Yankees lose out on Luis Castillo sweepstakes, turn attention to last remaining star trade option

Alexander Wilson
frankie monthas, yankees
Jul 21, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

With the MLB trade deadline approaching quickly, the New York Yankees have to get on their horse if they want to land a starting pitcher to boost the rotation.

On Friday night, with the Yankees trampling over the Kansas City Royals, courtesy of an Aaron Judge grand slam in the eighth inning, one of the top starters on the market, Luis Castillo, was traded to the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners now have a playoff-ready rotation with Castillo, Logan Gilbert, Robbie Ray, and more. However, this negatively impacts the Yankees, who have a spotty rotation that can’t be relied on come October.

Frankie Montas, a 29-year-old pitcher from the Oakland Athletics, is the top remaining starter on the market. Montes has one year left of control before hitting free agency in 2024. Montas has seven seasons of MLB experience, pitching over 100 innings in his past two campaigns.

What would Montas bring to the Yankees?

This season, Montas features a 3.18 ERA with a 3.22 xFIP. He’s pitched 104.2 innings, the second highest in his career after pitching 187 last season. He currently hosts 9.37 strikeouts per nine, a 73.4% left on base rate, and 46.1% ground ball rate.

His 12.6% HR/FB ratio is a bit high, but he has a solid repertoire of pitches that would easily help the Yankees rotation.

Frankie features a 4-seam fastball, split-finger fastball, sinker, and slider. He also tosses in a cutter at 9.2% usage. His split-finger fastball is his best pitch by a significant margin, generating a .180 batting average against with a 33% WHIFF rate and 21% put-away rate. His 4-seam fastball averages out at 96.2 mph, with opposing hitters batting .245 against it with a 28.4% WHIFF rate.

With Castillo off the market, general manager Brian Cashman will likely have to overpay a bit for Montas, since he’s lost all leverage in negotiations. The Athletics want a sizable haul in return, likely including at least one of the team’s top prospects. If the Yankees want a starter desperately, they will probably have to offer up Oswald Peraza as part of the deal.