Rangers whiffing on reasonable Jordan Montgomery deal is huge win for Astros

The Astros just keep benefitting from the misfortune of others this offseason.
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

All things considered, the Houston Astros have been pretty fortunate this offseason. Sure, they had some guys that were banged up down at camp, but they were able to add one of the best relievers in the league when they signed Josh Hader despite having some self-imposed payroll restrictions while the rest of the AL West avoided making big splashes this offseason.

Case in point is the Jordan Montgomery saga that finally came to an end late on Tuesday night. Montgomery represents the single biggest free agent loss by an actual Astros division rival this offseason (no, Ohtani doesn't count because the Angels would have been bad even with him) and now that he is officially no longer going to play for Texas after signing with the Diamondbacks, it is clear that Houston has been gifted yet another opportunity by the Rangers in 2024.

The Rangers' loss of Montgomery is the Astros' gain

It would have been bad enough if the Rangers had lost Montgomery because he signed a long-term deal elsewhere. That would have at least been justifiable given that giving pitchers lengthy nine-figure deals has a long track record of being a bad idea even if it meant that Texas was going to be without the main reason why they were able to make it to the World Series last year at the Astros' expense.

However, the fact that the Rangers, who are still going to be contenders in 2024, couldn't find a way to even bring Monty back on a short-term deal seems indefensible. All offseason long, the reporting was that it was Montgomery's preference to return to the Rangers. Once his price dropped, Texas could have found the money to bring him back and presumably he would have been eager to do so as the Rangers are a legitimate World Series contender, assuming that there weren't hurt feelings from the Rangers' lack of interest earlier in the offseason.

All of this is great news for the Astros. A chief division rival got weakened at a key position and Montgomery isn't even in the American League anymore. Sure, the Rangers are still going to be a force to contend with especially if Wyatt Langford continues his rampage, but Houston has to be feeling a lot better about their chances of winning the AL West now than they would have if Montgomery had ended up back with Texas.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill