New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman executed a deadline surprise with just minutes left, trading left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Montgomery has had a quality 2022 season, featuring a 3.69 ERA and 3.62 xFIP over 114.2 innings. He’s earned 7.61 strikeouts per nine, a 76% left on base rate, and 46.4% ground ball rate. He has given up a few homers with a 1.18 HR per nine rate and 13.8% HR/FB ratio.
The Yankees trading Jordan Montgomery for an outfielder is extremely interesting, but Bader offers solid value with one more year left of team control at 28 years old.
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What is Harrison Bader bringing to the Yankees?
Bader hosts a .256 average this season with a 30% on-base rate, five homers, and 21 RBIs. He’s stolen 15 bases with a 17.8% strikeout rate and 4.9% walk rate. He currently features a 93 wRC+, indicating he’s 7% worse than the average MLB player.
Looking at his hard-hit metrics, Bader features a 26.5% hard-hit rate, 4% barrel rate, and 83.5 mph exit velocity. He’s not known for his home run hitting capabilities, and as a righty hitter, he can’t fully take advantage of the short right porch in Yankee Stadium.
Against right-handed pitching, Bader is a solid batter, averaging .271 with five homers, 19 RBIs, and 35 strikeouts over 199 at-bats. He predominantly features at the bottom of the order, strengthening the Yankees lineup once he returns from injury.
This is a very odd trade, given the value Jordan Montgomery clearly holds. Bader is currently on the injured list with plantar fasciitis and will be shut down for several weeks; currently wearing a walking boot. He’s expected to return before the end of the season, but this deal makes little sense given how well Montgomery has performed this season.