One thing that's become increasingly clear as the trade deadline gets closer is that the Orioles need pitching help. Whether it's the rotation or the bullpen, upgrades have to be made. One move has already been made, and the Orioles have been connected to a starting pitcher in trade talks.
Now, another trade target has come to light for the Orioles. MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported on Saturday night that a trade of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery is becoming more and more likely as talks intensify. Morosi mentioned the Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks as teams that have been engaging with the Cardinals in trade talks for Montgomery.
Orioles interested in trading for Cardinals pitcher Jordan Montgomery
With the Cardinals in sell mode due to a first half that has been disastrous at times, Montgomery makes sense as a trade chip, as he's set to hit free agency in the winter and would come rather cheap, as he is on a $10 million contract for this season. A little less than $5 million is likely what is left to be paid at this point of the season.
One of the biggest benefits of having a pitcher like Montgomery is his durability, having passed the 30 start mark twice in his career and the 150 inning mark three times, with this year looking like the fourth.
Montgomery has made 21 starts for the Cardinals this season and has thrown 121 2/3 innings, on track to pass both 30 starts and 150 innings this year. He's been a reliable cog in the rotation, posting a 3.42 ERA to go with a 3.75 FIP, 1.248 WHIP, and 2.6 walks per nine through those 21 starts. He's been worth 2.4 fWAR this season and has a 21.2 strikeout percentage, both good things.
Another benefit to the Orioles acquiring Montgomery is his experience within the gauntlet known as the AL East. Orioles fans probably know Montgomery well from his days with the New York Yankees, pitching in the pinstripes from 2017 until the trade deadline in 2022.
To summarize, if the Orioles acquire Montgomery, it would go a long way to stabilize a pitching staff in need of help. With Grayson Rodriguez, Tyler Wells, and Dean Kremer closing in on their single season highs in innings pitched, another starter coming in to help manage innings would be a good idea.
It's also a good idea if that starter is Montgomery, a veteran with proven success at the major league level and in the AL East in particular. This is absolutely a trade worth making.