April 13, 2024

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Sources – Diamondbacks and Jordan Montgomery agree to one-year deal

Sources – Diamondbacks and Jordan Montgomery agree to one-year deal

Left-handers Jordan Montgomery and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a one-year, $25 million contract that includes a player vesting option for a second season, sources told ESPN on Tuesday night, cementing the National League champions' rotation with a postseason lead. From the team that beat them in the World Series.

The deal, which is pending actual execution, expires Montgomery's free agency two days before Opening Day and could include a second-year player option for $20 million if Montgomery starts 10 games. The option would be $22.5 million if Montgomery reaches 18 starts and $25 million at 23 starts, sources said.

After entering the winter hoping for a nine-figure deal, the 31-year-old Montgomery signed for a fraction of that, a coup for a Diamondbacks team whose big offseason acquisition, Eduardo Rodriguez, hit the injured list this week with a major loss. I feel sad. Montgomery will join a rotation that includes top rookies Zach Gallen and Meryl Kelly, along with 25-year-old Brandon Pvadt.

Montgomery's market appears to be strong after a tremendous season in which he posted a career-best 3.20 ERA over 188⅔ innings, the last 67⅔ of which came with the Texas Rangers after the trade deadline from St. Louis. He continued his excellence in the postseason, tossing seven shutout innings in the wild-card round against Tampa Bay and following that up with an impressive 14 innings in the American League Championship Series.

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Instead, Montgomery's fortunes mirrored those of three other top clients of his agent, Scott Boras. Outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger, seeking upwards of $150 million, signed with the Chicago Cubs for $80 million over three years. National League Cy Young winner Blake Snell received a two-year, $62 million deal from San Francisco after targeting an additional $150 million. He joined third baseman Matt Chapman, who wanted nine figures but got three years and $54 million, in San Francisco.

Like all three, who were opted out after the first year of their deals, Montgomery will control whether he hits free agency in a loaded class of 2024-25. The disappointment of the guarantee is reinforced by joining a Diamondbacks team that heads into 2024 in much better shape than last year as it prepares to face a much-improved Los Angeles Dodgers and Giants, as well as the San Diego Padres.

Montgomery is the latest acquisition in a busy winter for Arizona, whose payroll will rise to a record $168 million. In addition to Montgomery and Rodriguez, the Diamondbacks re-signed left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and outfielders Joc Pederson and Randall Grichuk. They also traded for third baseman Eugenio Suarez.

The best player of all time is Montgomery, who joins his fourth team since the New York Yankees — with whom he spent the first six seasons of his career — dealt him to St. Louis at the 2022 deadline. A reliable innings pitcher who has over 30… A starter in three straight seasons, with a 38-34 career record with a 3.68 ERA and 705 strikeouts in 755 innings after New York selected him out of the University of South Carolina in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.

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Featuring a sinking fastball and a solid curve nicknamed the death ball, Montgomery carved through the Houston Astros in the ALCS before allowing four runs in six innings in a Game 2 loss to the Diamondbacks. It was the only game the Rangers lost en route to their first World Series win, and there was mutual interest in a comeback.

But uncertainty over local television rights in Texas has tightened the Rangers' purse strings, forcing Montgomery to explore other options. Discussions with the Boston Red Sox never progressed beyond the early stages, nor did talks with the Yankees. The Giants were at one time suitors but withdrew after signing Snell. Only recently have the Diamondbacks emerged as a potential landing spot.

It's an ideal landing spot for Montgomery, whose data-driven approach aligns with that of Diamondbacks coach Brent Strome and strategist Dan Haren. And if he can help Arizona in October the same way he did with the Rangers last season, the Diamondbacks could once again surprise a National League in which the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves are the favorites to win the pennant.