It's no secret the Boston Red Sox need to improve their starting pitching staff this upcoming offseason. On Tuesday, Texas Rangers left-hander Jordan Montgomery showed how he can help in that department.
Montgomery pitched a gem in Game 1 of the MLB Wild Card Series vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. The 30-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings with five strikeouts and no walks against one of the league's top offenses.
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In addition to mowing down Rays hitters, Montgomery flashed the leather in the second inning with a sensational diving grab that likely saved a run.
Montgomery's big-game performance should have gotten the attention of the Red Sox and every other club looking to upgrade its rotation. While it undoubtedly boosted his value ahead of free agency, he already was set to become one of the most coveted starters on the market this winter after a strong regular season with the Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals.
In 32 starts between the two clubs, Montgomery amassed a 3.20 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 166 strikeouts and 48 walks through 188.2 innings. He spent the first six seasons of his MLB career with the New York Yankees, posting a 3.94 ERA in 98 games before being sent to St. Louis ahead of the 2022 trade deadline.
Boston Red Sox
With glaring holes in their rotation, the Red Sox should look to add multiple starters to the mix ahead of the 2024 campaign. The most intriguing pitchers set to hit the free-agent market include Japanese phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto, San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell, Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola, and Minnesota Twins righty Sonny Gray. Montgomery isn't an ace, but he'd be a more-than-serviceable mid-rotation arm for a Red Sox staff in desperate need of stability. Signing him plus one of the aforementioned front-end starters would be an ideal scenario.
Boston enters the offseason with Chris Sale, Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock, and Nick Pivetta on its list of potential starting pitchers. It ranked 22nd in MLB in starter ERA (4.68) and 27th in innings pitched (774.1) during its last-place 2023 season.
The Rangers hope to punch their ticket to the American League Division Series -- where they would face the AL East champion Baltimore Orioles -- with a win on Wednesday.