Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Yankees Send Montgomery To St. Louis For Bader, Who Cashman Says "Can Impact Our Team In Many Ways"


Jordan Montgomery pitching against the Oakland A's on June 27. Photo by Jason Schott.

Right at the close of the trade deadline on Tuesday evening, the Yankees traded one of their starting pitchers, left-hander Jordan Montgomery, to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader, who is a Bronxville, NY, native.

After the trade was completed, Montgomery, who was a homegrown Yankee, spoke to the press, and he said of how it went down, "Boonie (Yankees Manager Aaron Booone) called me in to his office, got Cash (General Manager Brian Cashman) on the phone, told me the news, yearh, pretty shocked...It's my family, this is all I know, been playing with the same guys for years."

Montgomery made his Yankees debut in 2017, when they made that run to the American League Championship Series, and he went 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 29 starts that season. Injuries then took a toll in 2018, when he made just six starts (2-0, 3.62 ERA) and 2019 (2 games, 1 start, just 4 innings pitched) before he made 10 starts in the 60-game pandemic season in 2020, and he went 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA. Last season, he made 30 starts, going 6-7 with a 3.83 ERA, and threw 114.2 innings, allowing 48 runs (47 earned) on 103 hits and just 23 walks, with 97 strikeouts.

This season, he kept on being reliable, as made 21 starts, and had a record of 3-3, with a 3.69 ERA. He threw 114 2/3 innings, and allowed 48 runs (47 earned) on 103 hits and 23 walks, and had 97 strikeouts. His last two starts likely precipitated this move, as he coughed up an early 2-0 lead against the Mets on June 26, handing the Amazin's four in the first, and he lasted just 2 1/3 innings, and allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. In Montgomery's next start, this past Sunday, against Kansas City, he exited after he went just four innings, and allowed four runs (all earned) on four hits and two walks, with six strikeouts

The Cardinals needed a left-handed starter since ex-Met Steven Matz was ruled out for the season with a left knee strain, which came just after he missed two months with a shoulder injury. Yes, they got a Yankee to replace a Met, and the Mets were proven right to not be interested in a reunion with their once-promising prospect.

Bader, a center fielder, is currently on the injured list with a foot injury, and he was in his sixth year with the Cardinals. This season, he hit .256 with a .303 on-base percentage, and a .370 slugging %, with five home runs and 21 RBI, along with three triples and 15 stolen bases.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman spoke before the Yankees game with the Mariners, and he said of this trade, "St. Louis obviously needs starting pitching, and Harrison Bader is one of the elite center field defenders in the game, and so he provides a lot of lanes for us, I think for our manager, when he's healthy, which we certainly did a deep dive into his medicals, there's a lot of optimism and belief that sometime, September-wise, we'll be able to unpack that present and, you know, deploy him as a choice for our manager. Again, he's a 60 to 70 defender, 60 to 70 runner, that can impact our team in many ways, at the discretion of our manager, you know, whether he's coming off the bench to steal a bag, or as a starting option in the outfield. You know, he's a really talented kid, happens to be from Bronxville, New York, so he's a local guy, so I think, you know, certainly, it's hard to get your hands on someone of that caliber, and it takes something to get something, and unfortunately it cost us, you know, one of our homegrown players in Jordan Montgomery that we've relied a lot on, too. I'm sorry to see Montgomery go; he's obviously a really good pitcher and he's a really good person, and you know, he's one of our own, so it makes it that much more difficult, but you know, it's the tough world that I live in and the tough world that this business operates in."

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone didn't comment until after the game, and he said of the trade, "I mean, he's been a stable in the rotation for a few years now, so it definitely impacts it. You know, obviously we've added Frankie Montas, who will join us in St. Louis (over the weekend), so that kind of takes that place, and I feel confident we're gonna get Sevy back in September (referring to Luis Severino, who was added to the 60-day injured list on Monday), so and obviously Domingo's (German) back now. So, I mean the way it impacts is he's not in our rotation anymore, so I mean the biggest part of it is kind of that sadness of seeing a guy that you love, and that you've been through a lot with, and that's done a lot for this team and this organization, and you know, kind of coming out of nowhere today where that happens, and you know, it's hard delivering that news and saying goodbye."

Boone said Bader is "probably as good an outfielder as there is, you know, as good a center fielder as there is in the game, so, you know, look forward to having that kind of athlete on our team and what that can mean, especially in this big, spacious park. You know, defense has been a calling card for us all year, and he adds another layer to that when we get him back."

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