Montero joins Martin ....

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
10:30
AM ET
Not that Montero, if you are thinking we are talking about Jesus.

No, Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks broke off contract talks in a more formal way than Brian Cashman and Russell Martin did last week. Cashman and Martin's agent, Matt Colleran, just told a a couple of reporters who inquired, while the D-backs held a press conference.

Anyway, what does this mean for the Yankees? Well, like Martin, Montero is a free agent-to-be, who says he wants to remain with his current team. Montero is an excellent defender. His WAR, according to FanGraph's last year, was 4.4 compared to Martin's 3.0. Montero's slash line was .282/.351/.469. Montero is six months younger than Martin.

As we have written about this subject, a lot of people have pointed to the Yankees young catchers as replacements for Martin. It is possible.

But here is the deal with entrusting a $200M payroll to the firm of Cervelli & Romine. Francisco Cervelli hasn't proven he can stay healthy and, although, he is a fan favorite it is unknown if he could play every day at a high level. Austin Romine, 23, had back issues last year and has them this spring, which is troubling. Let's say that is not concern, there is still the question of if he would be ready to be the main man next year. Defensively, it looks like he would. Offensively, it is another story. Romine has yet to complete a full year in Triple-A.

That's the dilemma that the Yankees are facing with collides with their desire to be under $189M by 2014 and the fact Yadier Molina is about to sign a five-year, $75M deal.

So maybe, after all, Montero could be the Yankees' catcher of the future -- that's Miguel, not Jesus.

But what is becoming abundantly clear that if Martin and Montero were to have excellent seasons, they should be able to command deals that are at least three years and probably in the $30-50M range. Perhaps even more.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146