NEW YORK (BVM) — The MLB trade deadline is drawing closer and one of the league’s biggest trade targets is on the move. Highly sought-after Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas is headed to New York. The Yankees acquired Montas and relief pitcher Lou Trivino in exchange for minor leaguers JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina and Cooper Bowman.
What this means for New York
For the Yankees, it’s a great acquisition that bolsters their starting rotation and their bullpen. It’s a sign the Yankees are once again all in for a World Series. Time will tell if Montas can help them accomplish that, but with his power arm, a 28th championship for the Yankees sure seems possible. New York also added another important piece to its bullpen Monday when it acquired right-handed reliever Scott Effross from the Cubs in exchange for minor-league righthander Hayden Wesneski.
What this means for Oakland
For Oakland, this is the continuation of the rebuild. They have added four prospects according to Jack Curry from the YES Network. One of the top prospects in the deal, Waldichuk is the top prize for Oakland. He has 116 strikeouts in just 76⅓ innings pitched.
Montas’ contract and fit
For the 2022 season, Montas’ contract currently sits at one year, $5.0 million. He still has one year of arbitration left, and in 2024 he can become a free agent. He’s a perfect fit for the Yankees as he still has one more year of control left. With one more full season, the ball club can utilize Montas in their starting rotation. But if they are in a jam, Montas can also come out of the bullpen to provide relief.
This season, Montas finds himself with a 4-9 overall record, but he currently has the second-lowest ERA (3.18) of his career. He also has struck out 107 batters in 104⅔ innings of work.
With Luis Castillo now a Seattle Mariner, Montas was the best remaining starting pitcher on the market. With plenty of buyers, Montas became a popular name in baseball. Teams that were reportedly interested in Montas were the Yankees, Cardinals, and Blue Jays, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Montas’ career thus far
Montas’ career started with the Boston Red Sox as he signed as an amateur free agent. He’d spend time in the Red Sox minor league system before being traded to the Chicago White Sox. In Chicago, Montas would have early success. Montas was named to the 2013 All-Star Futures Game. However, his success was short-lived as he suffered a torn meniscus. After rehabilitation, Montas would finish the year with the Birmingham Barons (White Sox AA team).
On July 17, 2015, Montas was promoted to the major leagues for a doubleheader. He wouldn’t appear in either game. Again, Montas was called up on Sep. 1. There, he made his major league debut as a relief pitcher. In the appearance, Montas struck out Miguel Sano.
Montas would again be traded, but this time to the Los Angeles Dodgers. While in the Dodgers’ minor league system, Montas would deal with a lingering rib injury that caused him to miss a significant amount of time.
Montas was on the move once again on Aug. 1, 2016. This time to Oakland. He wouldn’t appear in an MLB game until 2017. In 23 games, Montas had a 1-1 overall record with an ERA of 7.03 and 36 strikeouts. Monta’s 2019 season would start strong as he enjoyed a 2.70 ERA and a 9-2 overall record in 15 starts. Montas would run into another hurdle in his young career. This time it was a PED suspension of 80 games after he tested positive for ostarine.
Coming back from his suspension, Montas struggled during the 2020 season. He finished with a 3-5 record as a starter and an ERA of 5.60. The following season marked a high point for Montas, with him starting a league-high 32 games and an ERA of 3.37. Montas also struck out 207 batters and finished sixth in Cy Young voting.
Montas has a 4-9 record this season, but he currently has the second-lowest ERA (3.18) of his career. With the Yankees, he’s sure to improve that record and help the franchise make a postseason run.