The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to nearly a half dozen starting pitchers who will be free agents this offseason. Dollar figure estimates have also been tossed around for these starters. Let's play "Buy, Sell, or Hold" with these dollar figures!
Cardinals Stats and Facts on X posed the question below.
Jordan Montgomery was the resident ace of the Cardinals' staff since he joined the team midway through the 2022 season. His stats show that clearly. He was the best pitcher in the rotation, and he has only proven his value even more in the playoffs this year.
Last year, Carlos Rodon signed a 6-year contract worth $162 million with the New York Yankees. Rodon was always a good pitcher who had some injury issues. He signed a 1-year "prove it" deal with the San Francisco Giants after the 2021 season, and boy did he prove it. He was an All-Star with a 2.88 ERA, 2.25 FIP (MLB leading), 1.028 WHIP, and struck out 12 batters per nine innings in 2022. An AAV north of $25 million was very reasonable for that stat line.
Rodon and Montgomery are the same age, but Rodon entered free agency one year before Monty will be this year. The chart below details Monty's stats up to this point in his career compared to Rodon's stats up to last year's offseason.
Strikeouts per 9
These statistics are very similar. Montgomery walks fewer people than Rodon, but Rodon strikes out more batters than Monty does. Rodon has an extra season, but not a full season's worth of innings due to injuries; Montgomery is one year older than Rodon was at last year's offseason.
Part of Montgomery's contract depends on its length. The longer the contract, the lower the AAV more than likely. The shorter the contract, the higher the AAV. Montgomery's agent is Scott Boras, so the bidding will get intense, and the price will probably be high. If a potential contract is 6 years, $150 million, I'm buying.