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New York Yankees to ‘make a run’ at Frankie Montas and Luis Castillo, 2 potential trades

Matt Johnson
New York Yankees, Frankie Montas
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

As the MLB games today begin, the New York Yankees sit atop the MLB standings and are widely viewed as the best team in baseball with July approaching. While it might not seem like there are areas to improve for a club dominating the sport, New York will be busy on the trade market.

MLB trade rumors are already swirling about the pitching available this summer. While there isn’t a Max Scherzer-like hurler available, teems in need of quality arms for their starting rotation will have plenty of options to choose from.

As of now, Oakland Athletics starter Frankie Montas and Cincinnati Reds hurler Luis Castillo are the most sought-after arms on the market. Not only are they both young with the upside to accomplish even more, but each player is under contract next season. All of those factors might be a reason why New York is a team to monitor.

Related: MLB power rankings 2022 – Houston Astros, New York Yankees battle for No.1 spot

Peter Gammons of The Athletic writes that Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman is going to make a run at Castillo and Montas this summer. He also noted that MLB teams know the Yankees are willing to give up quality prospects in order to get a piece they really like.

There will be plenty of competition for Montas and Castillo, including from the New York Mets. However, New York is certainly capable of putting the right offer together. Let’s take a quick look at potential deals for each starter.

Projecting a Frankie Montas trade to the New York Yankees

MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Montas should appeal to New York for a few reasons. First, he easily outearns his current contract. The 29-year-old makes just $5.025 million this season and is arbitration-eligible this winter. Even with a significant raise, the righty is much cheaper than what he would receive if signed in free agency.

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More importantly, the stuff is extremely appealing. He ranks 14th in Swinging Strike rate (13%) and 20th in strikeout rate (19.4%) this year. While some might see a 3.21 ERA as a reflection of Montas making frequent starts in a pitcher-friendly park, he also doesn’t have the benefit of a great defensive team.

  • Oakland Athletics trade: Frankie Montas
  • New York Yankees trade: Everson Pereira, Trey Sweeney, Antonio Gomez, Domingo German

From Oakland’s perspective, there are a few appealing aspects to this deal. Domingo German ($1.75 million salary in 2022) can step into the rotation and is a cheap starter under contract control through 2024. In addition to landing German, the Athletics land Yankees’ top-10 prospects Everson Pereira and Trey Sweeney, along with promising catcher Antonio Gomez.

While some fans in New York might view it as an excessive cost to pay, the deal keeps Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Austin Wells and Ken Waldichuk in the farm system. If those top prospects remain and Cashman can land another high-end starter, he’d be thrilled.

Luis Castillo to the New York Yankees

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

On the surface, the Luis Castillo stats might not make him as appealing as Montas. The 29-year-old came off the injured list during the season and entered the weekend with a 3.71 ERA and a 10.5% Swinging Strike rate. However, he is dealing with worse circumstances in Cincinnati.

Great American Ballpark is the worst MLB stadium for pitchers, even making Coors Field look friendly to hurlers. On top of that, there is also a lot of reason to believe the Reds’ coaching staff isn’t getting the most out of Castillo. It’s worth noting because Yankees’ coaches are proving to be among the best in the majors at helping acquired pitchers improve.

  • New York Yankees acquire: Luis Castillo
  • Cincinnati Reds acquire: Jasson Dominguez, Clarke Schmidt, Miguel Andujar, Luis Medina

Fans certainly won’t love the idea of trading Jasson Dominguez for a non-star. While it’s true Dominguez was once viewed as a potential generational talent, his stock has taken a hit since. The 19-year-old shows advanced plate discipline (13.2% walk rate and 28.9% strikeout rate) for his age, but he also doesn’t make a ton of consistent contact (.243 BA in May). If packaging him with young depth players can land a pitcher with Castillo’s talent, Cashman might decide to take a chance with a World Series at stake.