Yankees could bring back trade bust pitcher on cheap contract

frankie montas, new york yankees
Sep 16, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Frankie Montas (47) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees face pressing decisions about their starting rotation as the off-season nears. With Luis Severino and Frankie Montas set to become free agents after the 2023 season, and the probable release of Domingo German due to another alcohol-related incident, there’s much to ponder for the Yankees’ front office.

General Manager Brian Cashman certainly possesses both the financial muscle and the acumen to snag another top-tier pitcher. But diving into a bidding frenzy for a sensation like Yoshinobu Yamamoto might not be on his agenda. Instead, a more economical strategy might be in the offing, possibly leading to a reunion with Montas, who barely touched the mound for the Yankees this year.

Montas: A Risk Worth Taking for the Yankees?

The Yankees’ acquisition of Montas from the Oakland Athletics was marred by a shoulder injury he carried along. After being side-lined during the postseason and subsequent surgery that cut short his 2023 campaign, Montas’ stint with the Bombers appeared ill-fated. The right-hander, however, had posted an impressive 3.18 ERA over 104.2 innings with Oakland. Now, the Yankees stand at a crossroads: Offer Montas a one-year lifeline or redirect the $7.5 million luxury tax salary elsewhere.

Given the somewhat sparse market for starting pitchers, if the Yanks are hesitant about vying for Yamamoto, then Montas might be their best budget-friendly option. They still boast of established names like Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cort├ęs, Clarke Schmidt, and Michael King in their ranks. Moreover, there’s palpable excitement about Drew Thorpe, a young arm who recently showcased his prowess at Double-A, recording a stellar 1.48 ERA over 30.1 innings.

A Bright Future or Immediate Star Power?

While the club has intriguing prospects and seasoned players, they lack that immediate star power in their rotation. Yamamoto, a prodigious talent from overseas, encapsulates precisely what the Yankees might need. Only 25, with a commendable track record of durability, he’s the ideal fit. The only puzzle remains: Can the Yankees meet his potential price tag?