Jordan Montgomery, Texas Rangers
Yup! The ex-Yankee we're happiest for, by a country mile. If only we'd let him use his fastball, a pitch he very much seems to enjoy using.
The Monty Story is well-trod territory, at this point, but it can't be understated just how excellent he was against the Astros -- twice in Houston! -- after the Yankees deemed him an ancillary playoff piece last summer.
Some of that (almost all of that?) was their own incomplete evaluation of Montgomery the pitcher. That said, he was still an under-4.00 ERA guy in the Bronx and came through in his lone playoff start after a tough two-month 2020 season. He was injured in 2018 and not recovered enough to nab a start in 2019. New Monty might be the superior version -- with the same dogged heart as always -- but Old Monty wasn't so bad, either.
Last summer was complex. Harrison Bader was a hero, too, until he wasn't anymore. Pablo López was supposed to fill Montgomery's shoes, but he didn't. Now, the Yankees have a whole winter to consider bringing their sturdy lefty back. Hopefully, he'll have a ring if he returns.
And hopefully, the next guy will lose his in the mail.