MLB insider explains why Arizona closed Jordan Montgomery deal over Rangers

Unfortunately for Texas, the costs of signing Jordan Montgomery would have been more than just dollars and cents.
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Bob Levey/GettyImages

Amidst all of the Texas Rangers' chatter this past offseason, the hottest topic by far was whether or not the team was going to be bringing back Jordan Montgomery. The fit made all the sense in the world, as the Rangers were well aware of what Monty can do, given that he basically carried Texas' pitching staff to the World Series after they traded for him at the deadline.

As the offseason dragged on, it became clear that Montgomery was not in the Rangers' plans. It was around then that we started hearing about the TV revenue woes from around the league -- including in Texas -- and, all of a sudden, Monty wasn't even being discussed as an option anymore. Eventually, he would land with the Diamondbacks, and some Rangers fans were understandably upset that such a key figure in the World Series run was allowed to walk away.

However, a recent report suggests that it was more that just TV dollars drying up that allowed the Diamondbacks to steal Montgomery away from the Rangers (subscription required) right before the start of the season.

Rangers' past spending cost them in Jordan Montgomery sweepstakes

Ken Rosenthal's piece from The Athletic linked above is quite excellent and a worthy read. However, the gist of his argument is that the Diamondbacks were not supposed to make it to the World Series last year and certainly hadn't budgeted for it. So, when they made their deep postseason run, their payroll was well below any luxury tax thresholds and was capable of allowing for an impact move (or two) if the price was right.

Conversely, the Rangers' roster has been built largely from splashy moves in free agency and the trade market, along with a few very notable player development wins. They were already spending a lot on their team, and signing a guy like Montgomery would have hurt their standing in the draft significantly and cost millions in added taxes.

So, when the time came and push came to shove, the Diamondbacks were able to use their added revenue and add one of the better pitchers in the league last year without too many worries about future luxury tax implications, while the Rangers had to sit on their hands. Every payroll has a limit and it feels bad to hit it, but Rangers fans should take solace from the fact that this roster is still in great shape.

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