Did Rangers just pave path for MLB enemy to sign Jordan Montgomery?

Any hopes of the Rangers' reuniting with Jordan Montgomery took a big hit late on Wednesday evening.
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The single overriding question this offseason for the Texas Rangers has been whether or not they would find a way to bring back Jordan Montgomery. Adding Montgomery at the trade deadline last year was absolutely crucial to the Rangers making their run to the World Series, and with all of the question marks in their rotation, re-signing him just made too much sense.

However, that is not how things have turned out. Between the Rangers' TV revenue situation and Montgomery's price tag, Texas hasn't really been actively involved in Montgomery's market for a while now. While it is certainly disappointing to see the Rangers pump the brakes on spending right after winning a title, we also don't know how reasonable/unreasonable Montgomery's contract demands are at the moment. Nonetheless, the fact that no team has pulled the trigger so far is pretty telling.

Still, hope remained that Texas could swoop in and snatch Monty up before the start of the season. Even manager Bruce Bochy has been publicly lobbying for a reunion with him. With the Rangers signing Michael Lorenzen on Wednesday night, however, the door is now open for a big American League rival to steal Monty away.

Rangers fans may be forced to watch Montgomery sign with the Yankees

Signing Lorenzen feels like a move the Rangers make to finish off their roster. They have had ample opportunity to make a play for Montgomery and it sounds like he would have liked to return, but nothing has ever looked particularly close to happening between the two sides. As for Lorenzen, the Rangers waited and waited ... and waited for his market to crater to just $4.5 million guaranteed for a single season.

Conversely, the Yankees may be forced into making a move for pitching. New York missed on multiple high-profile starters this offseason, and with Gerrit Cole out for at least the next 1-2 months they're firmly in the danger zone heading into the season with their rotation. The latest word is that Monty and the Yankees have re-engaged in talks, and with the season starting in about a week negotiations could move quickly.

There are still a couple things to keep an eye on. One, Montgomery may choose to wait until after the season starts as that will prevent his new team from giving him a qualifying offer once his contract is up (short- or long-term). Second, there are plenty of other teams that could use a guy like Monty in their rotation with the Red Sox and Angels coming to mind.

In short, there is still a lot of uncertainty with Montgomery, but the Rangers' latest move probably takes them out of the running.

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