C Miguel Montero wants to stay with Diamondbacks

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Miguel Montero would like to stay in an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform for long time.

The All-Star catcher is seeking a multiyear contract with Arizona and hopes to wrap up negotiations before the season starts.

Montero agreed to a one-year contract worth $5.9 million on Jan. 31, minutes before an arbitration hearing.

"I got this year out of the way. I am glad that we didn't have to go to arbitration," Montero said Monday.

"It is important to get something done. If we can, I am going to be relaxed and play this season without thinking about it. I would just have to worry about playing the game," he said. "If I don't get anything done I will try to do the same but everybody would think about it. If you get into a little slump you are obviously going to think about it."

The 28-year-old Montero is coming off his best season in the majors. He hit .282 and posted career highs with 18 home runs and 86 RBIs for the NL West champions.

"Last year was a great season and hopefully this year will be even better," he said. "I was healthy last year, that was the main thing. When you are healthy you have a chance to put up numbers. When you play every day, seeing pitches every day you gain confidence. Even if you go 0-for-4, you know you are going to be in there the next day. That is good feeling."

The Diamondbacks also want to resolve the issue as quickly because if an agreement is not reached, Montero would become a free agent after the season. If he puts up similar numbers in 2012, his value on the open market would rise significantly.

"There always has to be compromises on both sides in order to work a deal and I don't think there are any secrets that we like to have him here long term," Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said. "The sooner we can resolve it one way or the other, the less he has to deal with it, the less I have to deal with it."

Notes: Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick spoke to the club before Monday's workout. In his annual state of the team address, Kendrick told the squad that there is still work to do and things to accomplish. "The theme for this year is unfinished business because last year was a great year, but you play this to try and go all the way," Kendrick said. "I think we have the talent in the room to potentially do that and we have the leadership. So let's get it done." Kendrick also took the time to express his appreciation for what the team accomplished in 2011. "Last year they exceeded virtually anybody's expectations except theirs," he said. "We were last together as a group in Milwaukee, a tough environment to end the season. I wanted them to hear from me personally how much what they did last year meant and I wanted to thank them." ... SS Stephen Drew continues to make progress in his rehab. He took more ground balls then he has recently and showed improved mobility going left to right and to the hole. If he feels good Tuesday, he will join other players for drills. He will get fewer reps than the others in his group, but it will mean a more intense workout. Drew broke his right ankle last July. ... For the second consecutive day, reliever Craig Breslow was limited in workouts because of a stiff right calf.