The New York Yankees are gearing up for a busy off-season with a particular focus on strengthening their pitching rotation. While the Yankees intend to keep aces like Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortés, Carlos Rodon, and Clarke Schmidt, they are at risk of losing Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German.
The Case for the Yankees Retaining Severino or Montas
There’s a compelling case to be made that the Yankees could benefit from re-signing either Severino or Montas to a budget-friendly, one-year contract. While letting Severino test free agency could offer him a much-needed change of scenery, the Yankees might be looking to salvage any lingering value in Frankie Montas.
Cashman’s Gamble: Was it Worth it?
Last year, General Manager Brian Cashman traded one of his top pitching prospects to acquire Montas along with bullpen arm Lou Trivino. However, the former Oakland Athletics standout managed only 39.2 innings with the Yankees before undergoing shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2023 season.
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Montas’ Rehab Stint: A Glimmer of Hope
Montas recently began a rehab assignment and made quite an impression, surrendering just one earned run and one hit over an inning while striking out two batters. He was efficient, needing only 17 pitches and landing 10 strikes. If Montas can string together a few more promising rehab performances, the Yankees might be willing to offer him a cost-effective extension to bolster the tail end of their rotation.
The Potential Role: A Supplementary Piece
Montas may not be your headline-grabbing arm, but he could potentially serve well in the No. 5 spot or even as a deeper rotation piece. Just a year ago, he pitched 104.2 innings for Oakland with a solid 3.18 ERA, an average of 9.37 strikeouts per nine innings, a 73.6% left-on-base rate, and a 46.1% ground-ball rate.
Financial Viability and Rotation Health
If Montas continues his strong recovery from surgery and proves to be ready for Spring Training, he could be an asset to a Yankees rotation that has struggled with injuries in recent years. Preserving salary cap health while adding quality arms is a smart strategy for the Yankees, although investing in offensive production remains another crucial area of focus for the team.