Yankees can reinforce starting rotation with easy prove-it deal

frankie montas, yankees
Aug 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) walks off the field after being relieved during the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are focused on the primary names available via the free-agent market, but they still need to round out the bottom half of the starting rotation.

While Yoshinobu Yamamoto is still high on their wish list and would be a phenomenal addition as a top three arm on the team, the Bombers are considering bringing back Frankie Montas on a one-year prove-it deal.

Luis Severino recently signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the New York Mets, but with Montas pitching just 1.1 innings this past season after rehabilitating from shoulder surgery, it is safe to say he will likely come in at a slightly lower price. Most have Montas in the $10 million range for one year, a solid deal given he’s only one year removed from pitching 144.1 innings and recording a 4.05 ERA collectively and 3.18 ERA with the Oakland Athletics before being traded to the Yankees.

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The Yankees Can Still Get Exceptional Value From Frankie Montas

Montas had been an ace for Oakland for several years, pitching 187 innings during the 2021 season, recording a 3.37 ERA, 3.78 FIP, a 70.9 left-on-base rate, and a 45.6% ground ball rate. Even though general manager Brian Cashman stated that Montas’ medical evaluation came back clean prior to the trade, he immediately went down due to a shoulder injury, and the player himself indicated he was hurt when the Yankees acquired him.

A rotation that includes Garrett Cole, Carlos Rodon, Yamamoto, Nestor Cortes, Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, and Montas would be solid. Of course, there are some cautions. Notably, Schmidt taking a step forward, King pitching over 100 innings for a second consecutive season, and Montas’ reconstructed shoulder following surgery last off-season.

The Yankees know that they need to reinforce the rotation and need more bats in the lineup to boost their offensive production. However, Montas has fantastic upside at such a reasonable cost, and having already lost Severino and Domingo German, it is safe to say the Yankees need value at a cost-efficient price.