Rangers’ offseason will become unmitigated failure if bottom-feeding AL team signs Jordan Montgomery

The Rangers need to retain Monty.

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Texas Rangers have enough pitching to repeat as World Series champions? Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray, and Andrew Heaney are solid options atop the rotation, and the hope is that Dane Dunning and Cody Bradford can help keep things on track until Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Tyler Mahle return from the injured list.

But it sure would be nice to have Jordan Montgomery back in the fold for the 2024 season, especially if the left-hander is amenable to a short-term contract. After seeing both Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman agree to three-year deals with multiple opt outs, chances are good that Montgomery might be looking at a similar type of contract.

Zack Wheeler's new deal with the Philadelphia Phillies is sure to upset the market even more, but the Rangers' attempts to bring Montgomery back to the Lone Star State could be impacted further by the Boston Red Sox. Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that most MLB executives expect Montgomery to sign with the Red Sox.

Rangers’ offseason will become unmitigated failure if bottom-feeding AL team signs Jordan Montgomery

Obviously it's been well documented that the Rangers' television dispute with Diamond Sports had been a huge hurdle when it comes to revenue. The Rangers are now expected to receive between $90-$100 million for their TV rights. Despite having a new deal in place with Bally Sports Southwest for the 2024 season, there's no clue how this whole situation will play out in 2025 and beyond.

But the Rangers can't allow Montgomery to leave, especially if it means he'd be joining one of the worst-run organizations in baseball. Sure, it's not John Fisher's Oakland Athletics, but Boston's current ownership (Fenway Sports Group) has been more involved in their endeavors with the English Premier League and NASCAR than anything relating to the Red Sox.

Montgomery was Texas' most reliable pitcher during the 2023 MLB Postseason, and has been a workhorse over the past three years. The left-hander has started an average of 31 games since 2021 with a 3.48 ERA and 121 ERA+.

While the Rangers are hopeful that deGrom and Scherzer will be back on the mound at some point in 2024, does Texas' front office really want to take that risk? deGrom hasn't surpassed 100 innings pitched since 2019, and Scherzer has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons. That's a big gamble for a team with World Series aspirations.

If Montgomery is willing to take a short-term, high AAV deal, then the Rangers need to pounce at the opportunity. FanGraphs estimated the Rangers' 2024 Opening Day payroll to be $220 million, so inking Monty to a deal would undoubtedly push them past the Competitive Balance Tax threshold.

But if Texas wants to compete for the World Series, they need Montgomery back in the fold for 2024. Losing Montgomery would be painful enough, but seeing him sign with a club that'll be lucky to scratch together 75 wins in 2024 would be a failure on the part of the Rangers' front office.