Frankie Montas trade grade: Yankees get ‘A’ for landing starter and hanging on top prospects

The New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics pulled a six-player trade Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours away from Major League Baseball’s 2022 trade deadline. The Yankees received right-handed starter Frankie Montas and reliever Lou Trivino in exchange for left-handed pitchers JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk, right-hander Luis Medina and second baseman Cooper Bowman.

The Yankees had already made a pitching acquisition Monday, adding reliever Scott Efros to the Chicago Cubs. Montas and Trivino will join him in consolidating a worker affected by injuries. A, for their part, continue the reconstruction starting in the winter, adding a package full of almost ready weapons.

We here at CBS Sports are nothing if not judgmental, and that means offering near-instantaneous analysis on the big trades at this time of year. Below, you’ll find grades for both the Yankees and the Athletics, as well as explanations for those assessments.

With that out of the way, let’s start by reimagining the deal:

yankees get

  • RHP Frankie Montas
  • RHP Low Trivino

athletics received

  • LHP JP Sears
  • LHP Ken Waldichuk
  • RHP Luis Medina
  • 2B Cooper Bowman

Yankees Grade: A

The Yankees, who have the best record in the majors, came into the season deadline to need some pitching reinforcement. They have achieved just as much by adding Efros on Monday and now Montas and Trivino. According to Baseball America, the Yankees had to part with three of their top 10 prospects to make those upgrades, including their fifth and ninth best youngsters in the deal for Montas.

After Luis Castillo was traded to the Seattle Mariners last Friday, Montas stood out as the best starting pitcher available on the market. He is a 29-year-old with an additional season of team control, a 3.49 ERA (117 ERA+) and a 3.43 strike-to-walk ratio in 91 appearances dating back to 2018.

Montas is an unusual starter in the sense that he is all about brute force. His fastball hits 96 mph and the slowest pitch in his arsenal is his 86-mph splitter. That faster, and then faster approach defies convention, but it works for him. He is able to generate a lot of swinging strikes and swings outside the strike zone.

Montas still gives some evaluators pause because of its inconsistency. His next debut will be his 20th of the year, the second time he has crossed that threshold in a major league season. (To be fair, he started 11 times during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.) Montas has fallen short of that number due to suspension and injury in the past, and his recent absence due to shoulder pain has raised eyebrows throughout the league. Got up He has made two appearances since then, and the Yankees (among other teams) clearly felt comfortable with his position.

See also  NBA and Celtics legend Bill Russell, 'most prolific champ in American sports' dies

Montas’ extra year of team control is an underrated plus for a Yankees squad that could lose Jameson Tallon to free agency this winter.

Trivino doesn’t have as much name-brand appeal as Montas, and its seasonal numbers aren’t as pretty. In 39 appearances this season, he earned a 6.47 ERA, the worst period of his career. CBS Sports recently named him as one of the top under-the-radar trade candidates, however, based on the strength of his new sweeping slider and the potential regression of his shaky batting average on ground balls.

The Yankees have made it a habit of coaching Reclamation Project relievers, including Clay Holmes and Michael King. Don’t be surprised if Trivino becomes the next example. He can drive his fastball into the mid to upper 90s and his aforementioned sweeper has so far generated a 52 percent whiff rate, suggesting he should pursue this as his main offering.

While we mentioned above that the Yankees had to trade two of their top 10 prospects to Nat Montas and Trivino, it’s worth clarifying that the Yankees have so far been able to avoid tackling any chances of their top-ranked player. Huh. It’s anyone’s guess what the Yankees will do for the rest of the deadline, if anything, but Cashman will be pleased to be able to add these three weapons, as well as Andrew Benintendi, without parting ways with Anthony Volpe, Oswald Perazza, or Everson. was capable. Perera in the process. Plus, it’s a Yankees organization that has proven itself to help pitchers make big profits in a hurry; Monday’s trading was another reminder of the same.

