3. Jordan Montgomery
Montgomery entered the 2020 season as a question mark after missing all of 2019 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Yankees should be rather pleased with what they got from their talented southpaw last year.
He was arguably the club’s most reliable starter behind Cole. His overall ERA of 5.11 won’t impress anyone, but he deserved better. A closer look at his FIP of 3.87 on the year shows just what sort of results Montgomery could have produced with better luck and defense.
The Yankees can reasonably expect his ERA to land somewhere between those two numbers in 2021. Montgomery doesn’t have the stuff to profile as a potential ace or No. 2 starter, but he can be comfortably relied on to anchor the middle of the team’s rotation.
The key for the Yankees will be to avoid the temptation to push Montgomery to outperform his talent. The organization cannot afford to slot him in just behind Cole and expect him to perform like a borderline All-Star. He can be an above-average starter, but anything else would be a major surprise for the 27-year-old lefty.