Frankie Montas trade: Yankees bolster rotation at deadline by acquiring top-line starter from Athletics

The New York Yankees reached an agreement on Monday to acquire right-handers Frankie Montas and Lou Trevino from the Oakland Athletics in a potential package, Jim Bowden of CBS Sports Headquarters confirmed. The Athletics will receive four players in return: lefties JP Sears and Ken Waldichak, righty Luis Medina, and second baseman Cooper Bowman.

Montas, at 29, was the top starting pitcher on the trade market after Friday night’s trade that saw the Seattle Mariners acquire Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds. In 19 starts this season, Montas has compiled a 3.18 ERA (117 ERA+) and a 3.89 strikeout-to-walk ratio. According to Baseball-Reference calculations, his contributions are worth an estimated 1.6 wins above replacement.

CBS Sports recently ranked Montas as the second best pitcher available. Here’s what we wrote back then.:

Montas’ arsenal is based on strength. He throws four pitches more than 10 percent of the time, and none of them go under 86 mph. (A wide velocity band is needed to keep batsmen off balance.) The main reason Castillo is behind is that he is not reliable. Put another way, Castillo is on pace for his fourth 100-plus inning season in five attempts. Next up for Montas will be the second of his career, a result of injury and suspension. On the bright side, he’s been pretty good when he’s available, and the acquiring team will control his services through the 2023 season.

Montas bolsters a Yankees rotation that currently includes Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery, and Domingo Germán. The German figures to be bumped from the starting five to make room for Montas. It’s unclear how the Yankees will move their pieces around if and when Luis Severino returns to the injured list with a strain. (He is expected to resume throwing soon.)

Trevino, With the addition of a companion deadline Scott Ephros will help out a Yankees bullpen that has already lost Michael King and Chad Green for the season. Trevino was recently profiled by CBS Sports as one of the best under-the-radar trade candidates based on the promise of his new cleaner slider and volatile batting average on ground balls.

Sears, 26, has appeared in seven games for the big league team this season, compiling a 2.05 ERA (190 ERA+) and a 3.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s a small left-hander with a flat angle at the top of the zone who relies on three pitches: a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup. Sears has a history of throwing strikes, and should get a chance to be at least a back-end starter for the A’s soon.

Waldichak, 24, has posted a 3.59 ERA and 3.04 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 Triple-A starts. He has a deceptive delivery and a good fastball-changeup combination, along with a pair of breaking balls that rank at the fringe or better. Valdichak has struggled with his position, and it’s possible he’ll wind up pitching in relief. The A’s will likely give him a look as a starter because they have no real reason not to.

Medina, 23, is seen as a key reliever. His fastball combination is pretty good, but he’s a small right-hander with a career walk rate of more than six per nine innings. He posted a 3.38 ERA and a 2.03 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Double-A that year.

Then there’s Bowman, a 22-year-old middle infielder. He hit .217/.343/.355 with eight home runs in 80 High-A games.