This bit of news flew a bit under the radar on Saturday (at least for me), but the Red Sox made a very mildly intriguing pick-up to boost their pitching depth for next season. According to Emily Waldon of The Athletic, Boston signed Mark Montgomery to a minor-league deal.
Former #Tigers Triple-A arm Mark Montgomery has agreed to a Minor League deal with Boston, I'm told.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) July 20, 2018
Montgomery was released by Toledo on July 9.
Now, this is not something to get overly excited about, particularly with respect to this season, but it’s an interesting move. Montgomery is a 27-year-old righty (he turned 28 in August) who has never made the majors, but he’s posted some solid numbers in the minors. A former Yankees draftee, the pitcher first made it to Triple-A back in 2013 but has never quite been able to make the leap into the majors. That seemed like it could change this year as he’d been pitching in the Tigers system, and pitching well. Through 12 appearances he had a 1.98 ERA with over 11 strikeouts per nine innings, though there were some control issues there. However, given Detroit’s less-than-stellar bullpen and its clear rebuilding status, it seemed like Montgomery should get a spot.
Instead, he went down with an injury that could possibly cause him to miss the rest of the year, and the Tigers released him. The Red Sox decided he was an intriguing enough piece to take a chance on him, and according to Chris Cotillo of Masslive, the deal covers the 2019 season as well as the rest of this one. Given the nature of his elbow injury — it’s not UCL-related but it’s significant enough to possible result in a significant loss of playing time in 2018 — this deal is likely for next year. The Red Sox have had success with these kind of bullpen reclamation projects before, with Ryan Brasier being a current example, so this is worth monitoring next year.