Right-Hander, Frankie Montas
Of the three pitchers profiled here, Frankie Montas represents the most tantalizing talent but also the biggest injury risk. He missed nearly all of the 2023 season with recurring shoulder issues, appearing in just 1 game and pitching only 1.1 innings. When healthy, however, Montas has flashed true ace potential, as evidenced by his career 3.90 ERA, 37 wins and 612 strikeouts over 593.2 innings. His electric fastball reaches triple-digit velocity at its peak, and he has demonstrated the ability to dominate on the mound.
Nevertheless, the shoulder problems that wiped out his 2023 season raise some red flags. If Montas is able to regain his prior form and prove his health, he could emerge as a lethal rotation leader for the Pirates. However, after the injury-plagued year, Montas also brings substantial uncertainty in addition to his considerable upside. The Pirates would have to weigh the risks and potential rewards very carefully before pursuing Montas. Of the three options, he represents the most tantalizing talent but also the biggest question mark.
In the same breath, Montas could be the most likely option of the three. He is a former top-end starter who struggled in New York and is now coming off an injury. The fact that Montas would be seeking a one year prove it deal, the Bucs could be in play to make that type of contract offer.