On August 1, 2022, the Yankees sought to boost their rotation and bullpen by making a trade with the Oakland A’s. They acquired starter Frankie Montas and reliever Lou Trivino for a package of four prospects, headlined by Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina.
Montas made eight bad starts down the stretch, appeared in one playoff inning, and hasn’t taken the mound in 2023 due to shoulder surgery that will keep him out until August at the absolute earliest. He was a wash, but at least the Yankees could be hopeful going into this season about Trivino, who turned his 2022 around with 21.2 innings of 1.66 ERA, 3.34 FIP ball. But the right-hander only made it into one spring training game this year before it all went wrong.
On March 9th, it was revealed that Trivino would begin the season on the injured list with an elbow ligament strain. It was considered mild at the time, but it did not get better, and on April 24th, he was shut down from his rehab with discomfort in that same elbow. Once that happened, the clock from the fourth season of “Stranger Things” started making ominous sounds, and after a few consultations, Trivino finally reached the conclusion that he feared: Tommy John surgery.
Aaron Boone: Lou Trivino is having Tommy John surgery tomorrow. #Yankees— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) May 2, 2023
This could be very well be the end of Trivino in pinstripes, as he’s now out for 2023. He’s under team control through 2024, but will the Yankees offer the $4.1M minimum in arbitration to a pitcher coming off Tommy John who probably wouldn’t return until next June at the earliest? Doubtful.
It’s all unfortunate for Trivino since he did seem like someone who would be a good bullpen contributor in 2023. Instead, he’ll join Scott Effross and Luis Gil on the Tommy John rehab trail, not to mention Montas, Jonathan Loáisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Luis Severino, and the stagnant Carlos Rodón on the Yankees’ pitching shelf. What a fantastic season this has been thus far!
The only saving grace for the Yankees’ front office is that the Montas trade is now starting to resemble the Michael Pineda/Jesús Montero swap in that nobody is truly winning. The prospects have time to turn it around in their young careers, but they’ve all looked terrible for Oakland in 2023.