4:01 pm: If Montgomery cracks the big league team, he’ll earn a salary of $1.1MM, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
1:56 pm: Left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery is signing a minor league deal with the Mets, per Robert Murray of FanSided. The deal is pending a physical and presumably comes with an invitation to big league camp.
Montgomery and the Mets also connected on a minor league deal a year ago, but he never cracked the roster. He opted out and ended up signing another minor league deal with the Yankees, which he also opted out of, before heading to Korea. He made 11 starts for the Samsung Lions, putting up an ERA of 5.37.
The southpaw spent the previous six seasons in the majors, appearing in 183 games from 2015 to 2020, making 70 starts and logging 541 innings with the Mariners, Cubs and Royals. His career ERA is 3.84, though it hovered around 5.00 in 2019 and 2020. His career strikeout rate is 18%, along with a walk rate of 8.8%. The highlight of that period, however, was Montgomery recording the final out of the 2016 World Series for the Cubs.
Now 32, Montgomery has worked both out of the rotation and bullpen in his career, meaning he could function as depth in either capacity for the Mets. The rotation is strong on paper but comes with loads of uncertainty. Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco figure to be the front four, though they all dealt with injuries last year to varying degrees. Taijuan Walker underwent knee surgery in January and may not be ready for Opening Day. If any of that core five need to miss time, the club could also turn to Tylor Megill, David Peterson, Jordan Yamamoto, Sean Reid-Foley or Yennsy Diaz, who are all on the 40-man roster.
The path to a job in the bullpen is much more open, however, as the club doesn’t really have a lefty on the roster projected to be part of the relief corps. Alex Claudio was signed to a minor league deal in January and would likely be Montgomery’s chief competition in that respect. The Mets could continue this wild offseason with another addition, though there aren’t many high profile lefties remaining on the free agent market, with Andrew Chafin and Tony Watson perhaps being the most notable.