With their season possibly in the tank, the St. Louis Cardinals could become a target for contending teams as the trade deadline nears. Jordan Montgomery, an upcoming free agent the team received in exchange for Harrison Bader last season, could be one of the players shipped off the losing team.
St. Louis Cardinals trade talk: What Jordan Montgomery could bring in a swap
Montgomery, who has pitched to a 3.28 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 98.2 innings, has turned in his third consecutive solid season. The left-hander, who hasexpressed frustration with the organization about a contract extension, is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. Usually, these are the type of players that contenders target at the trade deadline. While not exactly a front-line starter, Montgomery is a solid three or four starter on a contending team. These types of pitchers do not grow on trees, and may cost a team a solid prospect in return.
The veteran lefty has ticked up a bit in velocity, averaging a career-high 93.4 mph on his sinker, and 93.5 mph on his fastball. The strength of that sinker has allowed Montgomery to generate a 46.8 percent ground-ball rate, slightly above the major league average. The pitch does not generate a ton of swings and misses, as batters have whiffed at just 14.6 percent of sinkers. To compensate, Montgomery throws a diving changeup and tumbling curveball which both generate whiff rates above 30 percent.
To get the most out of a repertoire without a standout pitch, Montgomery displays some fantastic control, ranking in the 79th percentile with a 6.3 percent walk rate. As evidenced by his Baseball Savant heat maps, Montgomery throws all of his pitches in rather advantageous spots, especially the curveball and changeup. Both pitches live around the bottom and outside parts of the strike zone, avoiding the dangerous middle.
So what could the return look like for Montgomery? The lefty cost the Cardinals Harrison Bader around last year’s trade deadline, but will likely not garner similar talent with his expiring contract. A prospect towards the middle of a team’s Top 30 should be enough to pry Montgomery from Saint Louis.