Jordan Montgomery goes to Arizona for 1 year, $25M ending Yankees return buzz

Ex-Yankees Jordan Montgomery is with the World Series Trophy after winning it with the Rangers in 2023.

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In a surprising turn of events, left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery has secured a new baseball home, one that lies outside the confines of New York City. From the very onset, there were rumors that the ex-Yankees star was not eager to return to the Bronx. However, the New York team was still the favorite to land him until the last moment.

According to reports from esteemed baseball insiders Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman on Tuesday evening, Jordan Montgomery has reached an agreement on a one-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The contract details, as outlined by Heyman, reveal a substantial $25 million commitment from the Diamondbacks, accompanied by a vesting player option for the 2025 season. Jordan Montgomery’s base salary is contingent upon the number of starts he makes, with 10 starts guaranteeing him $20 million, and the potential to earn an additional $5 million upon reaching 23 starts. Intriguingly, the deal also includes a player opt-out clause for 2025, provided that he reaches the 10-start threshold.

However, this shows the pitcher failed to get an Aron Nola-like deal as per his demand and Arizona too committed heavily to get him on board. But the shorter term and conditions make it a deal a desperate measure by either.

Jordan Montgomery surprises Yankees

This move comes as a surprise, as reports from Sherman on Monday indicated continued interest in Jordan Montgomery from both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Both teams are currently grappling with rotation challenges, as their respective aces, Gerrit Cole and Kodai Senga, are sidelined by injuries to begin the season. With Opening Day looming on Thursday, the Mets and Yankees find themselves scrambling to fill crucial starting pitcher slots at the top of their rotations.

Jordan Montgomery, who plied his trade for the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals last season, offers a solid option with a commendable 3.20 ERA in 2023. While his destination might not have been what New York fans anticipated, the pressure to fill their pitching needs in the wake of injuries has intensified, adding an extra layer of urgency to their search.

Jordan Montgomery, a former Yankees draft pick (4th round, 2014), has established himself as a reliable and consistent performer, regardless of the team he represents. Following a trade to the St. Louis Cardinals at the 2022 deadline, he has consistently logged at least 157 innings each season for the past three years. The 2023 season witnessed Montgomery reaching a career-high of 188 ²/₃ innings split between the Cardinals and the Texas Rangers.

Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

His most impactful performance arguably came during his stint with the Rangers. During his regular-season tenure there, Jordan Montgomery boasted an impressive 2.79 ERA over 11 starts, playing a vital role in their wild-card playoff qualification. his success extended into the postseason, where he made two starts and a relief appearance against the Astros in the ALCS, maintaining a remarkable 1.29 ERA across 14 innings. This strong showing helped propel the Rangers to a World Series Championship, defeating the Diamondbacks in the process.

Jordan Montgomery’s departure from the Yankees to the Cardinals came as he faced stiff competition for a spot in the Yankees’ playoff rotation in 2022, particularly after the acquisition of Frankie Montas. Now, with his addition to the Diamondbacks’ roster, Jordan Montgomery joins a team that has had a strong offseason. Arizona has already signed left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and outfielder Joc Pederson, along with acquiring third baseman Eugenio Suarez through a trade, further bolstering their lineup.

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