When the Royals signed Martin Maldonado this spring after Salvador Perez tore his UCL, he was always going to be traded at some point. After his recent, er, hot streak offensively, Maldonado has bumped his season wRC+ to 71 and has been worth a grand total of 0.4 fWAR in 73 games behind home plate for Kansas City this season. To get anything of relative, controlled value was going to be a win for Kansas City.
After trading Homer Bailey to the Oakland A’s for former first round pick Kevin Merrell, the Royals have acquired another former first round pick in Mike Montgomery. This is both great value for the services of Maldonado, but great MLB comedy as well.
Mike Montgomery has not been good in 27 IP this season out of the bullpen for the Cubs. If you take the 354.2 IP that Montgomery threw from 2016 through 2018, he posted a 3.35 ERA with a 3.94 FIP and 7.05 K/9 to just 3.35 BB/9. Montgomery is under two more years of control after the 2019 season. In my opinion, this is incredible value for Kansas City. It’s not exactly the type of value I would have preferred, but it is great value nonetheless.
Montgomery appears to be headed straight to the rotation where he’ll make his Royals debut on Friday in Cleveland, where he once recorded the final out in the 2016 World Series. If all goes well for Montgomery in the Royals rotation, I expect the Royals will be able to flip Montgomery once again for something of better value than Martin Maldonado. Worst case scenario, Montgomery eats innings as a 6th starter/swing man type in the big leagues until Brady Singer and the bunch are ready to roll.
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