LA Angels have clear choice among top free agent pitchers (if market declines)

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The MLB free agent market has been at a standstill for months, as three big free agents represented by Scott Boras still have not signed. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding them, as the LA Angels have quietly improved the bullpen and added depth through smaller moves.

However, for the right price, Jordan Montgomery could fall right into the team’s lap, which benefits the club. 

Why signing Jordan Montgomery is crucial for LA Angels

It may seem that Montgomery has lost his closest suitor in the Texas Rangers, as their General Manager, Chris Young, has stated he does not expect any more additions to the team. This could mean that the Angels can swoop in and land the division rival's best starter from last season, unless Montgomery's market craters to the point where Texas can once again stomach his value.

The Angels have not landed a starting pitcher since losing Shohei Ohtani, and they seem to have tried replacing him with a flurry of bullpen additions. LA Angels owner Arte Moreno has also come out and said the plan is to have a lower budget. According to, the team is about $56 million under the luxury tax; signing Montgomery to a lower deal could fit in their budget. 

He enters the 2024 season with a 4.3 fWAR, which would significantly help in replacing Ohtani in terms of pitching. He would also help lead the young lefties in the rotation already, as they desperately need to take a step forward in their development. 

Why signing Jordan Montgomery could backfire for LA Angels

The Angels already have a soft-tossing lefty that is slated for the rotation in Tyler Anderson, and while Montgomery yields a slightly better fastball, it’s still slow. His fastball averages around 93 MPH, which ranks in the 38th percentile according to Baseball Savant. 

There are many who also see Montgomery specifically as a No. 2 or 3 starter in the rotation, which the Angels already have plenty of. It wouldn’t make sense to add another when the team really needs an ace at the head of the rotation. 

Another concern, which always is prompted for this types of pitchers, is age, Montgomery is entering his age-31 season. The velocity on his fastball could dip as he gets older, which would make it even more important for him to rely on deception. If he makes a mistake in his location, velocity won’t be able to bail him out.