5) Jordan Montgomery
Over the last couple of seasons, Jordan Montgomery has pitched his way up from a decent mid-rotation arm to a legitimate frontline starter. Ever since he was traded from the Yankees at the 2022 trade deadline, Montgomery has pitched like an ace for both the Cardinals and Rangers.
This past season, Montgomery posted a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts and 188.2 innings pitched for St. Louis and Texas. He wound up pitching even better in the postseason as evidenced by his 2.90 ERA which included 2.1 scoreless innings in Game 7 of the ALCS in Houston. Montgomery is a bonafide ace and would make this Angels team much better.
At 30 years old Montgomery is going to get a longer deal than Gray even if he's slightly worse. While that can be worrisome, his contract would likely expire at a younger age than Gray's will and could also have a lower AAV.
Due to the fact that he was traded at the 2023 trade deadline, Montgomery was not eligible for the Qualifying Offer which means the Angels would not have to give up a draft pick to sign him. This makes a difference for a team that has wasted draft picks in each of the last two offseasons by signing Tyler Anderson and Noah Syndergaard.