Mike Montgomery, SP Chicago Cubs
Mariners fans should be quite familiar with Mike Montgomery. Acquired in March of 2015 for Erasmo Ramirez, Montgomery performed well for Seattle until he was traded in July of 2016 for Dan Vogelbach.
Montgomery served as the Cubs swing man over the past 1.5 seasons. He won a World Series title with the Cubs in 2016, pitching a scoreless 10th to give the Cubs their first title in 108 years. In 130 innings over 14 starts and 30 relief appearances, Montgomery pitched pretty well. He posted a 3.38 ERA, with a 4.07 FIP and a 1.3 WAR.
The left-handed pitcher has 3 quality pitches, as his 92 mph fastball, along with his changeup and curveball grades as above average. He will throw his cutter to RHH, and is a serviceable 4th pitch. Montgomery has a starters repertoire, but the Cubs do not have a place in their rotation for him.
Montgomery has stated he want’s to know his role for 2018 in order to protect his arm, and would like to find his way back into the rotation. Unless the Cubs are willing to go to a 6 man rotation, Montgomery could find a new home late in Spring Training.
The Mariners have consistently said they like their depth, but they are already on thin ice. Erasmo Ramirez has yet to begin throwing, and the lat injury could force Ramirez to start the season on the DL.
In addition, the Mariners appear to have dodged a bullet after Felix Hernandez was struck in the arm by a line drive. Seattle is optimistic he will only miss one start, but that is up in the air.
Adding Montgomery could help the Seattle in both the short-term and long-term. He still has 3 years of club control. in 2017, “MiMo” was better as a starter, posting a 2.67 K/BB rate and 4.01 XFIP in the rotation, compared to a 1.29 K/BB rate in the ‘pen.
Montgomery is also an elite ground ball guy, posting a remarkable 57.8% GB rate. Adding another ground ball starter, with solid upside makes the Mariners better rather Erasmo is healthy or not.