TODAY: Montero is headed back to New York this weekend and will undergo Tommy John surgery soon, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets.
The news represents the latest disappointment for a pitcher who was once viewed as a future part of the New York rotation. Entering the coming season without an option year remaining, Montero had been fighting for one of the final bullpen slots this spring. He has allowed an earned run for each of the nine Grapefruit League innings he threw and therefore was already at risk of being outrighted.
To this point, Montero has worked to a middling 5.38 ERA in his 192 1/3 MLB innings. But he had earned his most extensive action to date in 2017 as the club dealt with a bevy of injuries, and there were some positive signs. Montero sat at 94 mph with his fastball, recorded a personal-best 10.1% swinging-strike rate, and drew groundballs at a 48.1% rate. He was likely unlucky to have surrendered a .366 BABIP, too, with Statcast showing a big split in his xwOBA (.316) and wOBA (.362).
For Montero to earn another shot at the majors, he’ll first have to undergo an extensive rehab process. The 27-year-old will accrue a full season of MLB service time while recovering, meaning he’ll be eligible for arbitration next fall. Though Montero likely won’t command a terribly steep rate of pay, salary and roster pressures may well compel the Mets to remove him from the 40-man at some point.