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Why Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery to Cardinals for Harrison Bader

Each day after trading for Frankie Montas to bolster their rotation, the Yankees subtracted among their most consistent starters right before the trade deadline.

The Yankees sent lefty Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals on Tuesday in trade for outfielder Harrison Bader and a new player to be named later or cash considerations.

Bader happens to be on the injured list with plantar fasciitis and in a walking boot. Which could delay his Yankees debut until September, general manager Brian Cashman said. When Bader can be acquired, the Yankees will receive a strong defensive center fielder and speed threat who’s also under contract through next season.

Nonetheless it came at the expense of Montgomery, the homegrown pitcher who was simply visibly emotional but still in shock about one hour following the trade transpired.

I didnt acquire Montas therefore i could move Monty, Cashman said following the deadline had passed. Me and my staff entered the trade acquisition market of exports and imports racking your brains on the entire ecosystem of this roster and what fits best with an idea for October and how could we best be flying high at the very best of our abilities when it counts probably the most in October and what gives us probably the most quantity of quality choices? Thats what went into each and every decision we made.

Jordan Montgomery
Jordan Montgomery
Corey Sipkin

So were worked up about what Bader may bring down the road for us. We need to wait onto it, we get that. Nonetheless it came at the trouble of an excellent choice we already had.

The trade capped off a busy couple of days for Cashman who filled holes in left field (Andrew Benintendi), the rotation (Montas) and the bullpen (Scott Effross and Lou Trivino) while also trading Joey Gallo to the Dodgers.

The largest part of it really is just sort of that sadness of seeing a man [leave] that you like and that youve experienced a whole lot with and thats done a whole lot because of this team and organization, manager Aaron Boone said after an 8-6 loss to the Mariners. Appearing out of nowhere today where that occurs, its hard delivering that news and saying goodbye.

Even with acquiring Montas from the Athletics on Monday, the Yankees continued to explore adding another starting pitcher prior to the deadline, Cashman said. The Posts Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were in on Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez, though a deal never found fruition.

Instead, the Yankees will progress with a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Montas, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes and Domingo German before hoping a healthy Luis Severino joins them in mid-September when he could be permitted come off the 60-day IL. There is also another option in Clarke Schmidt at Triple-A, though they gutted a lot of their starting depth beyond that in trades during the last couple of days.

Im confident [in the rotation], Cashman said. My job is usually to worry, but I really believe in the people we’ve.

Harrison Bader
Harrison Bader
Getty Images

Montgomery, who was simply drafted by the business in 2014, appeared crushed never to participate that rotation continue.

That is my family. That is all I understand, said Montgomery, who had a 3.69 ERA through 21 starts this year. I still dont think I ever performed just how I will have here. Im better player than Ive ever proven to the fans. But I believe I was consistent, and I gave the team an opportunity to win.

The Yankees could face Montgomery this weekend in St. Louis, as he’d be on turn to pitch against them.

But theyll need to wait on Bader, whom Cashman called among the elite center field defenders in the overall game. His presence allows the Yankees to play Aaron Judge more consistently in right field. The 28-year-old Bader, a Bronxville native who won a Gold Glove in 2021, was batting .256/.303/.370 with 15 steals in 72 games this season.

The Yankees entered Tuesday with the very best record in baseball, but that didn’t make Cashman stand pat.

Ultimately our record through Aug. 2 wont guarantee us anything in October, Cashman said. Its the accumulation of talent, keeping it healthy and playing to maximum ability. Because we played exceptional baseball thru Aug. 1 doesnt mean we reach relax and assume it continues this way.

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