Montgomery signed a one-year, $2.44 million deal with the Cubs on Friday to avoid arbitration, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Montgomery had a 3.99 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 86:39 K:BB over 124 innings as he bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation in 2018. The 29-year-old's flexibility has been valuable for the Cubs over the last few years and he seems likely to fill a similar role in 2019.
Montgomery allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks while striking out one across 2.1 innings Sunday against the Cardinals. He did not factor into the decision. Montgomery stumbled out of the block, allowing a double to lead off the game and the runner ultimately came around to score -- the only earned run he allowed. However, he allowed a double in all three innings he pitched, and got a quick hook with the National League Central title on the line. Montgomery's appearances in 2018 were split evenly between starts and pitching out of the bullpen -- he made 19 appearances in each capacity -- and he finished the regular season with a 3.99 ERA and 1.37 WHIP to go along with 86 strikeouts across 124 innings.
Montgomery (5-6) allowed five runs on seven hits and one walk across four innings Tuesday while taking the loss against the Pirates. He struck out three. Montgomery started well enough but ran into trouble in the third inning, allowing a three-run home run before escaping the frame. The lefty allowed another run in the fourth inning, put the leadoff hitter on in the fifth and later watched from the dugout as he came around to score against the bullpen. Montgomery delivered a quality start in his previous outing, but he's now failed to complete five innings in five of his last six appearances and has a 3.99 ERA for the season. He's scheduled to make his final regular-season start Sunday against the Cardinals.
Montgomery (5-5) got the win Tuesday, allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out eight against the Diamondbacks. Montgomery was sharp all night, with the lone blemish coming on a solo home run off the bat of Ketel Marte with two outs in the second. The southpaw lasted six innings for the first time since Aug. 7 and notched a season high with the eight punchouts. He'll take a 3.75 ERA into Monday's home start against Pittsburgh.
Montgomery tossed four innings Thursday, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in the 4-3 win over Washington. He struck out two and gave up a homer in the no-decision. Montgomery put up another lackluster start, his second straight outing allowing two runs and three hits across four innings. He allowed a solo homer to Spencer Kieboom in the third frame to open the game's scoring. On the year, the 29-year-old owns a 3.87 ERA and 74:37 K:BB in 111.2 innings. Montgomery will likely take on Arizona next Tuesday.