Inbox: What is fate of catcher Montero?
Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers fans' questions
What are the D-backs going to do about catcher next year? I know that Chris Snyder signed a big contract last year, but it seems to me that Miguel Montero is better now. Why did Montero suddenly get so good?
-- Justin R., Phoenix
I think it's pretty safe to say Montero is going to be their primary catcher next season. While Snyder did sign an extension last year, it is for a pretty reasonable amount of money (by baseball standards), so his contract should not be a hindrance to trading him. What could be an issue is his health. The lower back problem that has put Snyder on the disabled list twice this year could cause teams to be hesitant to trade for him until he is able to show that he's healthy. That's why it would not surprise me to see him back in a D-backs uniform next spring. After that, if Snyder proves himself healthy, the club would certainly look to trade him.
The secret to Montero's success is that he got an opportunity. Keep in mind that prior to being put into the lineup in June, Montero had not had an extended opportunity to catch every day. Combine that with his maturity over the past couple of years and you've got the recipe for a breakout. One of the things that gets overlooked is how good he has been behind the plate and working with pitchers. That was always a strength for Snyder and an area of concern with regards to Montero. That's no longer the case, as Montero has impressed pitchers with his commitment to studying video and scouting reports.
Have a question about the Diamondbacks?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Diamondbacks beat reporter Steve Gilbert for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
I am a die-hard D-backs fan, but it has become apparent that the front office is only concerned with making money, not with winning games. So how much longer do they expect us to see our team finish last while they do nothing about it? Sooner or later, people will just stop watching, and I don't want that to happen to my team.
-- Steve B., Mesa, Ariz.
Steve, it has certainly been a frustrating year for D-backs fans everywhere. No one expected them to struggle as much as they have this year. Second-guessing decisions made by the front office is certainly fair, but one thing that cannot be questioned is its desire to win. From Ken Kendrick and Derrick Hall to Josh Byrnes and his baseball operations staff, an incredible amount of hours are logged trying to put a winning product on the field. I can guarantee you that none of them are happy with the results this year. As much as fans want to see their team win, the people mentioned above want to do so even more. This is not about the money for them as much as it is the competition. These are extremely competitive people who have a lot of pride and are working extremely hard. I understand your frustration, but just know that the front office is even more frustrated.
Will the D-backs pick up Brandon Webb's option for next year?
-- Stacy R., Phoenix
Stacy, the D-backs have until five days after the conclusion of the World Series to make a decision. While Webb's surgery went well in August, he will not be throwing off a mound by the time the D-backs have to make their decision on his option. The option is for $8.5 million. If they choose not to pick it up, they owe him a $2 million buyout. So essentially it is a $6.5 million decision.
It's certainly possible that the D-backs will go to Webb and offer him a smaller guaranteed amount than the $8.5 million with the option to make more if he is healthy. While the club has a policy against incentives, it does allow "roster bonuses." For instance, when Tom Gordon was signed last offseason, there were roster bonuses in his contract that paid him an increasing amount for the amount of time he was on the active roster. It's a way of protecting the club against a player getting hurt. If the D-backs were to offer Webb something like that, he would likely test the free-agent market to see what other offers might be out there.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.