Bleacher Report has insane free agency prediction for Padres that just might work

This isn't as crazy as it may sound.
Texas Rangers pitcher Jordan Montgomery
Texas Rangers pitcher Jordan Montgomery / Bob Levey/GettyImages

It's almost February, and there are still some talented free agents who've yet to be signed. While Shohei Ohtani was the crown jewel of this winter's free agent class, players like Matt Chapman, Cody Bellinger, and former San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell are still looking for work.

Surprise Landing Spots for Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell and Top MLB Free Agents from Bleacher Report included some intriguing destinations. While the outlet suggested the unusual pairing of Chapman to the Milwaukee Brewers and Snell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Friars were not immune to the bold predictions either. B/R proposed San Diego could be a surprise landing spot for Jordan Montgomery.

It would certainly be rather shocking to see Montgomery land in southern California, but with the Padres' need for a left-handed starter, there's plenty of reason to believe this unexpected prediction might be crazy enough to work.

Would free agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery sign with the Padres?

The San Diego starting rotation has taken numerous hits this offseason. A reunion with Snell seems quite unlikely, and the Padres have already lost Nick Martinez, Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha. The Friars did acquire some talented young arms from the New York Yankees in exchange for Juan Soto, but outside of Michael King, none of the pitchers have displayed sustained success in the big leagues.

Montgomery, however, has quite the track record. The 31-year-old has a career-ERA of 3.68 and excelled during the 2023 MLB postseason. Montgomery starred for the Texas Rangers during last year's ALCS with two wins to his name and a 1.29 ERA. Montgomery, despite bouncing around to several different organizations over the past two seasons, is a frontline starter.

Bleacher Report cites the details Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription required) revealed earlier this offseason, reporting that the Padres are hoping to keep their 2024 payroll under $200 million. But, with San Diego's projected payroll currently sitting at $156 million per FanGraphs, adding Montgomery wouldn't seem to be an outlandish idea after all.

While the starting pitching market has seen record deals this offseason, Montgomery is likely looking to sign a deal with an average annual value around $25 million. Aaron Nola's seven-year, $172 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies is probably the best-case scenario Montgomery could hope for.

While most outside of the organization surmise the Padres are looking to cut payroll, if the Friars hope to contend in the hyper-competitive NL West, they're going to have to spend some money. Without a top-shelf starter like Montgomery, San Diego will struggle to make a postseason run in 2024.