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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Red Sox close to signing top starting pitcher?

A Boston Red Sox hat

Aug 23, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Hats and gloves from the Boston Red Sox team near the edge of the dugout before the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have been widely criticized for their inactivity this offseason, but they may be getting closer to finally making a significant addition.

There have been numerous reports in recent days linking starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery to the Red Sox. ESPN’s Buster Olney confirmed on Monday that Boston has met with the left-hander and is considering signing him. Longtime MLB insider Peter Gammons said he was told by one executive that Montgomery and the Red Sox had a “good meeting” and could eventually come to an agreement.

Red Sox fans will believe it when they see it. A report last week claimed Montgomery is not in Boston’s budget at his current asking price. Though, it sounds like the 31-year-old is seeking a bigger contract that many teams are willing to give him.

Montgomery is one of agent Scott Boras’ big three clients who are unsigned. He and Blake Snell — another Boras client — are the top two starting pitchers available in free agency. Boras is waiting for teams to cave and offer his players the kind of contracts he is seeking.

Other teams besides the Red Sox could become involved if Montgomery’s asking price comes down, but the Red Sox may have one unique advantage.

Montgomery was acquired by the Texas Rangers in a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline last season. Overall in 2023, he was 10-11 with a 3.20 ERA over 32 total starts. Over his postseason career, Montgomery has gone 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA.

The Red Sox currently have a payroll of around $160 million, according to Spotrac. That ranks 11th in MLB and is well below the luxury-tax threshold of $237 million. Despite that, they insist they are thinking long term and have been hesitant to spend big on free agents. The approach even recently led to some criticism from one of the team’s biggest stars.

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