MLB Rumors: 4 teams Phillies could devastate with late-free agency splash

If the Philadelphia Phillies can land a big fish late in free agency, it's safe to say a few teams will be upset.

Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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3. Phillies can put Rangers' repeat bid in jeopardy

The Texas Rangers are reigning World Series champs. It's only logical to run it back. Jordan Montgomery arrived in Arlington midseason via trade from the St. Louis Cardinals. He was an immediate success, going 4-2 with a 3.27 ERA and 1.094 WHIP in 11 starts (67.2 innings pitched) for the Rangers. He took it to another level in the playoffs, going 3-1 in six appearances (five starts) with a 2.90 ERA and 3.90 FIP.

It's no secret that Texas wants Montgomery back, and he wants to be back. Unfortunately, price is a sticking point for the Rangers, who are concerned about their TV contract. Montgomery is slated to receive a major payday. Now it's just a matter of finding the right organization to bet on his newly minted postseason résumé. The Phillies have concurrent goals — to win a championship — and would benefit immensely from Montgomery's presence in the rotation.

At first glance, the Phillies aren't in desperate need of another top-shelf starter. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola are established aces atop the rotation and Ranger Suarez was pleasantly effective during the Phillies' NLCS run. That said, there's absolutely no harm is an elite southpaw to balance out Philadelphia's depth chart. Wheeler and Nola are right-handed; Suarez throws with his left.

Wheeler's upcoming free agency is also notable. If the Phillies aren't certain of their ability to re-sign Wheeler, Montgomery can serve as expensive and imminently successful insurance.

The Rangers would love to welcome Montgomery back to a similarly loaded rotation, where he can slot behind Nathan Eovaldi and Max Scherzer. The latter is expected to miss time during the 2024 season, so there's even more pressure to retain Montgomery. If the Phillies play spoiler, the Rangers might need to scramble to find a suitable replacement.