Though the St. Louis Cardinals are no longer reaping the benefits of Jordan Montgomery's stellar play, they at least got two top-10 prospects out of it. The New York Yankees? Not only did they trade Montgomery for an injured Harrison Bader, but they got nothing in return when Bader was dumped on waivers.
That's three failures within one move for Brian Cashman: trading starting pitching for the most expendable position in the league; watching the team you traded Montgomery to get infinitely better value in another deal for the left-hander; and getting next to no value for the asset you acquired Montgomery for in the first place.
Bader will be remembered for his brief playoff hot streak in pinstripes, and that's it. Otherwise, his tenure was characterized by injuries and some moments of questionable body language/effort. The Yankees clearly didn't value him at all, either, if they were willing to ditch him a month after they could've gotten something in return for him at the trade deadline.
Meanwhile, the Yankees badly needed more starting pitching down the stretch last year, and needed more in 2023 when injuries plagued the unit before the season even began. The "best rotation in MLB" lost three of its members prior to Opening Day and then another a couple months in.
Over that stretch, Montgomery has been one of the best pitchers in baseball immediately after Cashman said he didn't project the left-hander into the team's postseason plans last August.
Dominant Jordan Montgomery run should be smoking gun for Yankees deadline failures
Over Monty's last 42 starts, he owns a 3.22 ERA and 1.17 WHIP across 42 starts (246.1 innings), which would easily be the second-best on the Yankees' staff by a mile. His recent stretch of play (21 IP, 1 ER, 17 Ks in three starts) has helped the Rangers avoid an unthinkable playoff collapse.
While he struggled in his three previous outings before that, he now has seven quality starts out of his 10 with Texas, and all of them have had major postseason implications following the losses of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
So it makes sense why one of the best managers in the modern era is giving props to his fearless pitcher.
We've elaborated upon how bad of a trade this was many times before -- when it happened, weeks after it went down, this past offseason, and multiple times during this season. It might sound like we're beating a dead horse, but in reality Montgomery is providing a new layer to this discussion to embarrass the Yankees over and over.
Just wait for the Rangers to be on national television during the postseason and hearing the broadcast remind all the fans watching at home how Texas acquired him, leaving many to wonder why the Yankees ditched him in the first place (or why they couldn't figure out how to unlock this version of him).
The Yankees' trade deadlines get worse and worse as the years progress, but Monty's development outside of New York is perhaps the best evidence we have for Cashman to never make another deal in the middle of a season ever again.