Why Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery to Cardinals for Harrison Bader

A day after buying and selling for Frankie Montas to bolster their rotation, the Yankees subtracted one in every of their most constant starters simply earlier than the commerce deadline.

The Yankees despatched lefty Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals on Tuesday in change for outfielder Harrison Bader and a participant to be named later or money issues.

Bader is presently on the injured listing with plantar fasciitis and in a strolling boot. That might delay his Yankees debut till September, normal supervisor Brian Cashman stated. When Bader is accessible, the Yankees will get a robust defensive heart fielder and pace risk who can be beneath contract via subsequent season.

But it got here at the price of Montgomery, the homegrown pitcher who was visibly emotional and nonetheless in shock about an hour after the commerce went down.

“I didn’t acquire Montas so I could move Monty,” Cashman stated after the deadline had handed. “Me and my workers entered the commerce acquisition market of exports and imports attempting to determine the general ecosystem of that roster and what matches finest with a plan for October and the way might we finest be flying excessive at one of the best of our talents when it counts probably the most in October and what provides us probably the most quantity of high quality selections? That’s what went into each single resolution we made.

Jordan Montgomery
Corey Sipkin

“So we’re excited about what Bader can bring down the line for us. We have to wait on it, we get that. But it came at the expense of a quality choice we already had.”

The commerce capped off a busy few days for Cashman — who crammed holes in left area (Andrew Benintendi), the rotation (Montas) and the bullpen (Scott Effross and Lou Trivino) whereas additionally buying and selling Joey Gallo to the Dodgers.

“The biggest part of it is just kind of that sadness of seeing a guy [leave] that you love and that you’ve been through a lot with and that’s done a lot for this team and organization,” supervisor Aaron Boone stated after an 8-6 loss to the Mariners. “Coming out of nowhere today where that happens, it’s hard delivering that news and saying goodbye.”

Even after buying Montas from the Athletics on Monday, the Yankees continued to discover including one other beginning pitcher earlier than the deadline, Cashman stated. The Post’s Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees had been in on Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez, although a deal by no means got here to fruition.

Instead, the Yankees will transfer ahead with a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Montas, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes and Domingo German earlier than hoping {that a} wholesome Luis Severino joins them in mid-September when he’s eligible to come off the 60-day IL. They even have an alternative choice in Clarke Schmidt at Triple-A, although they gutted a lot of their beginning depth past that in trades over the previous couple of days.

“I’m confident [in the rotation],” Cashman stated. “My job is always to worry, but I believe in the guys we have.”

Harrison Bader
Harrison Bader
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Montgomery, who was drafted by the group in 2014, appeared crushed to not be a part of that rotation transferring ahead.

“This is my family. This is all I know,” stated Montgomery, who had a 3.69 ERA via 21 begins this season. “I still don’t really think I ever performed the way I should have here. I’m a lot better player than I’ve ever shown to the fans. But I think I was consistent, and I gave the team a chance to win.”

The Yankees might face Montgomery this weekend in St. Louis, as he could be on flip to pitch in opposition to them.

But they’ll have to wait on Bader, whom Cashman referred to as “one of the elite center field defenders in the game.” His presence will permit the Yankees to play Aaron Judge extra constantly in proper area. The 28-year-old Bader, a Bronxville native who gained a Gold Glove in 2021, was batting .256/.303/.370 with 15 steals in 72 video games this year.

The Yankees entered Tuesday with one of the best report in baseball, however that didn’t make Cashman stand pat.

“Ultimately our record through Aug. 2 won’t guarantee us anything in October,” Cashman stated. “It’s the accumulation of talent, keeping it healthy and playing to maximum ability. Just because we played exceptional baseball thru Aug. 1 … doesn’t mean we get to kick back and assume it continues that way.”

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