Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in a bit of a slump in recent years regarding big midseason trades. The most recent one took place at the 2022 trade deadline. New York acquired Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics.
His time on the mound in 2022 went terribly, and it’s only gotten worse from there.
Across eight starts (39.2 innings for the Bombers), the right-hander struggled to a 1-3 record with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He also proved to be a non-factor in the postseason, tossing just one inning.
It got worse once he reported for spring training when he made a comment about not being fully healthy last year. This led to Cashman having to do damage control. Then, news dropped in February that he needed shoulder surgery. It reportedly went well, and Montas was aiming for a second-half return.
We hadn’t heard much about the hurler’s prognosis since (who is making $7.5 million this year). Not too long ago, manager Aaron Boone said it probably “wasn’t in the cards” for Montas to make it back to a big-league mound before the regular season was in the books.
But, maybe he will after all! He made his first appearance of the season for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday. Montas pitched just one inning and allowed one run while striking out two. However, it’s more progress than anyone expected at this point in the year.
Could he make it back to the Yankees before Game 162? Here’s what Boone said about it (quote via NJ.com):
We’re a couple of weeks (away), so we’ll see. He’s doing well.
I think (Sunday) is a big step in getting him back on the mound. I know he’s been working really hard.
Now, what would be the point of all this? Probably in a similar vantage point as Edwin Diaz and the Mets across town. While there are parallels, there are distinct differences.
Diaz still has four seasons remaining on the five-year deal he signed with New York last winter. He probably just wants that feeling of coming all the way back before the offseason hits. As for Montas, he’s a 30-year-old about to hit free agency. He won’t get the kind of payday he was originally hoping for. But, pitching in minor-league games and possibly making it back to the majors will at least prove to potentially interested teams he’s healthy.
The Yankees won’t be looking for a reunion. However, if Montas builds up enough, it seems like New York will give him a chance to prove his health before hitting the open market.