Boston Red Sox

Report suggests Red Sox are favorites to sign Jordan Montgomery

Is it a matter of when, not if, Montgomery lands in Boston?

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The Boston Red Sox' disappointing offseason has been marked by frustrating inaction. But in the case of free-agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery, good things may come to those who wait.

MLB team executives "widely believe" that Montgomery will "wind up with the Red Sox" in free agency, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reported Sunday, adding that those executives view the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants as the front-runners for free-agent left-hander Blake Snell.

"The Red Sox have kept in constant contact with Montgomery while the Rangers are keeping tabs if owner Ray Davis suddenly changes his mind," Nightengale wrote.

Montgomery seems like a no-brainer addition for Boston, which desperately needs a top-end starter after removing Chris Sale from a rotation that posted a combined 4.68 ERA in 2023 (22nd in the majors) and a quality start rate of just 27 percent (26th in MLB).

The 31-year-old left-hander posted a 3.20 ERA in 2023 over 188.2 innings split between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. He compiled a 2.79 ERA over 11 starts for the Rangers after a midseason trade to Texas and arguably was the team's best starter on its run to a 2023 World Series title. To boot, Montgomery spent the entire offseason working out in the Boston area while his wife conducted a residency at a local hospital.

So, why is Montgomery still unsigned? The issue appears contract-related; the New York Post's Jon Heyman reported in January that Montgomery was seeking a deal north of the seven-year, $172 million pact Aaron Nola signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, and reports in late February suggested the Red Sox were waiting for Montgomery's price tag to come down.

The Red Sox aren't exactly strapped for cash: They currently own MLB's 12th-highest payroll at roughly $135 million, a far cry from their days of spending big and competing for championships. But Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy recently admitted ownership has instituted "parameters" on the team's spending, so maybe Boston is hoping Montgomery's price will drop even further before pouncing.

Considering the regular season is less than a month away, however, the Red Sox can't afford to wait much longer.

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