Phillies Want Jordan Montgomery, but He ‘Isn’t Ready’ for Deal Offer: Report

Jordan Montgomery

Getty Jordan Montgomery

At the start of the offseason, few MLB fans would’ve believed starter Jordan Montgomery would still be a free agent by the time spring training camps open. As one of the top pitchers available this winter, the 31-year-old’s market has been hot for months, but as formerly interested teams finalize their rosters without him, Montgomery may be forced to compromise if he wants to be signed before Opening Day on March 28.

On February 14,’s Todd Zolecki reported that the Philadelphia Phillies are interested in signing Montgomery, but not on the long-term deal he’s looking for.

“Philadelphia would take left-hander Jordan Montgomery on a one- to two-year deal, but he isn’t ready to sign for that,” Zolecki wrote.

A short-term deal definitely isn’t what Montgomery wants out of this winter, nor is it what he’s been expected to sign. On November 6, 2023, Tim Dierkes, Anthony Franco, and Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors projected the starter would land a six-year, $150 million deal this offseason, and on November 9, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel predicted he would secure a five-year, $106 million contract.

Still, with Opening Day mere weeks away, Montgomery may be forced to compromise, even as one of the hottest free agent starters available this winter.

Last season, Montgomery made 32 regular-season starts between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers, posting a 3.20 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 166 strikeouts. He made six appearances (five starts) in the Rangers’ postseason campaign, recording a 2.90 ERA with 17 strikeouts to help win the team’s first World Series title in franchise history.

Montgomery’s Free Agency Market

Until very recently, the Rangers were the favorites to sign Montgomery out of free agency, with’s Mark Feinsand reporting on February 8 that the starter was “destined for a reunion with the Rangers if the two sides can agree on a number.”

However, Rangers general manager Chris Young has now essentially shut down speculation of Montgomery returning to Texas this season, telling reporters on February 14, “I don’t think there are any additions coming at this point,” per MLB Trade Rumors.

The Boston Red Sox are another team that have been repeatedly linked to Montgomery this offseason, with’s Jon Morosi commenting alongside Feinsand, “I wonder if the Red Sox could make a late push by clearing salary with a Kenley Jansen trade.”

Phillies’ Starting Rotation

With Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suárez, Taijuan Walker and Cristopher Sánchez, the Phillies’ starting rotation is already very strong, and it could easily be argued that they don’t need to add Montgomery to be competitive in 2024.

Still, the Phillies have started spending this season and if a floodgate has been opened, a short-term deal for Montgomery would certainly solidify their pitching as one of the best rotations in MLB.

The Phillies’ recent signing of Whit Merrifield on a one-year, $8 million deal and Alec Bohm’s $4 million arbitration-winning salary have blown them past the second luxury tax threshold of $257 million, with the team’s current 2024 payroll expected to sit at $260.8 million, according to Alex Coffey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

It’s clear the Phillies aren’t opposed to spending big to add a top starter to their rotation this season, if it’s a good fit. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Phillies made a competitive “$300 million-plus” offer to Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto before he signed a 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this winter, so with the team now already over the second luxury tax threshold, a short-term deal for Montgomery makes sense as a backup plan.

While Montgomery and his famously aggressive agent Scott Boras didn’t go into the offseason expecting to land a short-term contract, the options are starting to thin out. Signing with the Phillies would put Montgomery in place to contend in 2024, and with spring training already underway, it might be time for the starter to consider if a compromise is the right move.

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