Rangers officially lose Jordan Montgomery after cheap deal with recent foe

The Rangers missed a golden opportunity based one what Jordan Montgomery just signed for.
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five / Harry How/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers are in a tremendous spot going into the 2024 season with one glaring exception. The offense looks even better this coming season now that they will get a full year of Evan Carter (plus the impending arrival of Wyatt Langford), and they added some interesting bullpen arms, but the loss of Jordan Montgomery from the rotation cannot be understated.

The Rangers' rotation has a number of problems. Some of their best arms (Scherzer, deGrom) are hurt, but losing the starter in Montgomery who essentially turned the team's season around when he was acquired at the trade deadline and helped carry them to the World Series title was always going to be a brutal loss. As the days and weeks ticked by, it became clear that the lack of dialogue between the Rangers and Monty's team wasn't a negotiating tactic, but reflected the reality that he wasn't coming back.

So the question became where would Montgomery end up and how painful would it be for Texas? Well, the Yankees or Astros would have been uniquely bad news, but New York never really seemed like players for him and the Astros spent what money they had on Josh Hader, it appears. The Angels wouldn't have been ideal, as they are also in Texas' division, and the Orioles swooping in would have made them an even more formidable foe in the AL.

However, instead it was the Rangers' opponent in the 2023 World Series, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who found a way to land him, as the Diamondbacks inked Montgomery to a two-year deal worth up to $50 million.

Rangers lose Jordan Montgomery to Diamondbacks on a deal they should have matched

First, the basics: Montgomery's deal is for $25 million for the first year with a vesting option for the second year. If he makes 10 starts in 2024, the option vests and he will make $20 million in 2025 as well. If he makes it to 18 starts, it becomes $22.5 million for the second year, then $25 million if he makes 23 starts in 2024.

Like most of the teams in the league, it is mindboggling that that Rangers were seemingly unwilling to put this deal on the table for Monty. The Rangers had front row seats to what this guy can do for a franchise, and while their TV revenue is a concern, this was a short-term deal at a position of need and not the long-term mega-deal Scott Boras was vying for all offseason long. Texas was asleep at the wheel here, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

If there is a silver lining to Monty's signing, it is that he is at least not in the American League anymore. That is little consolation to a Rangers pitching staff that is currently being held together by duct tape and rubber bands, but at least it would take a deep postseason run for Texas to have to worry about facing Montgomery for high stakes. That said, Arizona's path to returning to the Fall Classic just got easier, while the Rangers are going to have to have some things start breaking their way for a repeat to be possible now.

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