At the 2022 trade deadline, the New York Yankees made the fateful decision to trade Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader, as they believed Bader was better-suited for their plans in October. All Montgomery has done since that trade is prove Brian Cashman wrong.
Montgomery pitched the Cardinals into the playoffs that season and followed that up with a career year in 2023. The southpaw posted a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts and 188.2 innings of work pitching for the Cardinals and Rangers. Once he was traded from St. Louis to Texas, Montgomery once again stepped up, not only helping Texas make the playoffs, but win the World Series.
Despite having as good of a platform year as he could've hoped for, Montgomery remains unsigned just days before pitchers and catchers start to report. Montgomery is likely asking for a boatload of money, and with Scott Boras representing him, who knows when his asking price will go down? While it may not feel like it, eventually, Montgomery is going to sign somewhere. Any of these five teams make a whole lot of sense when that does happen.
5) The Angels need a frontline starting pitcher of Jordan Montgomery's caliber
Starting pitching was an area of need for the Los Angeles Angels entering the offseason. We're now in mid-February and all the Halos have done in that area is sign Zach Plesac to a one-year deal. Obviously, that's not good enough.
Plesac can be a fine depth option for the Halos, but what they really need is a frontline arm. Blake Snell makes a whole lot of sense in that regard, but so does Jordan Montgomery, who might even make more sense for a team like the Angels.
The Angels have one of, if not the worst farm system in the majors right now. While signing Snell makes a whole lot of sense for their MLB team, with Snell having the Qualifying Offer attached to him, the Halos would have to forfeit a draft pick. With Montgomery not eligible to receive a Qualifying Offer, he comes with no draft compensation, allowing the Angels to add another prospect to a depleted farm system.
In addition to the Qualifying Offer situation, Montgomery is also a more durable and reliable arm than Snell. No, he does not have Snell's ceiling, but he's the kind of guy you can rely on to take the ball every fifth day and give your team a chance to win just about every time out. Snell can pitch a shutout one start but then follow that up by giving up three runs and walking six batters over four innings.
What the Angels need more than anything is consistency, and that's what Montgomery can provide. He can be a real stabilizer in a rotation that can be better than people expect but has plenty to be concerned about.