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Three teams have distanced themselves from the pack in the race for Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Sunday that Montas’ market is “focused” on the Toronto Blue Jays, NY Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals before Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline.
The Seattle Mariners finalized a deal for the Cincinnati Reds’ Luis Castillo on Friday, taking possibly the best pitcher off the trade market. That leaves Montas because the top arm still available.
The 29-year-old right-hander is 4-9 with a 3.18 ERA and a 3.36 FIP in 19 starts, per FanGraphs.
The NY Post‘s Joel Sherman reported the Yankees discussed a Castillo swap with Cincinnati. Negotiations hit an impasse once the Bronx Bombers were ready to deal Oswald Peraza however, not Anthony Volpe.
USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reported Saturday that Montas became New York’s new primary target.
The Yankees already are 12.5 games prior to the Blue Jays for first in the American League East, plus they have a starting rotation headlined by Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes. They don’t really desperately need pitching help, however they clearly desire to leave nothing to chance in search of a 28th World Series title.
Toronto and St. Louis have a stronger incentive to have a big swing before the trade deadline because neither is leading its division. The Jays have a two-game cushion in the AL wild-card race, as the Cardinals are one game back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the NL’s final wild-card spot.
While Montas’ next team remains in doubt, it appears safe to assume his days with the last-place Athletics are numbered.