Yankees nearly secured an ace at trade deadline but settled for Frankie Montas

New York Yankees, Luis Castillo
Jun 10, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As you probably remember, the New York Yankees were shopping for a starter at the trade deadline. They ended up getting one, and in theory, the plan was masterful: they had gotten Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics, the owner of a 3.18 ERA at the moment of being dealt.

Montas had been great before, and everybody in the Yankees universe was celebrating the deal that also netted them bullpen piece Lou Trivino in exchange for Ken Waldichuk, JP Sears, Luis Medina, and Cooper Bowman.

Recurring shoulder issues limited Montas to just 39.2 innings with the Bombers, though, and he was horrible when active (6.35 ERA).

What if we told you the Yankees were very much in on Cincinnati Reds’ ace Luis Castillo? He was their top deadline target, but the price was ultimately too steep, and the Seattle Mariners ended up getting him.

The Yankees didn’t want to trade both Dominguez and Volpe

“Their top trade target was Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo, and they put Jasson Dominguez in their trade proposal, but refused to include prized shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe. The Yankees’ loss was the Seattle Mariners’ gain, with Castillo now their ace,” MLB insider Bob Nightengale reported, per NJ Advance Media.

Castillo, a two-time All-Star, went 4-2 with a 3.17 ERA in 11 starts last season with Seattle and signed a five-year, $108 million contract in September.

He was extremely costly, though, as the Mariners had to surrender multiple top-ten prospects in their system in Noelvi Marte (number one), Edwin Arroyo (number three), Levi Stoudt (number five), and Andrew Moore.

The Yankees balked when they were asked to include both Dominguez and Volpe.

To make things worse, Montas is expected to miss about a month of the 2023 regular season as he recovers from his shoulder problems.

Did the Yankees make the right call?