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Perspectives: Could LHP Jordan Montgomery be a fit for the Washington Nationals?
LHP Jordan Montgomery has excelled under the postseason spotlight.
Although LHP Jordan Montgomery missed the 2018 playoffs while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and was excluded from the 2019 playoff rosters after only returning in time to throw four innings in September, he has excelled under the postseason spotlight. He posted a 2.16 ERA across 25 innings, comprising four starts and one crucial relief appearance in Game 7 of the ALCS.
His performance this October, coupled with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts split between the Cardinals and Rangers this season, positions him favorably to capitalize on his impending free agency.
In a prior argument, I advocated for the Nationals to consider Aaron Nola, but if they fail to secure him or wish to explore another pitcher with experience to aid in developing the young starting rotation, the 30-year-old RHP Jordan Montgomery could be a viable option.
During his tenure with the New York Yankees, the right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery, sidelining him in 2018. However, he made a strong comeback in 2020, tallying a 5.11 ERA with 47 strikeouts across 44 innings pitched. Regrettably, he led all AL pitchers in errors on defense, committing three. In 2021, Montgomery achieved a 6–7 record and maintained a 3.83 ERA over 157+1⁄3 innings."
After being traded by the Yankees to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2022, Montgomery made his Cardinal debut on August 6, throwing five scoreless innings. Unfortunately, he was taken out due to dehydration-induced cramping against the Yankees in a 1–0 win for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Last year, Jordan Montgomery signed a one-year, $10,000,000 contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, which included $10,000,000 guaranteed and an annual average salary of $10,000,000. However, he was traded to the Texas Rangers on July 30, 2023, along with Chris Stratton.
Since joining the Rangers, Montgomery has been quite impressive. In 11 starts during the regular season, he maintained a 2.79 ERA, 3.27 FIP, and a 1.094 WHIP, pitching a total of 67.2 innings. Notably, he pitched at least seven innings in four of his 11 starts with the team and only failed to reach the sixth inning once. Essentially, he consistently provided long innings, a quality that the Nationals desperately need to anchor their rotation.
He pitched at least seven innings in four of his 11 starts for the Rangers and only failed to reach the sixth inning once. In this year's postseason, Montgomery's performance has been notably strong, except for one challenging outing against the Baltimore Orioles.
Montgomery was the starter for Game 1 of the 2023 American League Wild Card Series and Game 2 of the World Series, showcasing his playoff experience.
While the Washington Nationals might not be favored to reach the playoffs in the 2024 season, Montgomery's experience could prove beneficial in 2025, a time when the Nationals are anticipated to once again contend for a playoff spot.
His mentorship and sharing of previous playoff experiences would greatly benefit the young pitching rotation, making him a valuable addition to the team. However, despite his suitability for the team, I am apprehensive about the team's willingness to make substantial financial investments this offseason. Given Montgomery's strong playoff record, his asking price might exceed the team's budget at this point. He might seek to join a team that is closer to a winning position or one that is currently in a rebuilding phase.
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