Rangers signing Michael Lorenzen over Jordan Montgomery may have saved their season

The world is a wild place when signing Michael Lorenzen over a guy that helped carry Texas to a title somehow looks great.
Texas Rangers v Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers v Miami Marlins / Brennan Asplen/GettyImages

Almost everyone agreed that the Texas Rangers should have tried to bring Jordan Montgomery back for this season and beyond much harder than they did. Montgomery was such a crucial part of Texas' run to the World Series and they needed starting pitching, so the fit was an easy one. Unfortunately, the Rangers' revenue situation due to their TV rights woes made them feel as though they could not afford Montgomery.

Whether or not that is actually true (it isn't, they could definitely afford Monty), it looks like the Rangers passing on Montgomery and instead going out and signing Michael Lorenzen may have actually been one of the few things that has gone right for Texas in 2024.

Lorenzen thriving with the Rangers while Montgomery is struggling with his new team

In fairness to Montgomery, it does look like he might have gotten screwed by Scott Boras here as he signed with Arizona so late that he didn't get a spring training. Boras' mishandling of his free agency got him fired, but that doesn't change the fact that Montgomery has not looked good early in his tenure with the Diamondbacks. Through Montgomery's first eight starts this season, he holds just a 5.48 ERA with a big drop-off in his strikeout rate so far, which already wasn't great to begin with.

Conversely, Lorenzen has been doing really strong work in the Rangers' rotation since joining the club. While he doesn't have the most exciting peripherals in the world, especially when it comes to missing bats, all of Lorenzen's pitches are grading out well this year, and his 2.96 ERA is a massive improvement over what Monty has been doing.

We'll never know how much better, if at all, Montgomery would have been if he got a full spring training, but Lorenzen signed very late as well. While the right-hander needed a little bit of time to get up to speed too, he has been strictly better than Montgomery this year.

Whether that remains true all year long is a fair question when you consider both players' track records. However, Montgomery can opt out of his deal after this season as long as he makes 10 starts, and if he is good Texas could end up getting him back next year anyway.

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