I think it's safe to say that as Cardinals fans, we expected a little bit more this offseason.
No, the Cardinals haven't sat on their hands and done nothing like last offseason. But still, the work they have done is mostly underwhelming, save for the Sonny Gray signing.
Gray is the only starter the Cardinals have that can be trusted in a postseason game, at least in my view. Instead of grabbing two frontline guys, the Cardinals grabbed just one and backfilled the rotation with two aging veterans coming off bad seasons.
But what if they're not done just yet? What if John Mozeliak still has one more trick up his sleeve?
While I've continually stated that I don't think more starters will be added, I'm still hoping that I'm wrong. Jordan Montgomery is still available, and I can't help but wonder if his price may drop the longer his free agency drags out, which could put him back in the Cardinals' price range.
Is a Montgomery-Cardinals reunion still possible?
The question we desire to answer today is whether or not a reunion with Montgomery is possible for the Cardinals. With the process dragging out, I'm starting to think it might be possible to bring him back.
As we know, it will be hard. Montgomery is a client of Scott Boras, who is known for making sure his clients get the best possible deals. But the process continues to drag out.
It's clear that Montgomery, and Boras for that matter want a long-term deal. How much they are asking for is unclear. But with Montgomery still unsigned, it seems to me like teams aren't exactly willing to pay him all that extra money. That includes the Cardinals.
But how could a reunion still happen? Well, there are a couple of things to consider.
As the process continues to drag out and Montgomery is left sitting on the free agent market, it's very likely that his price tag will come down, even with Boras as his agent. This is where the Cardinals could swoop back in.
Recall the period after the end of the lockout in 2022, when free agents began signing at a rapid rate, with even some of the top ones taking lesser deals. Keep in mind that Carlos Correa ultimately took a short-term deal with the Twins. It was a three-year contract that included opt-out clauses after each of the first two years. I'm starting to think that might be what happens to Montgomery.
Correa's deal was a short-term commitment, but it was also for a higher AAV. We know that the Cardinals are very conservative with their payroll and budget, but comments made by John Mozeliak earlier this month about the possibility of going over the budget suggest it's possible.
The Cardinals have roughly $26 million left to spend. Still, it all depends on what Montgomery and Boras want. At a certain point though, Montgomery will likely take any deal he can get. But for this to work in the Cardinals' favor, it might ultimately stretch out all the way into March.
As we know, it's been a slow winter. The Cardinals jumped the market, but this could play into their favor. If Montgomery's free agency stretches into spring training, I could certainly see them taking a shot at bringing back the left-hander, especially if he's willing to either take a shorter-term deal or even one that fits in the Cardinals preferred price range.
The same thing happened in 2018 with Greg Holland. He was expected to land a multi-year deal, but his free agency stretched all the way to Opening Day. That's when the Cardinals gave him a one-year deal.
That obviously didn't work out, so the Cardinals will probably have to act a little sooner to bring back Montgomery. But I could see them potentially doing something similar to what the Twins originally did with Correa. Perhaps a three-year deal with opt-outs could be possible.
And if he opts out at the end of the year, the Cardinals could either bring him back or potentially make a play for Nathan Eovaldi if they are unable to bring back the left-hander.
We'll see what the next few weeks leading up to spring training will bring.