Miguel Montero
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Miguel Montero is “pretty much retired”

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Former Nationals catcher Miguel Montero has all but closed the book on his major-league career, according to comments given to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Montero said Saturday that he’s “pretty much retired,” in what feels like an inevitable decision after he was cut loose by Washington in mid-April 2018.

Montero, 35, was limited to just four games in 2018. He signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in February and broke camp with the big league squad, but went hitless in his first 13 plate appearances and eked out just two walks before getting designated for assignment. The rest of his 13 years in the majors tells a different story: the veteran catcher played nearly a full decade for the Diamondbacks, during which he turned in two All-Star performances, made two postseason runs in 2007 and 2011, logged the most games caught by any franchise backstop to date, and shaped the bulk of his lifetime .256/.340/.411 batting line, 126 home runs, and 15.5 fWAR. He also earned MVP consideration for his career-best season in 2012, batting a hefty .286/.391/.438 with 15 home runs, an .829 OPS, and 4.5 fWAR across 573 PA.

While the twilight years of Montero’s career yielded disappointing results, he contributed to two more playoff runs with the Cubs in 2015 and 2016 and finally earned his first and only championship ring. There’s no one knocking on his door now, however, and Piecoro adds that the former catcher already has a viable plan in place for the remainder of his professional career. Together with his brother-in-law, Carlos Murcia, Montero currently heads ZT Sports, the Scottsdale-based sports management agency that represents Giants outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and over a dozen minor league players and prospects. It’s a decision Montero can trace back to his time in Arizona, as he told Piecoro he played a pivotal role in negotiating the five-year, $60 million extension he netted in 2012 and was similarly inspired to advocate for others in the game.

Report: Gerrit Cole has seven-year, $245 million offer from Yankees

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Bob Klapisch of The New York Times reports that free agent starter Gerrit Cole has a seven-year, $245 million contract offer on the table from the Yankees. As Klapisch also notes, the deal would set a record for total value and average annual value for a pitcher, besting Zack Greinke‘s $34.4 million AAV and David Price‘s $217 million total.

While it is possible that Cole signs before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, clients of Scott Boras have tended to sign later in the offseason, so this may be a protracted process with today’s report as a jumping-off point. Both the Yankees’ and Angels’ front offices have received clearance from ownership to break the bank to sign Cole.

Cole, 29, could not have timed having a career year any better. During the regular season, he led all of baseball with 326 strikeouts and led the American League with a 2.50 ERA while also posting a 20-5 record and walking only 48 batters across 212 1/3 innings. He performed brilliantly in the playoffs as well, holding the opposition to seven runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 47 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings of work as the Astros narrowly missed out on winning another championship.

Cole is entering his age-29 season, so a deal of at least seven years would take him well into his mid-30’s. Teams, especially lately, have been hesitant to commit to pitchers, but as the Nationals showed with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, sometimes it leads to a championship.

For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports says the Yankees haven’t made a formal offer to Cole yet, though the club plans to make one this week. During this time of year, both sides — front office personnel and player agents — leak details to the press to help establish leverage. What we can generally take from this is that the Yankees are hot for Cole and he’s going to get a record-setting contract from some team, even if it’s not the Yankees.