Yanks get Montas, Trivino from A's for 4 prospects

August 2nd, 2022

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have been among baseball’s busiest clubs in advance of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, bolstering their staff for the postseason push on Monday by acquiring right-handed starter Frankie Montas and righty reliever Lou Trivino from the Athletics.

New York sent four Minor Leaguers to Oakland for Montas and Trevino: left-hander Ken Waldichuk (the club's No. 5 prospect, per MLB Pipeline), right-hander Luis Medina (No. 10), lefty JP Sears (No. 20) and second baseman Cooper Bowman (No. 21).

“I feel great. I’m really excited about it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “[Montas] is a great pitcher. There’s been rumors around him most of the first half of the season. I’m excited we were able to push through on a deal for him. His level of talent, especially with how he’s pitched the last couple of years, I’m just excited to get him into the mix.”

Yankees get: RHPs Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino
A’s get: LHPs Ken Waldichuk and JP Sears, RHP Luis Medina, 2B Cooper Bowman

Waldichuk was the only one of the four prospects sent to Oakland ranked in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, checking in at No. 70. As such, the Yankees were able to retain their top four prospects per MLB Pipeline: shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, outfielder Jasson Domínguez and catcher Austin Wells.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Yankees imported right-handed reliever Scott Effross from the Cubs in exchange for righty Hayden Wesneski, who had been New York’s No. 7 prospect.

With right-hander Luis Castillo having been traded from the Reds to the Mariners on Saturday, Montas was viewed as the best remaining starting pitcher on the trade market, despite battling right shoulder tightness just before the All-Star break.

Combined with the club’s recent trade with the Royals for outfielder Andrew Benintendi, the additions of Montas, Trivino and Effross figure to bolster a roster that boasts the American League’s best record (70-34).

“There’s no question we’ve added four high-caliber players to intertwine with our group,” Boone said. “On paper, we’re better. I will caution it with, that’s just on paper. We’ve got to go out and do it still.”

Montas, 29, was 4-9 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts for Oakland. In 104 2/3 innings, he scattered 91 hits and allowed 44 runs (37 earned), with 12 homers. Montas struck out 109 batters against just 28 walks, and is making $5.05 million this season. He is arbitration-eligible after the 2023 season and can be a free agent in '24.

The right-hander has a career 3.73 ERA over seven seasons and finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting last year after going 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 187 innings.

“He’s got the full arsenal, the weapons and stuff you look for in a top-of-the-rotation guy,” Boone said. “He’s gone out and proved that the last couple of years, that he is that kind of caliber pitcher. He had a hiccup there with his shoulder; he’s building up his pitch count and threw 78 the last time. I think we’re comfortable with where he’s at shoulder-wise, and I know he’s going to be a big addition to the staff.”

Trivino, 30, began the year as Oakland’s closer and was 1-6 with a 6.47 ERA and 10 saves in 39 appearances, finishing 23 games. In 32 innings, he permitted 46 hits and 25 runs (23 earned), walking 14 against 45 strikeouts.

He had a 3.70 ERA from 2018-21, all for Oakland, logging 22 saves last season. Trivino is earning $3 million this season and is arbitration-eligible through 2024, eligible for free agency in '25.

“We’ve talked about him for a long time,” Boone said. “We feel like he’s having a little bit of a down year statistically, but we don’t think it lines up with what we’re seeing on some of the underlying things and who we think he is. He’s been a very good reliever for them on some playoff-caliber teams, so he’s another veteran guy that we think will fit in nicely to our ‘pen.”

The Yankees have sputtered in the pitching department lately, especially after season-ending injuries to relievers Chad Green and Michael King. They’re dealing with an injury to right-hander Miguel Castro and a brief run of inconsistency for All-Star closer Clay Holmes, who surrendered a ninth-inning homer to the Royals’ Salvador Perez on Sunday.

Effross and Trivino should help in the relief department, while Montas provides New York with a solid starter behind ace right-hander Gerrit Cole. All-Star left-hander Nestor Cortes is on an innings watch, while righty Luis Severino has not pitched since July 13 due to injury.

“I feel great about any one of them going up against the great other tandems in both leagues,” Boone said.

The Yankees appear to have one remaining piece of business before Tuesday’s Trade Deadline -- moving outfielder Joey Gallo, who recently spoke of his pinstriped tenure in the past tense during an interview with The Athletic. The Brewers, Padres and Rangers are potential fits for Gallo.

“It’s been a tough calendar year for him,” Boone said.