When the Yankees announced their trade for Harrison Bader just before Tuesday’s trade deadline, many wondered why the Bombers would sacrifice valuable starting pitching depth in Jordan Montgomery for a glove-first outfielder who is still on the IL with plantar fasciitis, an injury that can sometimes linger for an extended period of time.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the simple answer was that the Yanks see Bader as a more valuable asset through next season than Montgomery, who leaves New York with a 3.69 ERA on the season and had been atop the league leaders in starts made this season.
Rosenthal also noted that the Yankees feel the move will be “especially” beneficial in the postseason, having one of the best defensive center fielders in the game at their disposal, while Bader’s offensive numbers are right on line with those of Aaron Hicks, who has fallen into a brutal slump of late, hitless in his last 26 at-bats.
With Bader unavailable until at least September, many wondered why the Yanks would make this move with Luis Severino hurt and Nestor Cortes and Jameson Taillon both struggling to get back to their early-season production, especially Taillon, who has an ERA near 6.00 since June 7. According to Rosenthal, even with those recent struggles for those starters, the Yankees still didn’t see Montgomery starting a playoff game over Gerrit Cole, Frankie Montas, Severino, or Cortes.
That doesn’t mean the Yanks are firmly set in confidence with their rotation without Montgomery, as Rosenthal also noted that the team pursued deals for Pablo Lopez, Tarik Skubal, and Carlos Rodon before the deadline.
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