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Frankie Montas Under the Knife – Cashman Under Review

ehFrankie Montas to have shoulder surgery, miss 2023 campaign. Eyes turn to Brian Cashman as an already bad trade now reeks of a nightmare.

Frankie Montas

Frankie Montas’ time in pinstripes is over almost as quickly as it began. The right hander is set to miss the entirety of the 2023 season after being slated for shoulder surgery next week on Feb 21. Injuries derailed the end of Montas’ 2022 season, limiting him to just three starts in September and one inning of work in the ALCS.  There is a possibility he returns late in the year.

Prior to his time with the Yankees, Montas was a serviceable starter for Oakland. In 2021 Montas tossed 187 innings and posted a 3.37 ERA and 1.182 WHIP, en route to a sixth place finish in Cy Young voting. Shoulder issues cropped up in July with Oakland, sidelining him for most of the month. Upon his trade to the Yankees, Montas’ shoulder issues persisted, limiting him to just eight starts.

When he was on the field, Montas was horrible for the Yanks. In 39.2 innings Montas sported a 6.39 ERA and a 1.538 WHIP with 15 walks to 33 strikeouts. His lone playoff inning featured a seventh inning bomb by Jeremy Pena in Game 1 of the ALCS.

The injury means the performance of the rest of the rotation is even more important.  Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon must prove they are worth their hefty contracts.

A Look Back at the 2022 Deadline

As news breaks that the Yankees likely won’t get Montas for a single start in 2023, fans are beginning to turn on GM Brian Cashman, calling this acquisition Carl Pavano part two. In the swap, the Bombers shipped Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, JP Sears, and Cooper Bowman to Oakland for Montas and reliever Lou Trivino. Waldichuk posted a 2.84 ERA for the Yankees across the minor leagues in 2022, Medina tops 102 mph off the bump, and JP Sears was just 22 innings into his MLB career and owned a 2.05 ERA.

At the deadline, Cashman also dealt Hayden Wesneski to the Cubs for Scott Effross, who will also miss all of 2023 with Tommy John surgery. The Yanks GM also traded for Andrew Benintendi and sent Chandler Champlain, TJ Sikkema, and Beck Way to Kansas City. In a surprising move, Jordan Montgomery was sent to Saint Louis in a 1-1 swap for Harrison Bader.

Value added:

+ Scott Effross

+ Lou Trivino

+ Andrew Benintendi

+ Frankie Montas

+ Harrison Bader

Scott Effross was great in his 13 appearances for the Yanks, posting a 2.13 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 12.2 innings. But he suffered a UCL tear, which sidelined Effross for the playoffs and likely all of the 2023 campaign. Effross will be back in 2024, so long term he may be a good move for Cashman.

Lou Trivino had a 6.47 ERA in Oakland prior to his arrival in the Bronx, where he proceeded to pitch masterfully, owning a 1.66 ERA in 21.2 innings. He will be a big part of the Yankees bullpen in 2023.

Andrew Benintendi was an All-Star in 2022, hitting at a .320/.373/.399 clip in Kansas City in the first half. Upon his arrival to the Yankees, Benintendi took a few weeks to hit his stride, slashing .254/.331/.404. Just when he began to heat up, a wrist injury in early September limited Benintendi to just 33 games down the stretch, and he did not get a single plate appearance in the playoffs. Benintendi signed with the White Sox in the offseason, effectively ending his Yankee career.

Frankie Montas, whose nightmarish season is chronicled above, is likely done as a Yankee. A free agent after 2023, Montas will hit the open market after missing most if not all of 2023 with a shoulder injury.

A lone ‘W’ for the Yankees Front Office?

Jordan Montgomery was in the midst of the best campaign of his Yankee career. The 6″6′ left owned a 3.69 ERA in 114.2 innings and was expected by many to remain with the club through the end of his contract in 2023. Harrison Bader spent all of July, all of August, and most of September in a boot before seeing the field for the Yanks. Yankees fans and Jordan Montgomery alike were confused and shocked at this out-of-the-blue move. Trading for an injured player with a homegrown starter having a career year is unusual. Bader ended up panning out for the Yankees.  He provided elite defense and sneaky power in the playoffs, lofting five home runs in nine playoff games.

What it cost:

– Jordan Montgomery

– Ken Waldichuk

– Hayden Wesneski

– Luis Medina

– Tj Sikkema

– Beck Way

– Chandler Champlain

– JP Sears

– Cooper Bowman

The Yankees ripped apart their minor league pitching depth, root and stem. All told, the Yankees swapped Jordan Montgomery and seven of their best young pitchers (rookies or minor leaguers) for eight horrible starts from an injured Frankie Montas, a .250 batting average from an injured Andrew Benintendi, 12 great innings from a now incapacitated Scott Effross, and 21 great innings from Lou Trivino. Harrison Bader will be an invaluable asset in 2023, so it would seem Cashman was not without a win at the deadline. As more time passes since the 2022 trade deadline, we’ll see how these prospects pan out.  It is unclear now how small or big the price really was for the Yankees.

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