Diamondbacks add LHP Jordan Montgomery on $25 million, 1-year deal, according to AP source

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks and pitcher Jordan Montgomery have agreed on a $25 million, one-year contract with a vesting option for 2025, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

If Montgomery makes at least 10 starts this season, the option would become guaranteed at $20 million and the left-hander also would gain the right to opt out. The option price would escalate to $22.5 million if he makes 18 starts and to $25 million if he makes 23 starts — a figure he has reached in three straight seasons.

Montgomery pitched for Texas against Arizona in the World Series last year, and his addition bulks up the defending National League champions’ rotation just days before the regular season begins. He should slide into the No. 3 or No. 4 spot once he’s ready for game action, joining Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Eduardo Rodríguez, who signed an $80 million, four-year contract with the Diamondbacks earlier in the offseason.

ESPN first reported that Montgomery and the D-backs had agreed to a deal.

Montgomery, who turned 31 in December, went into free agency for the first time as a World Series champion. The 6-foot-6 lefty played a significant role in Texas’ first title after being traded at the deadline for the second year in a row.

While the Rangers surely would have liked to bring back Montgomery, they weren’t in position to pay the increased cost to re-sign him. He made $10 million last season.

Texas had a final luxury tax payroll of $242.1 million for its championship season, and paid a tax penalty for the first time, though it owed only $1.8 million in tax.

Montgomery is 38-34 with a 3.68 ERA in 140 starts and one relief appearance with the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Rangers.

Texas got him and reliever Chris Stratton last year from St. Louis, which had acquired Montgomery from the Yankees in a 2022 trade for Gold Glove center fielder Harrison Bader.

After going 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts for the Rangers down the stretch, Montgomery was 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA in six postseason games. He won their playoff opener with seven scoreless innings at Tampa Bay in the Wild Card Series, and allowed only two runs over 14 innings while pitching three times against the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series.

Montgomery threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 against the Astros and wasn’t part of the decision in Game 5 after giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He won the Game 7 clincher with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Houston.

Five days later in Game 2 of the World Series against Arizona, he walked only one batter while throwing 50 of 75 pitches for strikes and pitching into the seventh inning, but became the first pitcher to complete six innings in a World Series game without a strikeout since Atlanta’s Greg Maddux in Game 2 against the Yankees in 1996. Montgomery allowed four runs in that 9-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Montgomery was 10-11 overall with a 3.20 ERA in 32 regular-season starts last year. He had 166 strikeouts and 48 walks in 188 2/3 innings, then threw another 31 innings in the postseason.

New York selected Montgomery in the fourth round of the 2014 amateur draft out of South Carolina. He made his big league debut in 2017 and went 22-20 with a 3.94 ERA in 98 games (97 starts) with the Yankees over six seasons before his first trade to the Cardinals. He was sidelined from May 2018 until September 2019 by an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

___

AP Baseball Writers Ronald Blum and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.