Red Sox ‘Prioritizing’ Top Starting Pitcher Over Other Free Agents: Report

Jordan Montgomery

Getty A star free agent could be headed to Boston as the Red Sox are "prioritizing" Jordan Montgomery, reports WWEI.

Starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery has become the top priority for the Boston Red Sox, according to a new February 23 report from Red Sox beat writer Rob Bradford of WEEI.

“Feeling per sources is Red Sox prioritizing Jordan Montgomery over other potential free agent pitching additions, but still waiting for price to come down,” Bradford posted on X.

Montgomery is viewed as the second-best free agent starting pitcher remaining behind only reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. Both Montgomery and Snell are part of the nicknamed “Boras Four” alongside Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman as clients of Scott Boras who all remain unsigned with MLB’s Opening Day just five weeks away.

For the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers last season, Montgomery combined to make 32 regular season starts with an exceptional 3.20 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 166 strikeouts in 188.2 innings pitched. The 31-year-old left-hander came up clutch in the postseason, pitching to a 3-1 record with an ERA of 2.90 and 17 strikeouts in six appearances to help the Rangers win their first World Series championship in franchise history.

Montgomery pitched his first five and a half big-league seasons with Boston’s AL East rival New York Yankees, before he was traded from the Bronx to St. Louis around the 2022 trade deadline. He was then dealt again at the 2023 trade deadline from the Cardinals to the Rangers.

In November, MassLive’s Chris Cotillo reported that Montgomery was living in Boston while his wife began a dermatology residency at hospital in the city, which could give the Red Sox an edge in signing him.

How Much Will It Cost To Sign Jordan Montgomery?

At the beginning of the offseason, MLB Trade Rumors projected that Montgomery would land a six-year, $150 million deal. On November 9, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel predicted that Montgomery would sign a five-year, $106 million contract—an average annual salary of $21.2 million.

But with these projections coming over three months ago, it’s possible Montgomery has not been presented with the market that was expected and could settle for a smaller deal. While WEEI’s Rob Bradford is reporting Boston is now “prioritizing” Montgomery, fellow Red Sox insider Sean McAdam of hears the club still has not met the pitcher’s asking price.

“Even this late in the process, Montgomery’s asking price has not dropped to the point where the Red Sox could fit him into their budget, which has been in place for some time,” McAdam wrote February 23. “Frankly, while some in the media characterize the Red Sox as the most likely landing spot, that view is not at all shared internally.”

MLB insider Jon Heyman reported February 22 that the Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Angels are viewed as the most-likely fits for Montgomery. The Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies have also been linked to Montgomery this offseason.

How Would Jordan Montgomery Fit Into Boston’s Rotation?

The two locks for Boston’s rotation to begin the season are 24-year-old Brayan Bello and Lucas Giolito, who a signed a two-year, $38.5 million deal with the Red Sox in January. Bello had a 4.24 ERA for the Red Sox in 28 starts last season. Bello said in January that he wants to be Boston’s Opening Day starter, but that honor would likely go to the more established Montgomery if he soon signs with the Red Sox.

Nick Pivetta is currently slotted to be the third starter for the Red Sox, with four other pitchers currently battling for the final No. 4 and No. 5 spots. The four pitchers competing this spring to grab those final two spots are Kutter Crawford, Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck and Josh Winckowski, according to Sean McAdam of MassLive.

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