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.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.