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Rangers acquire starter Montgomery, reliever Stratton from Cardinals

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


In the matter of 24 hours, the Rangers have overhauled their starting rotation and, in the process, their bullpen.

Their latest move is the acquisitions of left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery and right-handed reliever Chris Stratton from St. Louis in exchange for lefty John King, minor-league right-hander TK Roby and minor-league infielder Thomas Saggese.

Montgomery and Stratton can be free agents after the season.

Montgomery has been the Cardinals’ best starter in their disappointing season, going 6-9 with a 3.42 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 121 innings. He has walked 35. St. Louis acquired him last season, and he made 11 starts under then-Cardinals pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Stratton is 1-1 with a 4.36 ERA, 59 strikeouts and 17 walks in 53 2/3 innings. A former starter, Stratton’s first three seasons were in San Francisco with manager Bruce Bochy. Stratton also worked with Maddux last season.

The Rangers announced the Max Scherzer deal earlier Sunday. Scherzer and Montgomery will be joined by Jon Gray and two of Martin Perez, Andrew Heaney and Dane Dunning. Nathan Eovaldi would replace another of that trio when he comes off the 15-day injured list (right forearm strain).

The bullpen could include Aroldis Chapman, Will Smith, Brock Burke, Stratton, Jose Leclerc, Grant Anderson, Josh Sborz and the odd man out of the rotation, with it entirely possible that the Rangers add another relief arm. Cody Bradford has been very good as a reliever and spot starter, but the Rangers might be better served with working as a starter at Triple A Round Rock.

Pitchers like Yerry Rodriguez and Spencer Howard would become depth at Round Rock.

Saggese was leading Frisco in home runs, RBIs and OPS this season, while Roby is in Arizona recovering from a shoulder strain. They were both selected in the 2020 draft, with Roby going in the third round and Saggese in the fifth.

King, a sinkerballer, has been up and down from Round Rock multiple times this season.

The Rangers needed to create a spot on the 40-man roster to accommodate Montgomery and Stratton, and reliever Joe Barlow was designated for assignment.

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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