Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman is likely kicking himself for trading dominant lefty starter

mlb: wildcard-texas rangers at tampa bay rays, jordan montgomery, yankees

The New York Yankees had high hopes when they traded Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader at the 2022 trade deadline. Already dealing with a plantar fasciitis injury, Bader, at 29, dazzled during his nine playoff games with the Yankees. His performance, boasting a .333 average and .429 OBP, including five homers and six RBIs, was nothing short of spectacular.

Yet, the regular season told a different story. Over 84 games, Bader managed a .240 average with a .278 OBP. Despite this dip in offensive numbers, he still held his ground as a defensive powerhouse in centerfield. In contrast, as Bader navigated his ups and downs, Jordan Montgomery shined with St. Louis, further emphasizing the weight of the trade decision.

Montgomery’s Stellar Run

After moving to St. Louis, Montgomery showcased his prowess, registering a 3.42 ERA over 120 innings. His stint with Texas was even more impressive, with a 2.79 ERA over 67.2 innings. A combined 3.20 ERA and 3.56 FIP highlighted what the Yankees missed out on, especially in a season riddled with injuries and rotation inconsistencies.

Adding salt to the wound, Montgomery delivered a stellar performance for the Rangers against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card series opener. With seven scoreless innings and five strikeouts, Montgomery’s team triumphed 4–0, setting the pace for the series.

The 30-year-old pitcher is poised to explore the free-agent market soon. However, given his unexpected trade and expressed displeasure about the move, it seems unlikely that the Yankees will be on his radar for a reunion.

Yankees’ Road Ahead

Looking forward, with key players like Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German possibly departing after this season, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman faces a significant challenge. The potential acquisition of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the international standout, might be on the cards. However, what’s undeniable is the Yankees’ ability and resources to bounce back swiftly after a lackluster 2023 run.

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