The Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League announced last week that left-hander Mike Montgomery has signed for the 2023 season (Spanish-language link). The Acereros also announced a deal with reliever R.J. Alaniz (on Twitter).
Montgomery, now 33, pitched in the majors in each season from 2015-20. A top prospect between 2010-12 while in the Royals’ system, he was involved in a pair of trades before breaking into the majors with the Mariners. Montgomery had a career-best showing in 2016, working primarily as a multi-inning reliever between the M’s and Cubs. He threw 100 innings of 2.52 ERA ball across 49 regular season appearances and famously earned the save in the tenth inning of that year’s classic World Series Game 7.
While that was obviously the highlight of Montgomery’s time in the Windy City, he remained a productive member of the pitching staff through 2018. He worked to a 3.68 ERA across 254 2/3 frames between 2017-18. Montgomery got off to a tough start in 2019, though, and Chicago flipped him to the Royals for Martín Maldonado at that year’s deadline. The southpaw’s return to K.C. was mostly tarnished by a lat strain that cost him virtually all of the shortened 2020 campaign.
After a brief stint in South Korea, Montgomery returned to the affiliated ranks last year. Signed to a minor league contract with the Mets, he spent the 2022 season with their top affiliate in Syracuse. He worked 69 2/3 innings through 22 outings (17 starts) and was hit hard to the tune of a 6.72 ERA. Montgomery induced grounders at a quality 50.9% clip but struck out fewer than 17% of opponents. He’ll try to put that season behind him and get back on track in Monclova.
Alaniz, 31, has pitched in 15 MLB games dating back to 2019. The bulk of that time has come as a member of the Reds. He spent last year on a minor league deal with the Braves. Injuries limited the righty to 20 appearances and 26 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett. Alaniz had strong numbers in that time, posting a 3.81 ERA with a massive 37.2% strikeout percentage against a reasonable 8.2% walk rate. Nevertheless, he never got a big league look in Atlanta and now heads to the Mexican League.