The New York Yankees have that Evil Empire feel to them this week after acquiring superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. Soto will now pair up with Aaron Judge to form the most dangerous 2-3 combination in all of baseball and you can already feel the fear from a lot of pitchers who will have to deal with those two.
After trading for Soto, the Yankees are not stopping there with their big time moves. It’s been reported and Andy Martino confirmed this morning that the team and owner Hal Steinbrenner are “All In” on signing Japanese superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Of course, the competition will be steep for Yamamoto with the crosstown Mets involved and the Dodgers are expected to become big players if they miss on Shohei Ohtani.
However, the word has been that the Yankees have the inside track with Yamamoto and the team has a ton of confidence that they’ll land him. They will meet with Yamamoto on Monday and the expectation is that Yamamoto will sign with a team before Christmas.
That said, with trading away the likes of Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez, the Yankees could use some additional pitching from a depth perspective. With that, there has been word that the Yanks have expressed interest in bringing back starter Frankie Montas on a short-term deal with incentives. Personally, I think this is a move that they should make.
Yankees should bring back Frankie Montas
Frankie Montas was the big trade deadline move that the Yankees made in 2022. Montas was the second biggest name on the starting pitching market that moved at that year’s deadline. Fans celebrated when the team got Montas, but we never saw a fully healthy Montas and he struggled badly when he did take the ball.
Montas only made one appearance in all of 2023 as he battled with shoulder problems. His value is very low right now because he hasn’t shown anything since before the 2022 trade deadline. There are teams interested in Montas, but as Jack Curry of YES has pointed out, both Montas and the Yankees feel like there’s unfinished business between the two sides.
Let’s say the Yankees get Yamamoto. At the moment, the five starters would be: Gerrit Cole, Yamamoto, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, and Clarke Schmidt. Cortes and Rodon dealt with injuries all throughout last season and cannot be depended upon to go an entire season with no injuries. The Yankees need pitching depth and a guy like Montas is perfect for them.
You could bring Montas back on a one-year deal and let him compete for the fifth spot in the rotation with Clarke Schmidt. If he wins the job, he’s a starter until he’s not. If he doesn’t win the job, he’s your insurance policy in case a guy like Rodon or Cortes goes down. Regardless of what we’ve seen in the past year and a half, Montas is a proven MLB starter when he’s healthy. To me, bringing him back is a very low risk high reward move that they should do regardless of how the Yamamoto situation plays out.