The New York Yankees are keenly awaiting the return of their trade acquisition from the previous season, starting pitcher Frankie Montas. After clocking in less than 40 innings in pinstripes during 2022, Montas has remained conspicuously absent this season. However, the tide might be turning after their series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
With a three-game matchup lined up against Toronto, followed by another three games to wrap up the regular season against the Kansas City Royals, Montas’ season debut looms on the horizon (per MLB.com)—right at the tail end of the regular season, a twist that almost borders on irony.
Montas’ Stint with the Yankees
Montas, during his brief stint with the Yankees last year, accumulated 39.2 innings, posting a 4.02 ERA. This was a noticeable uptick from his commendable 3.18 ERA over 104.2 innings with the Oakland Athletics. This acquisition by general manager Brian Cashman raised eyebrows, given that Montas was brought in, surprisingly, with an existing shoulder issue, a fact seemingly overlooked during the trade involving one of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects.
This unforeseen shoulder issue forced the Yankees to bench Montas during the playoffs. To compound the dilemma, he underwent surgery just before spring training commenced—a startling chain of events. His prolonged rehabilitation meant a year-long absence. This essentially rendered the Montas acquisition, at least for the current season, void of value. Moreover, Lou Trivino, another player roped in through the trade, also remained absent throughout the season.
Given these acquisition hiccups, it’s comprehensible why owner Hal Steinbrenner had reservations about Cashman’s trading decisions, particularly after witnessing a series of less-than-stellar trade outcomes in recent years.
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Potential Extension on the Cards?
Despite past predicaments, there’s a case to be made about offering Montas a one-year extension. This becomes particularly enticing if the pitching market looks sparse and Montas comes at an appealing price point.
Drawing a hefty $7.5 million for his rehabilitation this season, Montas’ potential could be a boon. After all, an abundance of pitching prowess trumps a deficit. As Montas embarks on his rehab assignments post-surgery, a strong performance in a genuine MLB game could offer the Yankees’ front office pivotal insights regarding his possible extension.