D-backs and Montero agree to five-year contract extension

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a five-year contract extension with All-Star catcher Miguel Montero, according to D-backs’ Executive Vice President and General Manager Kevin Towers.

“Nobody does it better than Miggy. He’s still in the prime of his career. If we were to label somebody the captain of our ballclub, this guy would be it. We feel like we’ve landed one of the best catchers in the game and I couldn’t be happier,” said Towers.

Last season, the 28-year old was named to his first National League All-Star Team, finished third in the NL Rawlings® Gold Glove Award balloting, received a ninth-place vote in the NL Most Valuable Player polling and garnered the Arizona Chapter of the BBWAA Good Guy Award for his leadership skills on and off the field.

“I couldn’t be happier, to be honest. For me it’s just a blessing to stay here, hopefully for the rest of my career,” said Montero. “My family is happy to be here, we like the city, we like the fans, we like the stadium. It was the only place I wanted to be.”

Montero set club records for catchers with 130 starts, 36 doubles, 18 home runs, 55 extra-base hits and 84 RBI and also threw out a club-best 47.7 percent of attempted basestealers (28-for-60). Among NL catchers, he ranked first in hits (139), total bases (229), doubles (36), extra-base hits (55), RBI (84) and slugging percentage (.491) and second in average (.282) and home runs (18).

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch him grow as a player and a person. The good thing about Miggy is, he sets a great example for his teammates,” said Manager Kirk Gibson. “Most of all, the energy he brings to the ballpark each and every day. It’s unbelievable. He’s been an All-Star and I know he wants to be a World Champion.”

Among NL backstops since 2009, Montero ranks first with 92 doubles, second with 178 runs scored, 209 RBI, .452 slugging percentage, third with a .280 average, 378 hits, 611 total bases, 45 home runs and an .800 OPS, fourth with 391 games and a .348 on-base percentage and sixth with 131 walks. He has excelled in the clutch with 41 go-ahead RBI and 25 game-winning RBI, both second-best in the NL.

Defensively among active NL catchers since 2010, he is second to the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina by throwing out 33.7 percent of attempted basestealers (54-of-160).

Over parts of seven Major League seasons with the D-backs, Montero is batting .270 (477-for-1,766) with 232 runs, 116 doubles, 4 triples, 60 home runs, 267 RBI and .339 on-base and .442 slugging percentages in 551 career games.

The native of Caracas, Venezuela signed with the D-backs as a non-drafted free agent on April 23, 2001.

“He’s really a leader, not only on the field but in the clubhouse. It was very apparent from our manager and general manager the desire to keep him here as a Diamondback,” said President & CEO Derrick Hall. “This speaks volumes for our ownership group, in particular Ken Kendrick, who was willing to stretch it a little bit knowing that this was such a priority for our baseball operations staff and our team.”