Trade Colson Montgomery?
Weekends are for errands for most of us. For me, sometimes my trapsing around town finds me at a liquor store with a robust wine selection. This past Saturday was one such day. I was wondering aimlessly looking for some new bottles to sample. Hunting and pecking off of internet threads on such things. In my ears though was the Future Sox podcast. Hosted by Mike Rankin and co-piloted by James Fox, the Future Sox podcast is the place for White Sox prospect talk. This fine day they had a couple of interesting discussions. One on Garrett Crochet, which has been an on-going thread on White Sox twitter since the lost COVID summer. The other topic was Trading Colson Montgomery.
The White Sox CORE when Montgomery arrives
I’ve written about the White Sox “CORE” a few times in the 108 blog as we have been coming up on and through the contention window. Very little has been added to the “CORE” over time, so it’s been pretty easy to update my schedule of this group. Obviously YMMV but I only include those that can reasonably be relied upon to be in there. So, for this purpose, no Montgomery, no Oscar Colas, no Norge Vera, no Lenyn Sosa. I probably should include Jimmy Lambert, but I’ll wait to see if he’s just as good in 2023. See below.
A few quick notes to level set here. The red text above denote team options on the player. Some seem very likely to be picked up, and others maybe not so much. Given that they exist and potentially extend the stay of key player, I am including them. Also, it is important to mention that 2023 is the last contract year for Lucas Giolito and Yasmani Grandal. Depending on your vantage point you may see that as a detriment or a plus entering the 2024 season, but that is what it is.
When Do We Expect Colson Montgomery in the Majors?
Now, the most important question here is “When do we expect Colson Montgomery in the majors?“. These estimates vary wildly. If you look at THE BOARD at Fangraphs, they denote a 2026 ETA. That seems wildly conservative for a guy very likely to start the season at AA. Baseball Prospectus just released their top 10 White Sox prospect list and they show an ETA of 2024, which seems closer to reality, but for this analysis, I wouldn’t bank on him being in Chicago before we got cold tub weather in 2024. So maybe for the purposes of viewing the CORE and thinking about full seasons, 2025 would be most apropos.
Despite Montgomery tearing the fucking cover off the ball in 2022, racing through various levels of the minors and finally settling in AA, he struggled at that level. He hit .146 / .192 / .292 in 52 PA, with 3.8% BB rate and 28.8% K rate. It’s basically like a mulligan and he’s starting AA very fresh. I like 2025 as a conservative estimate of Colson fully joining this White Sox team. Where does that leave us? In his best case scenario, sliding right into the recently vacated Shortstop position. That looks great, but much of the rest of the roster is unsettled in 2025.
What Could You Get In Trade for Colson Montgomery?
During the podcast, Fox denoted (paraphrasing) that you’d want to only deal Montgomery for a premium return. Well, I definitely concur. But what could that actually be? I like to use the market place for reference as much as possible. Luckily, the fine folks at Fangraphs, namely Eric Longenhagen detailed out the last two trade deadlines and the prospects dealt. 2022 is HERE and 2021 is HERE, but since I know much of yous are the TL;DR type, I am pasting in the applicable tables in this blog for easy reference.
These tables are a helpful guide and you’ll notice that I only clipped prospect trades with players at a 50 FV or above. That’s because per Fangraphs that’s where they rate Colson (see the entire White Sox top 20 at Fangraphs below). You can read about FV’s HERE, to get more color.
A few notes about the list, the Juan Soto‘s, Max Scherzer‘s, Frankie Montas‘s and Jose Berrios‘s of the world required multiple 50 FV or better prospects to make those trades work. As you can see from the chart above, the White Sox don’t have more than one 50 FV prospect at present. Luis Castillo, who would’ve been perfect for the White Sox. He required a 60 FV prospect (so better than Colson), plus more. Regardless, any impact player the White Sox would acquire with Montgomery would require a couple of tasty side dishes to achieve the desired result.
Recently in our TRADE WITH EVERY TEAM blogs, Chorizy and I made a few deals that included Montgomery, they are clipped in below.
Who knows how realistic either of these trades are, but you start to understand what a deal might look like to send away Montgomery. You also see what else it will require to acquire impact help from the current White Sox farm system.
So Where Do You Stand?
We’ve teased out the available info. So Where Do You Stand? Do you want to wait for the blue chip prospect to mature, get to the majors and then reassess the White Sox roster at that point? Do you want to take the fastest rising White Sox farm hand of recent vintage and send him elsewhere to fortify the original CORE of the rebuild? It’s a hard question. I’m not quite sure there is a clear answer. However, on the most recent FromThe108 podcast, Chorizy asked the question “How can the White Sox Win the Fans’ Trust Back?”
My answer was for the White Sox to make a franchise changing trade (mind you, White Sox Dave and MySoxSummer already took the answer of “Jerry should throw the bag at a top player”). Trading Colson Montgomery would certainly fit the bill. How about you?
I’m optimistic about Montgomery’s development, so I mainly think they should keep him and let his value increase. If he is as good in Year 2 of the minors as he was in Year 1, it seems like he could quickly gain trade value (and same thing if he gets to the majors quickly and tears it up). I also don’t think the Sox are close enough right now to genuinely contending. Say they trade Hendriks, make a couple good FA signings and a non-Montgomery trade, and then find themselves at the deadline looking like they’re a closer away from the WS. Then yeah, I’d want to pull the trigger. But if the Sox don’t really do the other things needed to contend right now, and never look like a real contender this year or first half of next, then I think maybe they should probably start trading away “stars” at whatever time seems like their likely peak value. Would suck, but yeah, Rebuild #2 — and if we were really lucky, they’d hire folks that can draft and develop talent better by then.