Hopefully this is the last time New York Yankees fans have to read about general manager Brian Cashman trading Jordan Montgomery (again) … because the more it pops up, the more it means it was a massive mistake or that the Bombers are being directly hurt by it.
As of now, though, they are! Despite three straight recent wins where the rotation stepped up big time (Nestor Cortes, Domingo German and Frankie Montas), it’s still hard to feel confident about this unit heading down the stretch and into October.
Montas is far from a true No. 2 option based on what he’s shown fans since the trade deadline. German won’t be starting playoff games. Jameson Taillon has a 4.00 ERA. Gerrit Cole continues to struggle for a pitcher of his caliber.
Yankees fans didn’t expect Montgomery to put the team over the edge or fill an unforeseen postseason void, but he was a quality arm eating up innings and giving the Yankees a chance each and every time he took the mound. And the Yankees parted with him to improve their center field defense, which cannot be addressed at the moment since Harrison Bader is still injured.
Cashman was asked about the trade once more on “The Show” with Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman and the Yankees GM continued to miss the mark with his comments.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman once again responded to the Jordan Montgomery trade
In wake of Monty’s latest accomplishment, a complete game shutout on 99 pitches, this is what Cashman had to say:
"“We were plus defense at every position except center field, so now we are in position if we can unpack that present, which we expect we can, we just have to wait on it for a period of time,” Cashman said. “When we do Aaron Boone will have a legitimate choice in center field that will hopefully serve us well. Those are hard to get and that’s why the cost was so extreme. So, stay tuned and we’ll see how it plays out. No regrets, because this is the space we knew we’d be in… You gotta rob Peter to pay Paul sometimes.”"
Now, before we go any further in ripping Cashman, let’s acknowledge that Montgomery’s newfound success in St. Louis is nothing the Yankees could’ve accounted for. The lefty was always pedestrian with the Bombers and there was no indication of that changing, even with pitching coach Matt Blake revamping the pitcher staff in the manner he has.
The important note about this story, however, is that the Yankees were forced to upgrade their center field defense because Cashman decided to give Aaron Hicks a seven-year extension and trade for Joey Gallo, two of the organization’s biggest failures under the GM’s watch.
Not only that, but this was much more than a “trade.” Montgomery, a homegrown Yankees product who was one of their most successful such starting pitchers in years, was completely blindsided by the trade and his teammates were vocally upset about it. This was hardly a deal to “address an area of need.” It was once again another tone-deaf transaction by a front office that never has its finger on the pulse of the locker room and thinks its decision making is above altering morale.
Not only that, but replacing Monty with Montas is a one-for-one deal that doesn’t improve anything. Montas has been terrible away from the Oakland Coliseum and has similar limited postseason experience as the left-hander. What did this do other than put the unit in flux so you could imagine, maybe one day, having better defense in center field?
If Bader doesn’t return and produce while Monty remains an asset to a playoff contender, man, this story is never going to go away.