Jordan Montgomery and his representation sure are trying to make the most of his stellar 2023 campaign.

The left-handed pitcher entered MLB free agency at the perfect time. Montgomery had a very nice season, one that got even better after the St. Louis Cardinals traded him to the Texas Rangers. He helped Texas win the World Series, pitching extremely well down the stretch and into the postseason, and now he wants to be paid as such.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported this week that Montgomery and his camp are using Carlos Rodón’s contract with the Yankees as a baseline for their ask in free agency. New York signed Rodón to a six-year, $162 million last winter.

That might look like a lot for a pitcher like Montgomery, who has never gotten Cy Young Award votes or been an All-Star. He is, though, in a similar spot to Rodón, and it’s the cost of doing business at this point when you’re trying to sign free agent pitchers. Montgomery and Rodón are the same age, so the former is going through his free agency a year after Rodón.

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Ultimately, it’s just a comp, and if the market dictated last winter Rodón was worth $27 million per season, then Montgomery is close enough in talent that he might as well ask for it. Here’s the thing, though: The first year of Rodón’s contract played out pretty much in the worst possible way for the Yankees. He made just 14 starts all season, and when he did take the ball, he was miserable. It was arguably the worst season of his career (although he pitched just 11 times between 2019 and the pandemic-shortened 2020), going 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA. One year after he led the majors with 12 strikeouts per nine innings, Rodón struck out just nine per nine.

That being said, Montgomery and his reps can point to the fact that he’s been a workhorse to this point in his career. He has logged at least 30 starts in each of his last three seasons, and he’s going to market with just 755 career big league innings under his belt, about 100 fewer than Rodón did at this point in his career last year.

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For now, though, Montgomery and the rest of the baseball world seem like they’re going to wait for Yoshinobu Yamamoto to make his decision at the top of the pitching market and then go from there. Given how many big market clubs are in the market for the Japanese hurler, Montgomery could get his wish if a pitching-starved team with deep pockets misses out on Yamamoto.

Featured image via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports Images