2009 Offseason: Extension talks for Bay, interest in Montero

The Red Sox want to approach Jason Bay about a contract extension, but only after all the other big free agent outfielders sign this year. The strategy is clear; with free agent salaries on the decline, it makes sense for Theo Epstein to wait and watch players like Bobby Abreu sign for just $12M/season or so, then use that leverage to sign Bay to a below-market deal.

Sox continue talks for Montero

The Rangers have been playing hardball for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, so Boston has turned its attention to young Miguel Montero of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Montero profiles as an above-average bat at catcher with some pop. Dbacks GM Josh Byrnes initially wanted Michael Bowden, but was turned down. Maybe they’ll settle for Justin Masterson and a lesser prospect?

I’ve written that Texas wants to deal Michael Young. Another thought is that maybe Boston will take on Young’s contract if Daniels include Salty in the deal.

Boston is expected to continue signing upside free agents this week. Let’s see what happens, but they’re starting to run out of roster space, if you ask me.


7 Responses to 2009 Offseason: Extension talks for Bay, interest in Montero

  1. scoty32 says:

    I would hope that, if the Sox do go for Montero, the asking price is significantly lower than Texas’. I don’t see a huge difference between Montero and Kottaras at this point, so I’d be against giving up any of the big three pitching prospects (Buch, Masterson, Bowden). I’d be down for Bard and a young lesser prospect, but that’s the most value I’d like to see the Sox give up for a guy who has very similar minor league numbers to George Kottaras.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    scoty32, I have to disagree with you on the Montero-Kottaras comparison. I think Montero is quite a bit better.

    Montero: .291/.356/.467 in 6 seasons
    Kottaras: .269/.366/.444 in 6 seasons

    But Montero was tearing up AAA at age 22, while Kottaras reached it at 23 and has never hit above .243 at that level (even in the hitter-friendly PCL). The 22 HR this year was nice, but my guess is that his true power level is not quite that high.

    Also, Kottaras was 15/80 (18.8%) on throwing out baserunners this year, which is pretty poor.

  3. scoty32 says:

    Good point about the throwing.

    What do you think is a fair price for Arizona to ask for Montero?

    I’m adding you guys to my “Red Sox Blog Community” section over on my blog: http://www.southshoresox.com, in case you want to return the favor.

    You guys seem very knowledgeable, so hopefully there can be some cooperation between us in the future.

  4. Pingback: Sox Intensifying Pursuit of Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero « South Shore Sox

  5. Pat says:

    I feel like this team could really use an effective Buchholz and Bowden, especially as 2010 rolls around, and Wakefield nears retirement.

    I could stomach dealing Masterson with less developed prospects for a catcher, but more than that we’d better be talking about Joe Mauer (not that I see that happening this year).

    I’m not high on Montero. I sort of agree with Scoty32 that he doesn’t seem that much better than Kottaras.

  6. redsoxtalk says:

    Having both Buchholz and Bowden around is nice, but probably a luxury for a team needing a catcher as badly as we do. Since we have money, we can always fill out our rotation with Pennys and Smoltzes just by outbidding other teams. I think one of them has to be traded by next offseason at the latest, there’s just not enough room for everyone; the hard part is, who do you keep?

    I love the potential of Buchholz and Bowden as much as anyone. But statistically speaking, in all likelihood, one or both of these guys will flame out and probably become middle-rotation or worse. Only about 1/4 of players from Baseball America’s Annual Top 100 ever become All-Stars or better:

    So talk about tools and stuff all you want, it just won’t happen for everyone.

    The Twins will do everything they can to keep Mauer, so we’d have to offer a ridiculous package to get him (probably both pitchers AND another prospect).

    It’s not that I’m high on Montero, exactly. He most likely won’t become a star, but could be an above-average starting catcher. I just think he’s an actual prospect, while Kottaras reeks of “future backup C/1B”.

  7. scoty32 says:

    I agree with you that Kottaras reeks of future backup (though I’d argue he’ll stick at C based on reports in the Projo that his catching is vastly improved) but I’m arguing, like Pat, that the Red Sox only need Bard + a backup this year. Like some have said, what did the world champion Phillies have at catcher this season? Maybe the Sox stand pat this season with Bard + Kottaras/Brown then either go out and get someone or hope Luis Exposito is somewhere in the high minors by then, at least close to helping the big club.

    I agree with you that some of Bowden/Buch/Masterson or all won’t amount to much, but I’d like to get more for them than a guy who’s pretty close to what we have now.


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