The New York Yankees have raced out of the gate in 2022, but by the time the trade deadline rolls around (on Aug. 2, which is weird), Brian Cashman will be seeking help, as he always does.
If there’s one thing we know about his potential targets, it’s that he won’t be willing to overpay, no matter how much he might value someone else’s asset. He won’t surrender too many of his beloved prospects in trade. He won’t take on someone else’s money, and will beg bad teams to help him financially if need be (thanks for Anthony Rizzo!).
So, over 2.5 months out, it feels safe to say that some of the MLB’s top available performers on terrible teams will end up too rich for Cashman’s blood.
Luckily — truly can’t believe this is real — the most screamed-about targets of the offseason, which would’ve represented Cashman going “all in,” probably weren’t necessary. The rotation and bullpen are both performing at elite levels. The lineup, though it’s hitting the same valleys as the rest of the league while dealing with the beautiful, lumpy new baseball, has been energized by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and (to an extent) Josh Donaldson.
More depth might’ve helped (and it’s going to be needed in the rotation, at some point), but it’s difficult to say with a straight face that Cashman needed to launch three or four of his young assets into the sun in exchange for a big name.
And he’s certainly not going to do it this summer when the heat is on and eight top contenders are all lined up to outbid each other for the same three dudes.
After a red-hot April, these three players are going to own the trade deadline, and the Yankees will … not be participating.
3 Yankees trade deadline targets they’ll be out-bid for
3. Frankie Montas
A tick below Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Corey Seager on the Offseason Need Scale, Yankees fans ran themselves hoarse trying to figure out a package deal for Matt Olson and Frankie Montas this offseason.
At times, it seemed like Montas would be a White Sox or Twin before the season started, and all the angriest Yankee Twitter accounts (ours included) had their snarky tweets all drafted.
But then, the Yanks didn’t “miss out” on Montas in the days after the Sean Manaea deal after all. The reeling Oakland A’s decided to hold onto their final chip until midsummer, and as the season approaches mid-May, that seems like a wise choice for maximizing a potential return.
Remember the “post-lockout feeding frenzy” we were promised? It never really materialized or looked like a second deadline. A lot of coveted players — like Manaea! — were eventually dumped for peanuts.
Through six starts in 2022, Montas is looking much more like a seasoned veteran than a boom-or-bust hotshot. He’s kept the ball in the yard, allowing just four home runs in 36.2 innings pitched and sporting a 3.44 ERA. The right-hander has whiffed a batter per inning, and his Statcast metrics are red across the board, commensurate with someone who’s dominating the competition.
Hilariously enough, the Yankees might be the ones balking at a Gleyber Torres-for-Montas deal these days anyway, considering the second baseman’s cleaning up defensively with career-best hard-hit metrics. That’s a story for another day, though.
Bottom line, if the Yankees go rotation shopping at the deadline, they won’t be paying Montas’ escalating premium.