In case you missed it, former Yankees prospect and current Rangers lefty Jordan Montgomery had a very good start in the playoffs on Tuesday.
Facing the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of their AL Wild Card series, Montgomery pitched seven shutout innings. He struck out five and walked none as Texas cruised to a 4-0 win. It’s been nothing but great pitching from him since the Rangers acquired him from the Cardinals at the deadline. Montgomery posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 11 starts with Texas.
And where does that leave Yankees fans in a rare October with nowhere to go? On Twitter, complaining about Montgomery’s post-Yankees success being another Brian Cashman mistake:
Will Hal Steinbrenner’s outside group note that Yankees Brian Cashman traded away lefty Jordan Montgomery, who pitched 7 shutout innings against Rays today in WC, for essentially nothing. Just wondering?
— Kevin Kernan (@AMBS_Kernan) October 3, 2023
I wonder if Yankees GM Brian Cashman was watching Jordan Montgomery pitch seven shutout innings tonight in the playoffs. I know one thing: Harrison Bader wasn't on any field tonight.
— Nathan (@IndependentNatM) October 4, 2023
Who says the Yankees can’t pitch? Check out the day 1 2023 MLB Playoff stats:
Jordan Montgomery – 7 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 0 R
Aroldis Chapman – 1 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 0 R
Chad Green – 1.1 IP, 1 K, 0 R
— John Anderson (@EinarRetentive) October 3, 2023
Jordan Montgomery going seven shutout and the Twins winning a playoff game. Just when you think Brian Cashman's year couldn't get any worse.
— David (@DB1325DB) October 3, 2023
A little background. Jordan Montgomery came up through the Yankees farm system and developed into a solid mid-rotation arm. His curveball-changeup combo induced plenty of whiffs, but failed to ever become consistent out-pitches for him. As a result, despite being a popular teammate and consistent arm, Montgomery was traded to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader.
The move was controversial for two reasons: Bader was still on the injured list with a foot injury, and Montgomery transformed in St. Louis. He even noted on the R2C2 podcast that the Cardinals encouraged him to use his fastball, which was somehow touching the mid-90s after barely hitting 92 in New York. Montgomery, of course, noted this too.
Bader, on the other hand, had a fairly uneventful Yankees tenure. There were some great catches in centerfield, some postseason homers last year, and that’s it. The rest is all injuries and inconsistency.
He was waived in September and claimed by the Reds, while Montgomery was traded to Texas for spare parts.
As in, the two players involved are no longer on the teams who made the initial trade? Bader isn’t a Yankee, Montgomery isn’t a Cardinal.
So why is anyone mad at all?
Baseball is a business. Trades happen. Sometimes, those trades work out better for one team than the other.
And in the case of Jordan Montgomery and Harrison Bader? It’s a wash. Plain and simple. The Cardinals struggled all year and sold high on Montgomery’s expiring contract. The Yankees gambled on Bader and lost.
It’s over. Neither Jordan Montgomery nor Harrison Bader should be #YankeesTwitter’s concern. Not unless either signs with a rival AL East team, or maybe the Mets. This is just a vocal minority of fans complaining about a popular Yankee getting traded. And over a year ago!
There are plenty of ways to spend an offseason. Going on Twitter and griping about Brian Cashman isn’t one of them.