Yankees trade Jordan Montgomery to Cardinals in crazy deadline deal

Alexander Wilson
harrison bader, yankees
Jun 19, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader (48) reacts during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.