The New York Yankees made a big move on Monday, just one day before the trade deadline expired. Aside from acquiring bullpen arm Scott Effross via the Chicago Cubs, general manager Brian Cashman executed a trade for Oakland Athletics starting pitcher, Frankie Montas.
Montas is a fantastic starter who will slot in right behind Gerrit Cole as the team’s No. 2 option. The 29-year-old will be a free agent in 2024, so the Yankees have one more season of control over him until they have to make a long-term decision.
Somehow, Cashman managed to retain his top four prospects in the process, with most believing shortstop Oswald Peraza would be included in the deal.
This could indicate that Peraza will be elevated to the majors in the coming weeks to help support the shortstop position. However, Cashman could still make a few moves at the deadline to bolster their chances of reaching the World Series.
If pitching remains a concern, especially after the Yankees placed Luis Severino on the 60-day injured list on Monday, they could make one more big splash on Tuesday afternoon. Targeting San Francisco Giants Ace, Carlos Rodon could be the last piece to the puzzle.
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What would Carlos Rodon bring to the Yankees?
This season, Rodon features a 3.00 ERA, 3.05 xFIP, and is striking out 11.56 batters per nine. He also features a 74.1% left on base rate, 37.3% ground ball rate, and career-low 5.6% HR/FB ratio over 123 innings.
In other words, Rodon remains one of the best starters in baseball after spending seven consecutive seasons with the Chicago White Sox before signing a two-year, $44 million deal with an opt-out after the 2022 season.
The ace features a 4-seam fastball, slider, and curveball on occasion. His fastball averages out at 95.9 mph, generating a .216 batting average, 26.2% whiff rate, and 25% put-away rate. However, his slider is his most lethal pitch, hosting a .200 average against with a 39.5% whiff rate and 60 strikeouts over 150 at-bats.
Hosting tantalizing accuracy and solid velocity, Rodon might even push Gerrit Cole for the ace spot in the Yankees’ rotation. Having a three-man setup of Rodon, Cole, and Montas during the postseason would be every fan’s dream.
On a rental, the Yankees would still have to give up several quality prospects, which may deter Cashman after selling on two of his top pitching prospects for Effross and Montas.
After missing out on a World Series appearance for more than a decade, going the extra mile to improve the roster should be a priority.