Let’s make this clear: the St. Louis Cardinals would not have made the playoffs without Jordan Montgomery.
Montgomery was a big part of the day that changed the 2022 season for St. Louis. On Aug. 2, the Cardinals made a trade with the Pirates to add lefty Jose Quintana to the rotation. In an ensuing move, the front office acquired Montgomery from the Yankees in exchange for then-injured center fielder Harrison Bader.
And things improved ever since for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals went 17-6 in the 23 combined starts made by Montgomery and Quintana, and the two smooth lefties had a combined ERA of 2.56 in 126 and ⅓ innings. Especially considering the (so-far) failure of the Steven Matz experiment, having a reliable lefty arm like Montgomery is huge for the team.
The Cardinals went 13-1 in the first 14 starts from Aug. 4 through Sept. 7 between Monty and “Q”. At the completion of that stretch on Sept. 7, the Cardinals were 81-56 and had a season-high division lead of 9 and ½ games. Aside from a slump at the end of the season, it was his performances that the Cardinals relied on as they headed to the postseason.
And while the playoffs did not live up to expectations, having Montgomery on the team in 2023 leaves a lot for fans to look forward to.
But now we come to the real issue: price.
After this season, Montgomery, 30, will be a free agent. And as of now, only two Cardinals starters are under contract past 2023. (Matz, Dakota Hudson.) Montgomery’s price will almost certainly rise given last year’s performance and the increased price in the pitcher’s market. John Mozeliak better be prepared to shell out some money.
But given the situation the Cardinals are in, it’s 100% worth it.
(Photo Credit: AP)