On a Day 1 of the GM Meetings filled to the brim with, "He went WHERE?" and "They paid HIM HOW MUCH?!", the Yankees were able to sneak a rumor past most goalies. But not this one! Call me Igor Shesterkin with the nose I've got for Frankie Montas specifically.
When the 2023 season ended with exactly one (1) Montas cameo, it seemed logical to conclude the Yankees rushed the right-hander back for a reason. They wanted to be kind to him after he spent so long working through a shoulder kink (which he, uh, hid at the time of the trade that sent him here). They wanted to receive something infinitesimal in exchange for the prospect capital they sent to Oakland. And, yes, they probably wanted to do all that to lay the groundwork for a "prove it" season in 2024, which would give them a motivated All-Star arm at a significant discount.
Even the most skeptical Yankee fans can agree that, if Montas isn't relied-upon in 2024, he would probably make a pretty good depth option at a dirt cheap price. That's why it was not at all shocking to see the idea floated again, with a little more gusto, at Monday's kickoff of the GM Meetings in Arizona.
Yankees eyeing Frankie Montas reunion to "fill out rotation"
The only irritant here is ... will signing Montas be used as an alternative to adding a top (read: "more expensive") pitcher like Yoshinobu Yamamoto? It doesn't sound like that will be the case here, even though that's something very fair to fear.
Instead, Greg Joyce of the New York Post classifies a Montas addition as "rotation depth, especially if the club decides to deal an arm to acquire a bat."
That would seem to be a necessity, at this point, whether it's a big swing like Juan Soto or a ringing double like Brendan Donovan of the Cardinals. The free agent market isn't exactly overstuffed with lefty bats and outfielders, and the Yankees have plenty of pitching, with more waiting in the wings in Will Warren, Drew Thorpe or Chase Hampton.
Considering the amount of uncertainty that still lingers in the Yankees' rotation, as well as the objective baseline knowledge that they can cobble something together, a cheap Montas signing only helps add comfort to the unit.