knowing that he would be highly-coveted on the open market this winter.
Montero, 28, owns a .270/.339/.442 batting line since making his major league debut in 2006. He’s off to a bit of a slow start this year and suffered a groin strain earlier this week, but he batted .282/.351/.469 with 18 home runs, 86 RBI and an .820 OPS last season while throwing out 40 percent of attempted basestealers.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.