Athletics Grade: C

Trading with Matt Olsson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassit and Sean Manea, the Athletics began this rebuild as soon as the owner-imposed lockout was lifted. Montas’ departure comes as no surprise to anyone. However, estimating returns is difficult.

You could argue – as did some evaluators with other teams – that it is a quality approach over quantity and that A should have aimed higher for the two in-demand veteran weapons at Montas and Trivino. Players fit into Oakland’s ballpark and forebodings, however, setting the stage for them to exceed expectations and context-free evaluations. (If our grading system were more sophisticated, we might call it a C that would soon look like a B.)

We’ll illustrate this point by focusing on two main pieces of pay: Sears and Waldichuk.

Sears, 26, is the only member of the four to watch big-league duty. In seven innings he has accumulated 2.05 eras (190 eras+) and 3.00 strike-to-walk ratio. Those numbers don’t matter. What matters is that he has a complete arsenal and some built-in indicators that suggest he may be able to cut it as a starter.

Sears has an unusually flat release point at the top of the zone, the product of its hand slot, its size, and its ability to descend from the mound. He is listed at 5-foot-11, yet he generates six extra inches of extension, or the distance between the pitching rubber and his release point. By covering that ground, he is not only playing his fastball forward at a low 90s velocity, but it is also creating a difficult angle.

Sears’ fastball doesn’t have a ton of vertical breaks, driven or otherwise, but it does have the most extreme parts away from right-handers in the primes. In fact, it ranks 11th in that regard, behind new teammates AJ Puck and Kirby Snead, leading us to think of Sears as A’s target for this reason.

While Sears would likely have used in a relief capacity with the Yankees, our hope is that the Athletics will give him a chance to start. He seems up for the challenge.

Waldichuk, 24, has made 11 Triple-A starts this season. He posted a 3.59 ERA and 3.04 strike-to-walk ratio in those outings, suggesting he is almost ready for the big guys. Depending on who you talk to, Waldichuck has either a good fastball-changeup combination (with two good breaking balls) or just one good fastball and an arsenal of so many secondary.

Whatever the case, Waldichuk has a deceptive delivery that messes with hitters and his own ability to throw strikes evenly. He has played four batsmen per nine this season and throughout his professional career. A’s will will likely work with him on that, but it’s not clear how much they can realistically smooth out. He is likely to make his big league debut at the earliest.

Another interesting aspect of this tradeoff for A is how they have continued to target pitchers throughout this rebuild, even though their cavernous ballpark served as an inherent advantage in increasing usable weapons. . In the last two seasons alone, the A have had more than expected gains from Cole Irwin and Paul Blackburn. It would be superfluous to write that A can plug almost anyone in and get some decent shifts out of them when at home, but you get the gist of it.

It is clear that A is not believing himself. They have gained 16 players in their five “reconstruction era” trades – this one, Bassett, Olsen, Chapman and Maneya – and 10 of those 16 are pitchers. Some of that is the nature of how roasters work—it’s easier to find a slot for a pitcher than any other position—but some of them point to a concentrated effort to secure the weapon, and Especially those who will succeed in the Colosseum.

Is this the right call for a team that has an inherent advantage? Or should A focus on adding position players, or other types of skill sets that may be more difficult for them to obtain? This is a philosophical question that perhaps merits its own place.

Medina, 23, is a bit of a right-hander with a good fastball and breaking ball, having spent the season in Double-A. Although he has started 17 games this season, a well-below-average command projection born from the severe arm drag of his delivery (he went with more than six batters per nine in his professional career) led us to There is a chance of a pure relief. According to FanGraph, Medina will run out of options after this season, meaning he will be a member of the AK bullpen no later than next spring.

Bowman, a fourth-round pick in 2021, is a middle fielder who has primarily played at Keystone this season. Although he is at an age-appropriate level, he has batted only .217/.343/.355, with eight home runs in 364 trips to the plate.