June 25, 2024

On Friday, the Arizona Diamondbacks, reigning National League champions, officially inked left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery to a one-year deal. The contract is reportedly valued at $25 million, with Montgomery having a $20 million player option for 2025 contingent on making 10 starts. Additionally, if he makes 23 starts in 2024, his 2025 salary can increase to $25 million.

Jordan Montgomery throwing a pitch

Following the signing, Montgomery was optioned to Triple-A by the D-Backs. He will use this time in the minors to undergo a spring training regimen and build up his readiness. Montgomery is targeting April 19 as his joining date with the Diamondbacks, according to the Arizona Republic.

Montgomery’s free agency lingered longer than expected, and the D-Backs emerged as a surprise destination. He was heavily linked to the Boston Red Sox before signing with Arizona, even holding a Zoom call with Red Sox manager Alex Cora early in spring training. Notably, Montgomery’s wife, McKenzie, is completing her medical residency in Boston.

However, reports from the New York Post indicate that Montgomery ultimately chose not to sign with the Red Sox due to his desire to compete for a championship. The Red Sox have finished in last place three times in the last four years and are projected to repeat the feat this season. Contrastingly, the Diamondbacks are coming off a World Series appearance.

While financial considerations likely played a role, with Boston reducing payroll in recent years, Montgomery’s decision underscores his prioritization of winning. Despite his wife’s ties to Boston, the allure of competing for a championship led him to Arizona.

Montgomery, 31, delivered a strong performance last season, logging 188 2/3 innings with a 3.20 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. He also contributed 31 postseason innings with a 2.90 ERA, aiding the Rangers in securing their first World Series title. Even if Montgomery reverts to his 2021-22 form (3.65 ERA and 167.8 innings per year), the Diamondbacks have secured an advantageous deal.

Furthermore, due to signing his contract on Friday, Montgomery will not be eligible to receive the qualifying offer after the season. As he was not on the active roster on Opening Day, he is ineligible, thereby avoiding draft pick compensation if he enters free agency again this winter.

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