Surrendering Ken Waldichuk in last summer's Frankie Montas trade seemed like a relatively small price to pay for ace-like production in Aug. and Sept. 2022. Sure, Waldichuk could eventually become a left-handed strikeout machine, sure, but Montas already was an ace. And we didn't have to give up Oswald Peraza in the deal? Score!
Looking back on that summer's day, it's impossible to believe we were once excited about the windfall. It's also, sadly, getting tough to remember what about Waldichuk was so intriguing.
There can't be a worse incubator for young talent than Oakland, where they're actively encouraging the team to drop below the poverty line so that they can sneak them to Las Vegas in the dead of night (or, rather, scream from the mountaintop that they're leaving and there's nothing anyone can do). The price may have been lessened on Montas because of his damaged shoulder last summer, but nobody knew Waldichuk's plummet would be this swift, either.
On Monday night, he helped fuel the dissolution of a 7-2 lead in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium. He now, sadly, sports a 7.82 ERA, along with just 18 Ks in 25.2 innings. He could use a trip down to Triple-A, most likely ... but, when he gets there, he'll be trying to figure things out in the absurdly hitter-friendly PCL while playing his home games in Las Vegas, a grim reminder of the screwed-up big-league club he's aiming to please. All in all, this trade deadline "masterpiece" has been a massive woof.