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Yankees 2022 Trade Deadline Recap: Needs met, but questions raised

Cashman added two outfielders, a pair of relievers, a top starter, and a prospect without giving up an elite Baby Bomber, but Jordan Montgomery is gone.

New York Yankees v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The 2022 MLB Trade Deadline had some expected deals, but also a few surprises for the Yankees. All things considered, the Bombers can say they are a better team, as they used some of their minor league depth to secure some important big league pieces.

They brought in outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Harrison Bader, plus relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino, starting pitcher Frankie Montas, and prospect Clayton Beeter. To get Bader, however, they made a puzzling decision: jettisoning dependable left-hander Jordan Montgomery.

Yankees acquire Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino from the Athletics

After Luis Severino suffered a lat strain, the Yankees needed a similarly talented pitcher to navigate through August and September, and potentially the playoffs. They got one on Monday in Oakland A’s righty Frankie Montas, who has a strong 3.18 ERA (3.36 FIP) in 104.2 innings, with 109 punchouts.

Montas, 29, is under team control through next season, so he is not a rental. He could slot in seamlessly as a second starter, and has a recent track record of success, plus potentially potent pitches in his splitter and slider.

The Yanks also managed to add Lou Trivino to the deal. The 30-year-old reliever is not having his best season – 6.47 ERA in 32 innings – but has a 3.83 FIP and a 2.91 xFIP, not to mention an abnormally high .421 BABIP. New York has a chance to “fix” him, but whether or not he enters trustworthy territory will depend entirely on him.

To get the pair, the Yankees surrendered four prospects: pitchers Ken Waldichuk, JP Sears, and Luis Medina, and second baseman Cooper Bowman. Waldichuk (the club’s fifth-best prospect at the time of the trade) is the headliner, but getting Montas without giving up shortstop Oswald Peraza was a huge win.

Yankees acquire Andrew Benintendi from the Royals

Last week, the Yankees were rumored to be very interested in Juan Soto, who ended up going to the San Diego Padres on deadline day. However, they opted with a cheaper alternative in Andrew Benintendi.

Benintendi is not near Soto’s level, but owns a .311/.387/.386 line with a 124 wRC+ and 2.1 fWAR. That’s a huge upgrade over Joey Gallo’s 82 wRC+, and while he doesn’t have Gallo’s kind of power upside, he is a more well-rounded hitter who also boasts a capable glove.

To get their man, the Yankees traded right-handers Beck Way and Chandler Champlain and southpaw T.J. Sikkema. Those are all solid pitching prospects, but the Yanks draft/produce several similar hurlers on a yearly basis.

Yankees acquire Scott Effross from the Cubs

Before striking a deal for Montas on Monday, the Yankees secured the services of former Chicago Cubs reliever Scott Effross. The side-armer boasts an incredible sinker-slider combo and has been one of the most effective relievers in the National League with a 2.66 ERA (2.18 FIP) in 44 innings. He also has a 28.1 percent strikeout rate and a 6.2 percent walk rate.

While Effross slots in the Yankee bullpen on a high-leverage role, the Yankees gave up their seventh-best prospect, Hayden Wesneski. A future big-league starter, the right-hander has a 3.51 ERA in 89.2 Triple-A innings this year.

Yankees acquire Clayton Beeter from Dodgers, trade Joey Gallo

Despite his best efforts to improve, the writing was on the wall for outfielder Joey Gallo when the Yanks acquired Benintendi last week. He is going to a great situation with a contending team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, known for getting the best out of their players. The struggling slugger, who is slashing .159/.282/.339 with 12 homers and a 82 wRC+ this year, recently said he didn’t even get out of his apartment as of late because the way fans treated him, and deserved a fresh start elsewhere.

The Yanks are getting an interesting pitching prospect, 23-year-old right-hander Clayton Beeter. The Double-A pitcher has significant control issues (14.3 percent walk rate in 51.2 frames), but is also striking out 36.1 percent of the hitters he faces. At this point, his 5.75 ERA doesn’t matter as much as his future development with the Yankees’ pitching coaches. He has a big fastball and a good slider and curveball, but seems ticketed to the bullpen.

Yankees acquire Harrison Bader for Jordan Montgomery

In a true deadline move around 6:00 pm ET, the Yankees shockingly flipped southpaw Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for center fielder Harrison Bader and a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Both players are controllable through 2023. The Yankees are welcoming an incredible defensive center fielder, perhaps the best in the game when healthy, with a middling bat. He has a 93 wRC+ this year, but finished at 114 in 2020 and 110 last season. He is currently dealing with plantar fasciitis and isn’t expected back soon.

It was odd to see the Yankees mess with their pitching depth, though. Montgomery now takes his 3.69 ERA in 114.2 innings to the Cardinals’ rotation. Value-wise, it’s a reasonably fair swap, but the timing is very much in question.