The Yankees acquire Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino of athletics, by YES Network’s Jack Curry. In exchange, Athletics will receive pitchers J.P. Sears, Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medinaas well as second baseman Cooper Bowmanalso from Curry.
Close to Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, Montas was considered one of the best starting pitchers available at the trade deadline. The Yankees had been connected to Castillo, but he was traded to the Mariners in recent days. The Yanks obviously turned to Montas in order to satisfy their desire to boost their rotation.
Montas has been a solid member of Oakland’s rotation for years, first establishing himself in 2018. Despite a down year in 2020, Montas still boasts a career 3.73 ERA with strikeout rate of 24.8%, a walking rate of 7.8% and a ground ball rate of 43.5%. Just looking at what he’s done since the start of the 2021 season, he’s been on an even better level, recording a 3.30 ERA, 26.3% strikeout rate, walk rate of 7.1% and a rate of 44% on the ground. He’s earned 6.1 wins over substitution during that span, according to FanGraphs.
Despite being a solid performer, Montas has seemed like an inevitable trade contender for some time now. At the end of the 2021 season and into the offseason, it was widely reported that the A’s were planning a massive sell-off of any player making a significant salary and/or approaching free agency. Montas was frequently cited among business candidates, alongside Chris Bassit, Sean Manee, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman. Those last four names were all moved between this winter’s lockdown and the start of the season, but Montas remained. He earns just over $5 million this season, making him the cheapest of this bunch, but he has just one season left in club control. Given that the A’s are unlikely to return to competition at that time, it made sense to make him available to other clubs.
The Yankees have been incredibly healthy in terms of rotation this year, with their first five of Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino all remaining healthy for the first three months of the season. As such, the rotation as a whole recorded 567 innings, third in the majors, while posting a 3.37 ERA which is third in the league. However, Severino landed on the IL a few weeks ago with shoulder tightness. While he is out, german domingo made two starts but has an 8.22 ERA in those. When Montas reports back to the team, he’ll likely send the German back to the minors or a long relief role. If Severino can get back on the mound while everyone is still healthy, the Yanks might have to make a tough decision to get everyone into the mix, but that would be a good problem to have going forward.
The Yankees didn’t just improve their rotation, however, also adding Trivino to the bullpen, their second addition of the day, following their previous acquisition of Scott Effros. Yankee fans might see Trivino’s 6.47 ERA and scoff, but there’s actually love more under the hood. Trivino was the victim of a .451 batting average on balls in play, although that number had been around .250 in the previous two seasons. His strikeout rate of 28.7% and rushing rate of 52.3% on the year are both career highs, while his walk rate of 8.9% is a low in career. As such, all advanced metrics believe that batted ball luck masks his true talents, with Trivino currently sporting a 4.29 xERA, 3.84 FIP, 2.92 xFIP and 2.89 SIERA. He earns a modest $3 million this year and can be held in arbitration for another two seasons.
The Yankees bullpen seemed unstoppable for much of the season, but has since hit a few snags. green chad had to have Tommy John surgery and will not return this year. Michael King is also done for the year after suffering a broken elbow. The once untouchable Aroldis Chapman has struggled since leaving IL. Clay Holmes, who seemed to replace Chapman as an untouchable monster in the bullpen, has also come down to earth in recent weeks. With the additions of Effross and Trivino, the Yankees gave themselves additional options for endgame duty.