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ESPN MLB insider: D-backs must keep Montero

Miguel Montero has emerged as one of baseball’s better
catchers, an All-Star who hits in the middle of of the
Diamondbacks’ lineup.

At 28-years-old, the free agent-to-be is on the precipice
of a nice payday, one that could take him out of Arizona.

And, as ESPN baseball insider Tim Kurkjian said, that
would not be good.

“He’s one of the top five catchers in baseball, that’s for
sure, and you can make the case — given his offense —
that he’s a better player, right now, than Molina is,”
Kurkjian told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo. “And
yet, I don’t see any way he’s getting 75 million that
Molina got.

“Yet, I think the Diamondbacks have to sign him.”

The Molina Kurkjian is referencing is St. Louis’ Yadier,
who signed a five-year, $75 million contract in March.

Known more for his work behind the plate than standing
over it, Molina is the NL’s Gold Glove Award winner at
catcher the last four years and a career .274 hitter. He’s
hit 55 home runs in 8 major league seasons for the
Cardinals.

Montero, on the other hand, is a career .271 hitter with
58 home runs who is coming off a career-best season in
2011, his fifth in the majors.

“He is the glue of that team in a lot of ways,” Kurkjian
added. “I didn’t realize he was quite the gym rat that he
is and a guy that is so involved in everything that team
does.”

A player like that is tough to replace, which is why
Kurkjian feels the D-backs shouldn’t leave themselves with
having to do just that.

“In the end, I think they’re going to have to give him
almost anything that he wants, but I still don’t see them
giving him $75 million,” he said.