Yankees could bring back one of their biggest trade mistakes on ‘prove-it’ deal

frankie montas, yankees
Aug 7, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

One truth remains consistent in baseball: a team can’t have enough quality pitchers. The New York Yankees fortified their starting rotation during the last off-season. Yet, they’ve been beleaguered by a staggering number of injuries, which forced them to turn to backups.

Prominent names like Luis Severino, Nestor Cort├ęs, Carlos Rodon, and Domingo German, among others, all faced setbacks. To achieve consistent success and eye that Championship title, the Yankees must prioritize investing in sturdy players.

Montas: From Ace to Question Mark?

However, the Yankees might ponder over a past decision, a move spearheaded by general manager Brian Cashman. Last year, Cashman secured former Oakland Athletics star pitcher, Frankie Montas. At 30, Montas had already showcased notable seasons. In 2022, while with Oakland, he recorded an impressive 3.18 ERA over 104.2 innings, backed by other remarkable stats like a 3.35 FIP and a 46.1% ground ball rate.

But the scenario changed drastically after donning the Yankees’ uniform. In 39.2 innings, Montas saw his numbers plummet, posting a 6.35 ERA and other declining metrics. To add salt to the wound, Montas had a lurking shoulder issue when the Yankees took him on board. The injury escalated, demanding surgery right before spring, making many believe he’d be sidelined for the entire season.

Yet, there’s a twist. Montas is poised to return for a single game against the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. This game gives the front office a chance to evaluate a player who might be open to a one-year, prove-your-worth kind of deal.

Montas: A Cost-Effective Gamble for the Yankees?

The old baseball adage about never having enough pitchers stands true. If Montas doesn’t burn a hole in the Yankees’ pocket, reintegrating him, even in a more secondary role, seems logical. With Severino and possibly German on their way out, the Yankees will inevitably explore additions. Names like Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Michael King, who’s shifting from the bullpen, are already floating around.

Many might raise an eyebrow at the thought of extending Montas’s contract, especially after an almost inactive season. But good pitching doesn’t come cheap. Montas, with his proven track record, could be a savvy, budget-friendly bet for the Yankees. However, it all boils down to the market’s pulse and what other teams might offer for his expertise.