The Cubs are seeking a left-handed reliever in advance of the July 31 deadline, but one of their own southpaws – Mike Montgomery – “has been involved in trade talks,” Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com writes. However, it’s unclear whether there’s a deal featuring Montgomery on the horizon.
Now 30, Montgomery joined the Cubs in July 2016 as part of a trade with the Mariners for then-first base prospect Daniel Vogelbach, who has emerged as a formidable piece of the M’s offense this year. Montgomery was a quality member of the Cubs in his own right from 2016-18, notching 99 appearances and 38 starts of 3.56 ERA/4.10 FIP ball with 6.88 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 54.9 percent groundball rate over 293 innings.
The Cubs surely expected more of the same from Montgomery this year, but his production has cratered across 20 appearances and 27 frames (all in relief). To this point, Montgomery owns an ugly 5.67 ERA/6.21 FIP. His K/9 (6.0) has declined, albeit not a ton from its already underwhelming levels, while Montgomery’s control and ability to induce grounders have also faded. He’s walking a career-worst 4.33 batters per nine and generating grounders at a personal-low 43.3 percent clip.