Phillies linked to Cardinals starter as trade deadline inches closer

Recent reports are tying the Philadelphia Phillies to a starting pitcher on the St. Louis Cardinals as the trade deadline looms.

May 22, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47)
May 22, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

With the last-place St. Louis Cardinals preparing to trade off multiple assets at this year's trade deadline, one of the names that has been emerging in early talks is left-handed starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery. Seeing his name is not likely a surprise to many, as the Cardinals are prepared to move on from anyone not locked down on a long-term contract.

In a recent report from Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat, Montgomery was named as a potential trade target of both the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. The left-hander is currently nursing a hamstring injury and is being closely monitored not only by the Cardinals, but any teams that could pursue him at the deadline.

An upcoming free agent, Montgomery's stock is already lowered a bit by the fact that he'll be a pure rental, but he has had a fairly clean bill of health in recent years, so as long as this hamstring injury proves to be minor, his value should not take too much of a hit from it.

Phillies linked to Cardinals starter Jordan Montgomery ahead of trade deadline.

On the season, the 30-year-old Montgomery has been one of the few bright spots on this Cardinals squad. Through 18 starts, he has a 6-7 record with a 3.23 ERA, 3.52 FIP and 132 ERA+. Acquired at last year's trade deadline, he has continued to be a dominant force and is to be viewed as a legitimate difference maker.

The fit on the Phillies roster is a fairly easy one to see. With Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler both having troubles staying consistent and Cristopher Sánchez being a largely unproven option, there's certainly room for one or even two more starting pitchers in this rotation. This is just purely speculation, but acquiring Montgomery as the second left-hander in the rotation while bumping Sánchez to a long relief option feels like a strong possibility. The latter being moved to the bullpen would bump journeyman Dylan Covey out of a job, which would ultimately do nothing but strengthen the relief pitching corps.

With the Cardinals eyeing trade packages that "help the 2024 team", the Phillies would likely have to part with a player (or two) who is near big league-ready. Could this mean that Simon Muzziotti becomes trade bait? Possibly, but if this Phillies club is serious about returning to the World Series, moves need to be made. As always, you have to give up talent to get talent at the trade deadline, so this will be an interesting storyline to monitor as the deadline looms.