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On Friday, the reigning National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks officially signed workhorse left-hander Jordan Montgomery to a one-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth $25 million, and Montgomery will pick up a $20 million player option for 2025 if he makes 10 starts. The 2025 salary can rise to $25 million if he makes 23 starts in 2024.

The D-Backs optioned Montgomery to Triple-A after the signing was made official. He will go to the minors to essentially go through a spring training program and get built up. Montgomery is aiming to join the D-Backs on April 19, per the Arizona Republic.

Montgomery's free agency lasted longer than I'm sure he would have liked, and the D-Backs really came out of nowhere to sign him. Before signing with Arizona, he was most connected to Boston Red Sox, so much so that he held a Zoom call with Red Sox manager Alex Cora early in spring training. For what it's worth, Montgomery's wife, McKenzie, is doing her medical residency in Boston.

As it turns out, the Red Sox never really had much of a chance to sign Montgomery. He preferred not to sign with the Boston because he wants to win, reports the New York Post, and the Red Sox have finished in last place three times in the last four years. They're projected to finish in last place again this year. The D-Backs, meanwhile, are coming off a trip to the World Series.

Money talks, and I'm sure there was a point where Montgomery would have gone to the Red Sox, but Boston has significantly reduced payroll in recent years. Its $170 million Opening Day payroll this year is down from $181 million last year and $236 million in 2019, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Cutting payroll and signing free agents don't mix.

Montgomery, 31, threw 188 2/3 innings with a 3.20 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers last year. He then chipped in 31 innings with a 2.90 in the postseason, and helped Texas win the franchise's first World Series. Even if Montgomery reverts back to his 2021-22 form (3.65 ERA and 167.8 innings per year), the D-Backs got an absolute steal.

It should be noted that, because he signed his contract Friday, Montgomery will not be eligible to receive the qualifying offer after the season. He was not on the active roster on Opening Day and is thus ineligible. That means he will not be attached to draft pick compensation if he hits the open market again this winter.