Montgomery, 30, was drafted by the Yankees and established himself as a solid major league starter with that club. He debuted in 2017 with 29 starts, a 3.88 ERA, 22.2% strikeout rate, 7.9% walk rate and 40.7% ground ball rate. Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery and the pandemic kept him from pitching logging many innings over the 2018-2020 period and he struggled a bit when he was on the mound.
He got back on track in 2021 with 30 starts and a 3.83 ERA, while his strikeout and grounder rates ticked up a bit compared to his 2017 season. He had another solid campaign in 2022, which included a midseason trade to the Cards. He finished with a 3.48 ERA, only striking out 21.8% of batters faced but cutting his walk rate to 5% and bumping his grounder rate to 47.6%.
Montgomery first qualified for arbitration for the 2021 season, earning a $2.13MM salary followed by $6MM last year. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Montgomery for a $10.1MM salary, with the southpaw now getting within a hair of that in his last season before he’s slated to become a free agent. Montgomery is one of four starters in the St. Louis rotation set to hit the open market after this season, with Jack Flaherty also in his final arbitration year while Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas are each in the final seasons of their respective contracts.