MLB Rumors: Sleeper Cubs target, Red Sox bargain ace, Jung-Hoo Lee fits

  • "20 teams" interested in Korean centerfielder Jung-Hoo Lee
  • Jordan Montgomery could add experience to Red Sox rotation
  • Cubs could sneak into race for Shota Imanaga

Shota Imanaga, Japan
Shota Imanaga, Japan / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
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MLB Rumors: Red Sox could add Jordan Montgomery to bolster pitching depth

In honor of Black Friday, Andy McCullough of The Athletic dished out free-agent deals for every franchise. The Boston Red Sox were gifted Jordan Montgomery, who hits free agency after a strong postseason with the World Series champion Texas Rangers.

The 2023 campaign was a strange one for Montgomery. He began it with the St. Louis Cardinals, who at one point lost 10 straight games with Montgomery on the mound. That naturally led to questions about his adequacy as a top-line starter.

That all went away at the trade deadline. The Rangers acquired Montgomery and he immediately found success, posting a 4-2 record in 11 regular season starts with a 2.79 ERA and 1.094 WHIP. That success translated to the playoffs. He made three appearances (two starts) during the Rangers' seven-game ALCS victory over the Houston Astros, posting a 2-0 record and a 1.29 ERA.

Boston is looking to get back to the postseason stage after a disappointing last-place finish in 2023. The starting rotation needs a facelift. Brayan Bello flashed plenty of promise in 2023, but he's too young to operate as the No. 1 on a World Series contender. Chris Sale still has strong stuff, but his 4.30 ERA and 6-5 record serve as harbingers for the 34-year-old. He's on the decline, with dwindling velocity that could preceed shakier location control in the future.

Montgomery isn't a top ace, but he's an experienced starter with a consistent disposition and the command to justify an investment from Boston, especially if flashier names like Yamamoto or Blake Snell fall through.