Good morning, everyone. Over at the main site today, I contributed to this Transaction Analysis, which features the Cubs’ acquisition of Mike Montgomery and Jordan Pries in exchange for Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.
Acquired LHP Mike Montgomery and RHP Jordan Pries fromSeattle Mariners in exchange for 1B-L Dan Vogelbach and RHP Paul Blackburn. [7/20]
In Dan Vogelbach, the Cubs had a little bit of a situation going on. Everybody in the league knew that Vogelbach could hit. But the league also knew that the Cubs couldn’t use Vogelbach, not really, not with MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo—an unambiguously better player than Vogelbach, both at the plate and in the field—locked into a long-term contract at first base, and in a sweet, sweet embrace with his partner across the infield, Kris Bryant. Without the positional flexibility to move around the diamond, and with no DH spot waiting for him within Wrigley’s National League walls, a Vogelbach trade was as inevitable as these things get.
Which is why Vogelbach, probable Very Good Or At Least Perfectly Adequate Big League Hitter right now, was traded in exchange for a pretty good, but by no means great, big-league reliever by the name of Mike Montgomery. Cubs fans, who’ve been in love with Vogelbach for years, may feel a little let down by the return, but they shouldn’t be. If you assume that Blackburn and Pries are basically a wash, this trade is pretty clearly a win for both teams.
So, back to Montgomery. The 27-year-old lefty is not only the pride of little Valencia, California (home too, perhaps more notably, to the Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor theme parks), but also became, in June of last year, the first Mariners starter since Freddy Garcia in 2001 to hurl consecutive complete-game shutouts. Which is neat. This year, Montgomery is a reliever, and there are two important things to know about him. The first of them is this: he’s a pretty good reliever. This year, for example, he’s thrown 61 ⅔ innings of relief for the Mariners, and allowed just 16 earned runs in the process for not only an impressively-low 2.34ERA but also a slightly-less-impressive 3.71 DRA.
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Lead photo courtesy Peter Aiken—USA Today Sports.