The MLB offseason is beginning to heat up and the Boston Red Sox are still in the market for a big-name starting pitcher to front their rotation. While things won't truly get going until the Winter Meetings in early December, one of the Red Sox's top targets is already off the board.
Unfortunately for Boston, Aaron Nola re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. It's been reported that he turned down more money from other teams to remain with the Phillies, but it's not clear if the Red Sox were one of them.
Either way, Boston needs to pivot if it wants to land an ace this winter. Fortunately, there are still plenty of those remaining in this year's pitching-heavy free-agent class.
With that in mind, here are three pitchers the Red Sox should pursue after missing out on Nola.
1. Jordan Montgomery
Jordan Montgomery just helped the Texas Rangers win the World Series, so it would behoove Boston to steal him away from an AL rival.
After a strong regular season where he compiled a 3.20 ERA and 4.1 WAR, Montgomery showed what he was made of in October. The 30-year-old southpaw went 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 6 appearances (5 starts), covering 31 high-pressure innings for the Rangers.
Despite switching teams twice in the past three seasons, Montgomery has been one of the more reliable hurlers in baseball during that time, going 25-24 with a 3.48 ERA across 94 starts. He's clutch, durable and left-handed, reminding many Red Sox fans of Jon Lester.
Montogomery also has experience pitching in the AL East (and Boston in particular) after spending six seasons with the New York Yankees, so Beantown isn't unfamiliar territory for him. He knows what it's like to pitch in Fenway Park and to face the tough lineups that reside in our division.
If the Sox want someone they know they can count on in October, Montgomery is their guy.