Baseball’s a business, and Yankees baseball has been a profitable one for decades, even if the ultimate prize hasn’t landed in the Bronx since 2009. There’s no amount of money a team can spend to guarantee themselves a World Series, especially in the Wild Card era … but if that amount of money did exist, the Yanks wouldn’t even be approaching it, instead increasing their profits annually as their payroll stays stagnant.
All this to say: Nobody’s blind here to the finer points of modern sport. Want to keep the family together? Too bad. Sometimes, the bottom line gets in the way. But why couldn’t a Jordan Montgomery trade, ahead of his final year of arbitration, wait until the season concluded? And why didn’t anyone realize the message it would send to the locker room, not to mention the effect it would have on the Montgomery family? Players talk. New York might not be anyone’s “home” if shenanigans like these keep taking precedent.
Months after stealing headlines by hijacking Opening Day to announce the exact terms and conditions that “Yankee for life” Aaron Judge rejected, Brian Cashman and the Yankees moved puzzle pieces around at the deadline that ended with Montgomery in St. Louis and nobody else in his rotation slot in New York.
What, exactly, was the goal there? Nabbing Harrison Bader, whose balky foot might not get him into a big-league game before September at best? Regardless, the Yankees shipped Montgomery out to form an “ideal” October rotation without any insurance in early August, shocking his best friend Jameson Taillon (the day’s starter, who then face-planted) and upending his family’s plans.
According to the FOX broadcast prior to the much-anticipated Monty-German showdown, the left-hander got the news about 15 minutes before the deadline. His fourth-year medical student fiancee was just several days into a significant part of her process, and planned to do her residency in New York … before the Yankees abruptly canceled those plans.
Yankees ruined Jordan Montgomery’s fiance’s pursuit of medical school degree
Again, the business of baseball has often upended player preference and family necessity. Packing up and moving in the middle of the season is no fun for anyone, extenuating circumstances aside.
But the only organization Montgomery has ever known, ripping the rug out from under him without a hint this could be possible? You don’t think that’s being discussed in clubhouses, on text chains, on Twitch, and between the Cardinals and Astros when they inevitably meet in the World Series.
That’s how some do business, but it’s not how successful organizations do business. Dragging their feet on an Aaron Judge extension with all the money in the world at their disposal — both before and after a hypothetical deal — is not how successful organizations do business. The Yankees have been successful at everything but capturing a title since 2009, but for now, any message from “The Yankee Family” rings a little hollow.