The Yankees have continued exploring the pitching market, as they have their sights set on adding a starter, improving their bullpen, or doing both. Jordan Montgomery has emerged as a name the Yankees could pivot to after missing out on international star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but the interest could start getting real. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yankees “would like to bring back” left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery, who could fill the team’s need for a reliable starter in the middle of their rotation.
Following a career year where he posted a 4.3 fWAR and 3.20 ERA, the Yankees are looking to reunite with a starter who has flourished since leaving the Bronx.
Jordan Montgomery Could Be the Yankees’ Pivot Option
Everyone knows the Yankees’ blunder with Jordan Montgomery, as they dealt him to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader, and the rest is history. The southpaw has been one of the best pitchers in the entire sport since leaving the Bronx, owning a 3.17 ERA and 5.7 fWAR across 43 starts with the Cardinals and Rangers. He was at his best with the Rangers, as not only did he pitch to the tune of a 2/78 ERA across 11 starts for Texas to help them clinch a Wild Card spot, but he also went on a legendary postseason run, securing the franchise’s first World Series title.
The 30-year-old tossed 31 incredible innings, with a 2.90 ERA in five starts and a relief outing as he anchored their staff alongside another former Yankee in Nathan Eovaldi. He’s been a steady starter for the past three seasons, making 30 or more starts each season and ranking 17th in fWAR over that stretch. You’re not paying for a Cy Young-caliber ceiling, but you’re getting an effective and reliable 30 starts a year, and this past season he logged the second-most innings for any pitcher when combining the regular season and postseason.
With the Texas Rangers, Montgomery relied less on his sinker and more on his secondaries, resulting in the 10th-best qualified Swinging Strike Rate (13.4%) and sixth-best O-Swing Rate (37.2%). His curveball, also known as the ‘deathball’ was a miracle pitch for him against right-handed batters, and he better utilized his four-seamer up in the strike zone to get hitters to chase out of the zone for strikeouts or weak contact. There’s a lot to like in Monty’s profile going forward, especially given how he reacted to the pitch clock.
Most pitchers either lost velocity or found themselves more susceptible to injuries following the implementation of the pitch clock, but Jordan Montgomery not only stayed healthy, but he even had a slight gain in velocity. This came despite an increase in workload and a longer leash to pitch deeper into games, and that durability bodes well for a multi-year deal that will certainly exceed $100 million. How much he’ll get remains to be seen, but Jon Heyman also added that the Rangers and Phillies are players in the sweepstakes.
It’s unclear what the Yankees value Montgomery at and where their line in the sand is for a contract, but he could greatly bolster the middle of their rotation and provide much-needed reliability.