Cubs may have just found every reason to turn down Jordan Montgomery deal

The Chicago Cubs appear to be a possibly flirty location for a Jordam Montgomery deal, but maybe a veteran can fill out the rotation just as well.

World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

When the Chicago Cubs reunited with Cody Bellinger in person, manager Craig Counsell asked his infamous agent, Scott Boras, why he didn't bring Jordan Montgomery with him. While he was joking and perhaps merely flirting with the idea on behalf of the Cubs, it hints at some underlying truth: The Cubs could use a final starter in their rotation, and Montgomery could be a good fit.

Sometimes, flirtations turn into more.

Will the Cubs wind up agreeing to a deal with the journeyman starter? That remains to be seen. But as Spring Training pushes onward, it may be worthwhile to look toward more economical options. Nothing is more economical than a player you're already paying for.

Cubs could have a perfectly fine final rotation member already on the roster

10-year veteran Drew Smyly is coming up on the twilight of his career, but how far off that conclusion is remains to be seen. Based on Spring Training, it might be further out than one might anticipate. He's using the warm-up period to try out new pitches, including a fastball.

A solid four-seamer could earn him a useful spot in the starting rotation. Smyly hasn't used the four-seamer with regularity since 2016, but noted in the first spring game it was coming out of the hand feeling "hoppy."

The last few seasons, and 2023 especially, Smyly has bounced around between a starting and relief role, creating questions about what role he'll play in the final chapter of his career.

The upside to making an outside signing for someone like Montgomery is that the starting rotation would be clear. Montgomery would be a default inclusion along the existing four in the rotation. But it kind of devalues the fun of Spring Training and building a squad to go about it in that direction.