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Friday newsletter time: Montgomery watch feels like Groundhog Day

(AP photo/Barry Reeger)


Six more weeks of summer for anyone who predicted that left-hander Jordan Montgomery would still be unsigned after Punxsutawney Phil waddled out of his hole.

Today is Groundhog Day, which Bill Murray gave new meaning to with the comedy by the same name in which he keeps relieving the same day over and over again on Groundhog Day.

For fans on Montgomery watch, this whole offseason has been like the movie.

For reporters on Montgomery watch, this whole offseason has been like the movie.

He reportedly wants to re-sign with the Rangers, who added him at the trade deadline and leaned on him in the postseason.

There has been no resolution to the Rangers’ TV contract, and that uncertainty has hampered their efforts to re-signing.

The Rangers could still use a starting pitcher. So could the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Giants.

Same thing, over and over.

Boston fans have become more hopeful, in part because Montgomery’s wife, a dermatologist, is be doing a residency in Boston. Not mentioned is that she will be moving to another city, Nashville, later in the year.

The couple are already used to being apart most of the time, so her current location likely won’t determine where Montgomery goes.

While everyone waits, it’s worth noting that Rangers pitchers and catchers are only 12 days out from their first workout of spring training. Montgomery, of course, has been working out and will come to the camp of whichever team he selects ready to go, but he probably would like to have some time to find lodging.

The guess here is he’s signed by this time next week.

This version of Groundhog Day hasn’t been very funny.

Orioles strike

One of the big three starting pitchers thought to be available this offseason could be pitching against the Rangers later this year in the American League playoffs.

Former National League Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes was traded Thursday night from the Brewers to the Orioles, who won 101 regular-season games in 2023 before getting swept in the division series by the Rangers. Baltimore traded away two prospects and a competitive balance pick.

Left-hander DJ Hall and infielder Joey Ortiz were rated by Baseball America as the No. 6 and No. 7 prospects in a deep Orioles farm system. The Rangers’ equivalent, according to Baseball America, would have been outfielder Dustin Harris and right-hander Brock Porter.

The 34th overall pick will almost certainly become a top-10 Brewers prospect.

Burnes can be a free agent after the season.

So can Guardians right-hander Shane Bieber, another former Cy Young winner thought be available. Were the Rangers to add him, they would likely prefer extending him, but that TV deal thingy might get in the way.

The third top-tier pitcher dangled this offseason is White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease, who has two years of control left.


Draft stuff

The Rangers have selected in the top 15 of the past six MLB drafts, in the top 10 in four of the past five and in the top four in three straight.

Winning the World Series will bring those streaks to a halt. The Rangers will draft last, 30th overall, in first round of the July 14 draft in Arlington.

That’s a good thing, of course. Teams who draft late are winners, though sometimes those wins come after years of draft early. That’s how the Rays, Astros and Orioles became good.

Of the Rangers’ top-15 picks, Josh Jung (eighth overall, 2019) is the only one who has made it to the majors. Evan Carter (50th overall, 2020) was a second-round pick. So, in theory, the best of their recent draft classes is still to come.

These draft thoughts came about after Baseball America revealed its the top 200 draft prospects. I wanted to know where TCU shortstop Anthony Silva ranked. He came in at No. 30, right where the Rangers are picking.

Silva is from San Antonio. He batted .330 last season as a freshman All-American and was named a preseason All-American by Perfect Game. Sounds like a good pick.

The Baseball America mock draft, though, has the Rangers selecting right-handed starter Matt Ager from UC Santa Barbara. One of the best players in Rangers history, Michael Young, came from UCSB (via a trade with the Blue Jays), but so did one of the Rangers’ biggest draft misses (Dillon Tate, 2015, fourth overall).

Doggy video!

Similar to a first date I had once. Enjoy.


Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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  1. A Stephens February 4, 2024

    Been really busy for a while now, so I have to catch up a week sometimes 2 at a time.

    Ugh!, Dillon Tate, *@!#, Kyle Tucker was right there. Nor hindsight either, I’m sure it’s in archive at LSB or somewhere, Tucker was my guy in that draft the whole time. UGH!, *@!#

    1. Jeff Wilson February 4, 2024

      Work sucks. If I win the lottery, I’ll hire you in some capacity.


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