The MLB trade deadline is in the rearview and the New York Yankees made several notable moves to improve their chances of bringing a 28th World Series to the Bronx in October. That is a scary fact since the team has the second-best record in baseball and has been one of the top squads in the league all season.
The question then is: How much better did the team with a 70-35 record get, and did they fill some of the needs they had heading into the final two months of the season? Let’s take a look at the various manuevers the Yankees made before the trade deadline, and grade the final results.
After failing to land the top pitcher on the 2022 MLB trade market, Luis Castillo, the Yankees turned their focus to the next best option and beat out several other teams to land Oakland A’s starter Frankie Montas.
While acquiring the 29-year-old isn’t quite as impactful as getting the two-time All-Star Castillo, Montas is a great addition for the Yankees. Beyond making Luis Severino’s current stint on the 60-day IL seem less severe, Montas has legit #2 starter talent and is controllable for another season. Another key factor besides improving the rotation is that the native of the Dominican Republic has a 3.40 ERA in his career against the Houston Astros. That success versus the organization’s new arch-rivals can’t be understated since they are sure to see them in October.
Outside of the demigod that Aaron Judge has been this season, the team has succeeded despite their outfield situation often being a mess. Joey Gallo was a massive disappointment again in 2022 and Aaron Hicks hasn’t been far behind. Matt Carpenter has been a utility god-sent, but acquiring Andrew Benintendi from the Royals was just what the doctor ordered.
Benintendi has gotten off to a slow start thus far as a Yankee — he has one hit in his first 17 at-bats — but that’s to be expected after jumping on to a title contender with expectations, and having to play his former team right away. Don’t expect the slump to last long.
Lou Trivino and Scott Effross
More than ever before, an organization needs solid to good bullpen depth to win a championship. That’s just the name of the baseball game in the post-season and the Yankees made solid adds in Lou Trivino (who came in the Montas trade) and Scott Effross (from the Cubs).
Trivino had a terrible start to the year but has been much better since June. He and Effross project to give New York more middle inning depth and a pair of solid big league arms. Another plus in the additions is Trivino — like his As teammate Montas — is strong against the Astros with a career 3.03 ERA against Houston.
Shipping off Joey Gallo and Jordan Montgomery
Moving two-time All-Star Joey Gallo was addition by subtraction. The 2021 deadline acquisition was horrid during his year in New York and needed to be moved for his and the team’s sake. However, Jordan Montgomery being shipped off to St. Louis was an unexpected development.
In the Montgomery deal, the Yankees landed gold glove center fielder Harrison Bader. A player that will be a late-inning defensive replacement who plays center at an elite level. A great addition for the close playoff games ahead.
Luis Severino’s health
Once again, two-time All-Star Luis Severino is headed to a long-term stint on the IL. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020, it looked like he had finally gotten back to full health in 2022. However, a strained lat muscle will have him out until at least September and has left Yankees fans wondering if they can ever rely on the oft-injured talent.
The Yankees acquiring Montas was huge in-case Severino doesn’t return to form this season. However, the organization’s best chance of winning a title in 2022 is with the 28-year-old in the rotation and winning games in September and October.
The Yankees were already a favorite to win a title this season, however, that did not stop general manager Brian Cashman from making some significant moves to make them notably better for the final two months of the season. With Montas and Benintendi in tow, it will be hard to bet against the Yankees in October.