top of page
file.jpg
  • E.J. Fagan

Jordan Montgomery Makes Too Much Sense

by EJ Fagan

March 21, 2024

***

NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.


Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.

***

We have a new rumor. The Yankees and Jordan Montgomery are talking again. I think Montgomery makes a ton of sense if he’s willing to take a low-AAV, long-term contract.


Some analysis earlier this week on MLB Trade Rumors made a couple of points. Unlike Snell and Chapman, Montgomery has some reason to avoid a short-term deal as he would be subject to a qualifying offer if he opted out after the 2024 season.


Similarly, we know that the reason why the Yankees couldn’t match up with Blake Snell is that the luxury tax made it costly for them to sign anyone to a short-term, high-AAV deal. I suggested hacking the system a little bit to pay Snell in 2024 but encourage him to opt out, but even that plan only got his AAV down to $25 million.


The Yankees might be able to get Montgomery for a lot cheaper.


I think Montgomery is still a free agent because he got a little cocky. He (and Scott Boras) saw the big money that Ohtani and Yamamoto got this offseason. Montgomery reportedly wanted to top Aaron Nola’s $172 million guarantee.


$172 million for Montgomery was always an insane demand. I like Jordan Montgomery a lot, but as a mid-rotation starter. Check out his 2023 Statcast page:



Montgomery’s pitching run value, a combination of ERA and innings pitched, was elite. Only 7% of starters were better. However, his underlying stats are pretty average. Montgomery had an average xERA, average good contact rate, average swinging strike rate, and below average batting average against. He made up for some of the contact with a strong walk rate, but the picture overall is pretty clear: Montgomery is probably a 4.00 ERA pitcher. Indeed, his xERA has been remarkably consistent since returning from Tommy John in 2020: 3.90, 4.06, 4.00, 3.98.


That’s a good pitcher! The Yankees sure could have used a 4.00 ERA pitcher last year. He could be a huge bonus over innings from Clark Schmidt and whomever ends up as the 5th starter. Montgomery could be a real source of stability for the Yankees.


However, 4.00 ERA 3rd-4th starters do not earn $172 million. Heck, Marcus Stroman, just two years older than Montgomery, just signed a $37 million deal after his worst ERA in years, 3.95.

Here are some recent comparable contracts for 4.00-ish ERA players:


  • Chris Bassitt, 3 years, $63 million

  • Kevin Gausman, 5 years, $110 million

  • Yu Darvish, 6 years, $108 million

  • Joe Musgrove, 5 years, $100 million

  • Nathan Eovaldi, 4 years, $68 million

  • Anthony Desclafani, 3 years, $36 million

  • Kodai Senga, 5 years, $75 million

  • Shota Imanaga, 4 years, $53 million

  • Jose Berrios, 7 years, $131 million

You get the point. A few of these guys were better, younger or both than Montgomery. None of them were going to get $172 million.


It’s clearly a buyers market for pitching right now. There isn’t likely a ton of demand for Montgomery’s services. I don’t think that he’s going to have to quite settle for an Eovaldi or Imanaga deal, but Montgomery is going to have to significantly lower his asking price to get a deal.


Montgomery wants to maximize his career earnings. He needs a big contract now, while he is still young and coming off two strong seasons. The Yankees would love to add a pitcher, but at a low AAV. I think something like DJ LeMahieu’s deal: 6 years, $90 million makes sense for both sides. That’s a $15 million AAV, or $32 million in 2024 including the luxury tax. I don’t think Montgomery is going to get a better deal from anyone else.

18 Comments


popsmcp
popsmcp
Mar 22

Montgomery would be a welcome addition….if he is willing to come back….I say make it happen!

Like

Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Mar 21

Rather than spend mega-bucks on a "middle of the rotation" starter like Montgomery, I would prefer to have Clark Schmidt continue to take the ball, as he has now developed into a very reliable starter. Also, I would like to give Luis Gil a chance as the 5th starter (temporarily until Cole returns) as he totally impressed me when he first debuted with the Yankees. He was unhittable! Word has it that his velocity has improved even more, and he is even better now than he was when he first debuted, before the injury and the Tommy John surgery. He is up to 99 mph and he was around 94 mph at that time, and he was unhittable by…


Like

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Mar 21

Meanwhile, Cortes today had another bad outing, 4 IP, 3 ER, spring ERA of 7.71. Is he hurting? Has he just lost it? Or is he just "working on things" without caring about results? I'm leaning toward thinking it's nothing good.


Oh, and while we're at it, Yamamoto MLB debut: 1 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 K. Welcome to the Big Leagues.


Michael King in his Padres debut was also unimpressive: 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K. Maybe it's the adjustment to South Korea, but after one game, the Yanks don't be looking to missing either of them.

Like
jeff
Mar 23
Replying to

I wouldn't say "Triple-A" sized. The venue, at least on TELEVISION, looks HUGE! Part of the reason for the high scoring games are the result of the field being so HUGE that players can only cover so much ground and hits were dropping in, in places where they would not drop in, in USA major league stadiums. Also, it was a very sloppy game on both sides. LOTS of errors on both sides. Part of the reason for that may have been the very hard tough Astro Turf field which creates wicked bounces. The other reason for all the errors, the jet lag and time difference and travel weariness manifested itself in the players making a lot of fieldi…

Like

tpee612
Mar 21

Signing Mongomery I think would be a waste of money....bottom line Monty is a #4 starter at best..

He was on a very good Texas offensive team that gave him good run support.

Month is delusional thinking he's a top rotation pitcher warrenting the bucks he's seeking

Like
Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Mar 21
Replying to

Texas got Montgomery at the trading deadline. In two months, he put up 2.0 WAR, meaning that over a season, he'd have been worth 6.0 WAR, with an ERA+ of 160 (and in fact, over 2023 with St. Louis and Texas, it was 4.1 WAR and 138 ERA+). So please tell me how Texas's offense caused him to put up those numbers.

Like

jjw49
Mar 21

Montgomery isn't going to let Cashman slide... I say he says NO to Yankees. He'll sign elsewhere.

Like
Alan B.
Alan B.
Mar 22
Replying to

Don't forget, Cashman knew Monty's now wife was trying to arrange a residency in NYC. Bit he never told Monty that she might want to hold off on that.

Like
dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

blog+image+2.jpeg

Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTNReaderMail@gmail.com

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg
583250.jpg
Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."

foco-yankees.png

We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page