MILWAUKEE -- Mike Montgomery admitted he was shocked when he was called into the clubhouse during the Mariners' game Wednesday and told he'd been traded to the Cubs.
"At first, you're kind of bummed, because, you're like, 'Man, I'm going to miss a lot of these guys,'" Montgomery said. "Then, you look at it, and say, 'I'm going to a really good place and have a chance to be part of something special.'"
The Cubs acquired Montgomery and Minor League pitcher Jordan Pries from the Mariners for Minor League prospects Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn. Montgomery joined his new team and former manager, Joe Maddon, at Miller Park on Friday. Montgomery was in the Rays' system and knew Maddon then.
"He's got all kinds of potential," Maddon said of Montgomery, noting he could tell how much the lefty had matured as a person during their conversation Friday.
Right-handed reliever Spencer Patton was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Montgomery on the roster.
Montgomery appeared in 32 games this season with the Mariners, including back-to-back starts July 10 and July 17. He compiled a 2.15 ERA in 30 relief outings, holding batters to a .208 average, and walked 16 while striking out 44 over 50 1/3 innings. He'll be the third lefty in the Cubs' bullpen, joining Travis Wood and Clayton Richard.
Maddon's message to Montgomery was to "be himself."
"I'm ready for whatever situation comes my way," Montgomery said. "They'll use me however they need me to be used. I'm willing to do whatever, whether it's bullpen, middle innings, whatever. I'm here to help the team win."
Pitching coach Chris Bosio didn't waste any time, and had Montgomery throw in the bullpen before Friday's game against the Brewers.
"It kind of feels like the first day of school again," Montgomery said. "I'm excited to be here and contribute any way I can."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.