The Cincinnati Reds may have found the final piece of their free agent puzzle this afternoon. The Reds, according to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, have reportedly agreed to terms with right-hander Frankie Montas.
While his time on the field in 2023 was limited due to injury, this signing has considerable upside if Montas returns to the type of pitcher he was in 2021 during his time with the Oakland A's. That season, Montas was 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA.
The A's traded Montas to the New York Yankees in 2022, but an injury forced the right-hander to all but eight games with the Bronx Bombers that season. This past January, Montas required surgery on his right shoulder and missed all but one start.
Reds reportedly agree to terms with free agent Frankie Montas
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the deal is expected to be worth about $16-million. One can assume that the deal is for just one year and may contain incentives as well as a player or team-option for the 2025 season.
Adding Frankie Montas would seem to solidify the Cincinnati Reds 2024 starting rotation. With Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft all likely to be part of the Opening Day roster, three of the five spot were already taken heading into next season.
Signing Montas all but assures the final spot in the rotation will come down to a spring training battle between three rookies from last season (Andrew Abbott, Connor Phillips, and Brandon Williamson) and newly-signed swingman Nick Martinez.
This is exactly the type of signing that could push the Reds to the front of the line in the NL Central. The St. Louis Cardinals have reshaped their rotation as well, but the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Milwaukee Brewers have done little to nothing thus far this offseason.