Grading the Yankees-Athletics, Frankie Montas blockbuster ahead of 2022 MLB trade deadline
The New York Yankees upped the MLB trade deadline ante on Monday, dealing four prospects to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for starting pitcher Frankie Montas and relief pitcher Lou Trivino. Yankees prospects Ken Waldichuk, JP Sears, Luis Medina and Cooper Bowman headed to the Athletics in the deal.
The Yankees needed a starter- and Montas is a very good one. Meanwhile, the Athletics boosted a farm system with some talented young pitchers. But how did the two clubs really do? That’s what we’ll assess here.
Without further ado, we’ll hand out grades for the Yankees-Athletics, Frankie Montas blockbuster trade.
Yankees-Athletics Frankie Montas Trade Grades
Yankees grade: A
One could give Brian Cashman and the Yankees full marks for this trade. After losing out on ex-Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners, New York went out and traded for the second-best starter on the market, Frankie Montas.
Not only that, but the Yankees surrendered one top-five prospect, Waldichuk, and their no. 10 ranked prospect Medina. They were able to hang onto their three prized farm system jewels, shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, as well as outfielder Jasson Dominguez, and still landed a controllable starter.
That’s not easy to do. It’s also huge for both the club’s future, as well as their future MLB trade deadline plans, if they have any. Montas, 29, has pitched to a 3.30 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP and 316 strikeouts in his last 291 2/3 innings for Oakland, spanning the last season-and-a-half. He had landed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation, though he’s healthy again.
He’s no rental arm either, as he won’t become a free agent until the 2024 season. It’s an even more meaningful addition for New York when you consider that no. 2 starter Luis Severino was moved to the 60-day injured list shortly after the Frankie Montas trade was announced.
The only reason New York doesn’t get full marks is for their inclusion of Trivino, who owns a ghastly 6.47 ERA this season.
However, it was just one year ago that the veteran reliever had recorded a sub-3.50 ERA and 22 saves, so maybe the Yankees saw something they can work with.
The bottom line is the Yankees added a capable starter with strikeout stuff, one they can (hopefully) feel confident in handing the ball to come October. Their World Series odds just got better.
Athletics grade: B-
The Athletics got a decent return here, landing the Yankees no. 10 prospect in Medina and the no. 5 prospect in Waldichuk. With a four-pitch mix and a large 6-4 frame, Waldichuk projects as a potential mid-rotation guy in the future.
Medina throws absolute heat but has had control issues, walking 6.3 batters per nine innings in his first five seasons. If he can harness his control better, he’ll be a capable starter, though he looks more like a reliever for now.
Those two headlined the package, with no. 21 Cooper Bowman and no. 20 JP Sears rounding out the trade. It’s not a bad haul by any means.
However, when you consider that the Reds nabbed two top-five prospects and a top-10 guy for Castillo, the Athletics’ return for Frankie Montas feels flimsy. It should be noted that Montas is no Castillo- and was viewed as the second-best starter on the trade market for a reason.
He’s also no slouch either. Montas was coveted by contenders like the Yankees for his varied pitch mix and strikeout stuff, having posted a K rate north of 25 percent in each of the last four seasons.
The Athletics get the benefit of the doubt a little bit here, having pulled themselves out of the mud multiple times in recent years. But one can’t help but feel as if they could have gotten more here.