Rumors have bubbled beneath the surface this afternoon, with all sorts of smoke rising out of the Frankie Montas camp. Earlier today, Jon Heyman reported that some interested teams had been notified they were out on Montas, and that the Yankees were in the running. It seemed like things were about to come to a head.
Boy did they. Jack Curry of the YES Network reports that the Yankees have acquired Montas, as well as right-handed reliever Lou Trivino, from the Athletics for a package centered around minor league pitching. In just a matter of hours, Brian Cashman made his moves, and may have solidified the Yankees as World Series favorites in the process.
After Luis Castillo, Montas was perhaps the most coveted arm available this deadline season. Montas has followed his breakout 2021 with another quality campaign, working to a 118 ERA+ in 104.2 innings with Oakland, to go along with a 9.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. We’ll have much more on Montas’ merits as a player and his impact on the club’s pitching staff in the coming days.
The Yankees also plucked Trivino from the Athletics’ bullpen. Trivino has had a miserable 2022, and profiles as a reclamation project, with a 59 ERA+ on the year. He’s had success in the past, though, and still possesses a fastball that sits about 96 mph. Look for the Yankees’ vaunted pitching development machine to try to work their magic with him.
Going back to Oakland is a cluster of four players: left-hander JP Sears, right-hander Ken Waldichuk, right-hander Luis Medina, and infielder Cooper Bowman. It’s a return seemingly focused on quality over quantity, as the Yankees were forced to forfeit a fistful of interesting prospects, but none of their best ones.
Sears had acquitted himself well in the bigs this year, allowing five runs in 22 innings with the Yankees. Waldichuk looked to be right behind, with a 2.71 ERA to his name in the high minors this season. Medina has electrifying stuff, and has struck out more than 10 batters per nine for Double-A Somerset in 2022. Bowman was the club’s fourth-round pick last year, and has the athleticism to play multiple positions across the dirt.
But none of them were the Yankees’ best prospects. Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and Jasson Dominguez will all likely remain with the organization through the year. Essentially, the Yankees have managed to import real, impact talent at the big league level, without sacrificing a single one of their impact prospects. That doesn’t seem like an equation that adds up, yet Cashman and his front office has made it so.
It’s a deal that should excite Yankee fans, and should send a signal to the rest of the league. No, the Yankees didn’t get Castillo, and they probably won’t get Juan Soto. But they did get a lot better, without giving up anything that was tied down. The team has fortified itself after an up-and-down few weeks, and looks ready to attack the stretch run and the playoffs. With Montas now in tow, along with earlier additions Scott Effross and Andrew Benintendi, the Yankees are full steam ahead toward title number 28.