Red Sox Jordan Montgomery chase finally ends in disappointment

World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

After months of waiting and countless rumors, free agent pitcher and 2023 World Series champion Jordan Montgomery has finally signed.

But not with the Boston Red Sox.

Montgomery has signed a one-year, $25 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a vesting option for a second year at the same price (which escalates contingent on starts made), per Jeff Passan.

Montgomery didn't get the long-term deal he's been asking for all winter, much like many of the other Scott Boras clients in the free agent pool this offseason. Rumors surfaced that Montgomery had been asking for the same deal that Aaron Nola signed with the Phillies at seven years, $172 million.

Montgomery figured he would be able to secure such a deal after his 2023 performance. The pitcher spent last season with the Cardinals and the Rangers and he won his first World Series with the latter club. He pitched exceptionally well in the playoffs and played a significant role in Texas' postseason success. He's a career 3.68 ERA pitcher, but in a Rangers uniform, Montgomery pitched to a career-low 2.79 ERA over 11 games.

The Red Sox lost out on the Jordan Montgomery waiting game after he signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have added a durable and consistent starter to their rotation — Montgomery has started at least 30 games in the last three seasons. The Red Sox could use a starter with Montgomery's track record, as injuries tend to plague Boston's pitching staff. Already, this season appears no different.

Boston also could've benefitted from Montgomery's left-handedness. The Red Sox have just one lefty on their Opening Day roster in Joely Rodríguez, but the starting rotation lacks diversity and experience.

MLB insiders and reporters spent the entire offseason suggesting that Boston was one of the best fits for Montgomery. He was seeking a long-term deal and the Red Sox have no proven, experienced starters locked down. Boston needs lefties and durable pitchers, and Montgomery is both.

But, in the end, after months of rumors and "interest" from the front office, Red Sox fans realized that Montgomery probably wasn't going to sign in Boston. After the season-ending injury to Lucas Giolito, adding Montgomery felt almost futile — the Red Sox would have needed Giolito to find his 2019 form and Montgomery to make the pitching staff any better than it was last year.

Plus, against all odds, Red Sox pitchers posted the lowest ERA of any American League team this spring training. The team proved to the front office that it doesn't need to spend a lot of money to field competent pitching. But things may change when the games begin to count, and knowing the recent Red Sox and their rotation woes, they probably will.

The Red Sox probably were the best fit for Montgomery when he was seeking a long-term deal, but his price was evidently hard to justify for someone who's never been a top-of-the-line starter before. Boston fans can take solace in none of the other 29 clubs jumping on Montgomery for his full price.

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