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The New York Yankees acquired starting pitcher Frankie Montas and reliever Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
Oakland received minor league pitchers JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina and infielder Cooper Bowman in return.
YES Network’s Jack Curry first reported the deal.
Trivino is the second reliever the Yankees added Monday after they finalized a deal for the Chicago Cubs’ Scott Effross.
This move continues Oakland’s teardown. The A’s already dealt Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea and Chris Bassitt, so it was only a matter of time before Montas followed them out the door.
The 29-year-old is arbitration-eligible for the 2023 season and due to hit free agency after the 2023 campaign. With his team anchored to the bottom of the American League West at 39-65, keeping him through the trade deadline made less practical sense than cashing in now.
Montas has done the A’s a bit of a favor by putting together a strong 2022 campaign.
Things got off on a rather inauspicious note as he allowed five earned runs in a 9-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day. That poor outing is an outlier, though. Through 19 appearances, the right-hander boasts a 3.18 ERA and a 3.36 FIP, per FanGraphs. He has struck out 9.4 batters and allowed 2.4 walks per nine innings.
While Montas doesn’t boast exceptional strikeout numbers, he has gotten a high number of batters to swing at stuff out of the zone. According to Baseball Savant, his chase rate (33.2 percent) ranks in the 88th percentile.
His pitch selection might have something to do with that. He boasts a pretty close balance between his top four pitches: four-seam fastball (27.1 percent), sinker (22.0 percent), slider (15.6 percent) and splitter (26.0 percent), per Baseball Savant.
Anticipating what Montas will throw is easier said than done, making life difficult for those standing inside the batter’s box.
For contenders looking to strengthen their rotations, the Dominican Republic native was one of the best arms on the market. It was a battle between him and Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo, and they basically had an equal chance of leaving a last-place team.
Montas’ arrival will have a significant impact on New York’s staff the rest of the way and into 2023. And Trivino, who boasts a 3.84 FIP and 10 saves in 39 appearances, will fortify a bullpen that has been beset by injuries all season.
At least with regard to Montas, this isn’t a trade the Bronx Bombers necessarily needed to make because they already had a strong five-man unit of Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Nestor Cortes, Jameson Taillon and Luis Severino.
Cortes’ emergence in particular seemingly allowed the front office to abandon any pursuit of a high-profile arm. General manager Brian Cashman obviously begged to differ, and Severino’s shoulder trouble might have had a lot to do with that.