Montero and several other prospects have been traded from the Cardinals to the Rockies in exchange for Nolan Arenado, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Montero has yet to make his big-league debut, spending the majority of the 2019 campaign at Double-A, where he struggled to a .188.235/.317 slash line with seven homers and 18 RBI (59 games). He figures to have a good chance to begin the 2021 season at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Montero produced a second positive COVID-19 test and consequently remains under quarantine, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. "Every day that goes by that they're not here is more of a challenge," manager Mike Shildt said about the players being ready for Opening Day. "The biggest two factors will be when they get here, that alone might [impact] their ability to start the season with us, but if they do get here, we still have an opportunity to work into ... how they look and how they can get ready without the feeling of rushing." The infielder initially tested positive during intake screenings for summer camp, and he evidently hasn't overcome infection more than 10 days later. Manager Mike Shildt did report Montero is asymptomatic, but he'll have to test negative twice within a 24-hour span before being allowed to join the team.
Montero was added to the Cardinals' 60-player roster pool Wednesday, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports. The 21-year-old made quick work of the lower minors prior to last season and earned a promotion to Double-A Springfield, but he struggled mightily with a .552 OPS and 74 strikeouts in 238 plate appearances while battling wrist injuries. Montero was added to the 40-man roster in November and will join the team's summer camp at Busch Stadium in advance of the shortened season.
Montero was optioned to Double-A Springfield on Saturday. The 21-year-old third baseman hit .188 with a 31.1 percent strikeout rate in 59 games at Double-A last year, and he will look to master the level this season. He dealt with multiple wrist injuries last season, which contributed to his struggles.
Montero's contract was purchased by the Cardinals on Wednesday. The move protects Montero from the Rule 5 draft. He doesn't appear to be close anywhere close to big-league ready, as he struggled to a .188/.235/.317 line in 59 games for Double-A Springfield last season.
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