Frankie Montas’ first full season with the Yankees was a bit of a roller coaster. But not in the way you would originally think since he only tossed 1.1 innings in the big leagues.
The right-hander hit the injured list in February because of shoulder surgery. It was initially thought his season was in doubt, but then it sounded like he’d be back sometime after the All-Star break. With the regular season dwindling, though, manager Aaron Boone said a Montas return probably wasn’t happening.
Shortly after that was said, Montas made a rehab start in Triple-A. He then returned to the big leagues for one appearance during the final weekend. One would’ve thought it was mostly to do the 30-year-old a solid. After all, his performance after joining the Yankees in 2022 was abysmal, and his shoulder injury nearly prevented him from pitching at all in 2023.
So, New York was just giving him an opportunity to show his health before he hit the free-agent market this winter. Surely, the Yankees wouldn’t consider bringing Frankie Montas back in 2024, right? Right?!
If you were assuming that, then shame on you. Here’s part of what Gary Phillips said in a recent report for the New York Daily News:
The same logic could apply to Montas, as the Yankees have gotten just 41 innings out of the righty since trading for him two summers ago. That included just one game on the penultimate day of the 2023 season after shoulder surgery all but erased Montas’ walk year. However, Aaron Boone and Matt Blake didn’t rule out reuniting with the 30-year-old Montas, who made a strong impression while working with younger players as he rehabbed in Tampa. An incentive-laden deal could be a worthwhile risk for a pitcher of Montas’ caliber, and the Yankees could use some rotation depth.
Just when you assumed general manager Brian Cashman was going to admit defeat on another failed trade, he might give it one more go.
Honestly, though, this isn’t a terrible idea. If Montas is healthy, we’ve seen how productive he can be. Before joining New York in 2022, the righty posted a 3.70 ERA in 537.2 innings for the Oakland Athletics. Should the Yankees offer Montas an incentive-laden one-year deal, as Phillips mentioned, it’s a low-risk/high-reward situation for a team that’s currently light on proven MLB rotation depth.
And, if Montas is fully healthy this time around, maybe he’ll prove to be a better version than what Yankee fans saw in 2022.