Diamondbacks sign Jordan Montgomery

Diamondbacks and lefties Jordan Montgomery They are said to have agreed to a one-year deal worth $25 million. The deal includes a $20 million player vesting option for the 2025 season, with Montgomery gaining the ability to opt out if he starts at least ten games in 2024. Montgomery's option will vest at $20 million if he starts ten games, with an additional $2.5 million added to the option when Reaching 18 starts and 23 starts during the 2024 season. The deal is pending material.

The deal ends a long free agency for Montgomery, who defeated the Diamondbacks in the 2023 World Series along with the Rangers just five months ago. Arizona will be the 31-year-old's fourth team in the past three seasons. After spending his entire career in a Yankees uniform up to that point, the southpaw was traded to St. Louis for a center fielder. Harrison Bader at the 2022 trade deadline. Montgomery had great success in St. Louis, pitching to a 3.31 ERA and 3.50 FIP in 32 starts for the club before being traded again in a deadline trade, this time to Texas where the Cardinals faced their first 90-loss campaign in 21st century. a century. His strong performance continued in Texas as he pitched to a sterling 2.79 ERA down the stretch before pitching a 2.90 ERA in 31 postseason innings as the Rangers captured their first World Series in franchise history.

While Montgomery has emerged as a starter capable of playing comfortably at the top of the playoff rotation in his 50 games (both regular season and offseason) since leaving New York, he has shown himself to be a quality arm in the middle of the rotation even while

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His days in the Bronx. While he missed much of the 2018 and 2019 campaigns while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the southpaw pitched to a respectable 3.94 ERA and 3.90 FIP in 98 games over five-and-a-half years with the club. During his time in New York, he struck out 22.7% of the batters he faced while walking only 6.9% and generated groundouts at an excellent 43.7% rate. These peripheral numbers are fairly consistent with the numbers he posted as he broke through the past two seasons; Since the start of the 2022 campaign, Montgomery has struck out opponents 21.6% while walking 5.6% with a 45.3% ground ball rate.

For the Diamondbacks, the addition of Montgomery adds to the strength of a starting rotation that the club already took a big step toward addressing when they signed the left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to a four-year, $80 million deal in December. When the club is at full strength, the club's rotation now appears to be an NL Cy Young Award finalist Zach Gallen Montgomery is in front with Rodriguez and the veteran right-hander Meryl Kelly In the middle, young people Brandon Pfadt Butt lift. It's a massive upgrade from the club's 2023 group, which pitched to a combined 4.67 ERA last season. That number was among the top ten in the major leagues last year and placed the club last among all 2023 playoff teams. By signing Montgomery, the Diamondbacks have successfully turned one of their biggest weaknesses in 2023 into a clear strength heading into the 2024 season, though At least on paper.

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Of course, it remains to be seen whether this strength on paper in the rotation will yield results. Availability remains a major question mark for Arizona's core personnel entering the regular season, as none of the major additions will open the season in the club's rotation. Rodriguez was shut down last week with a late-stage strain and has no announced timetable for a return, and John Gambadoro of 98.7FM Phoenix Reports suggest that the club do not expect Montgomery to be available for at least a “few weeks”. Previous reports have indicated that Montgomery has built up to 75 pitches in his offseason workouts, though the workout is no substitute for facing live batters in organized ball.

Nick Pecoro of The Arizona Republic Reports indicate that the delayed start to the southpaw's season comes with what could be a major financial benefit. Since Montgomery, who agreed to start the 2024 season in the minor leagues in order to condense the season, will not start the season as part of Arizona's Opening Day roster, Picoro indicates the left-hander will become ineligible. to receive a qualifying offer from the Diamondbacks if he returns to free agency this winter. This removes perhaps the most significant drawback Montgomery faced in signing a short-term deal this winter, as his midseason trade from St. Louis to the Texans allowed him to enter free agency unencumbered by draft pick compensation. Had he been eligible for a QO this winter, he would have been at risk of facing a shrinking market as a qualifying free agent. This possibility is no longer a concern now.

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The addition of Montgomery sends Arizona's already stretched payroll to new levels after an offseason spending spree. In addition to Montgomery and Rodriguez, the club has also fortified their outfield mix with Jock Pederson, Randall GrichukAnd Lourdes Gurriel Jr In free agency while finalizing a deal to acquire a third baseman Eugenio Suarez To enhance their arena. These additions ended up raising the club's estimated salaries (Per RosterResource) to more than $167 million, including $215 million for luxury tax purposes. Both numbers break Arizona's previous records of $132 million in 2018 and $155 million in 2023 (For all decades baseball cradle) is out of the water as the club enters 2024 eager to return to the postseason and establish itself as a top contender in the National League alongside clubs like the Dodgers, Braves and Phillies.

ESPN's Jeff Passan It was first reported that the two sides had reached an agreement. John Heyman of the New York Post It reported salary terms for 2024 as well as a vesting option for 2025. USA Today Bob Nightingale Additional details regarding the nature of the vesting option are reported.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports Pictures

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