With less than 24 hours before the MLB trade deadline, the Yankees are gearing up for the playoffs. He ramped up his pitching within hours on Monday afternoon before taking on potential postseason contender Seattle at the stadium. He added Frankie Montas to the rotation and then added Lou Trivino and Scott Efros to the bullpen in two trades.
The Yankees needed Montas to make a big move to prepare their rotation for a possible rematch with the Astros in the playoffs.
“I’m really excited about it. He’s a great pitcher. Obviously there’s been most of the rumors surrounding him in the first half of the season and I’m excited that we were able to move on to a deal for him. His talent level Especially how he has stood out over the years,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “I’m excited to bring him into the mix.”
In 19 starts this season, Montas posted a 3.18 ERA with a .233/.284/.372 slash line and .656 OPS. Montas, who is a free agent later this season, has scored 109 runs in 104.2 innings of 109 runs. The 29-year-old is hitting hitters at a rate of 25.6% and moving them at only 6.6%.
“He has a strong body, repeatable deliveries. He has three plus pitches (fastball, slider, splitter) with swing and miss stuff,” said a scout who has seen Montas several times this season. “When approached, it is usually out of the barrel. They have solid control, fairly stable without too much variation.”
He pitched in the Bronx on June 28, scoring two earned runs off four hits to the Bombers. He walked two and hit seven in the loss of that A.
“I would say that while his numbers this year are an accurate indication of who he is, the debut at (Yankee Stadium) in June pretty much sums up who he is,” the scout said.
Montas also had a shoulder problem this season, but his velocity is back at the expected level. The Bombers have scouted on him several times this season, from stretches down to deadlines.
Montas immediately moves to the front of the rotation with Gerrit Cole, especially since the Yankees transferred Luis Severino to the 60-day injured list to make it to the 40-man roster. That means Severino will not be eligible to exit IL until mid-September.
Trivino and Efros consolidated a bullpen that took several hits this season, most recently losing to Michael King and Miguel Castro, who the Yankees also moved to the 60-day IL.
An American League scout said of Trivino, “He’s kind of underrated.” “Very better than his numbers. Solid setup man, especially versus right-handed hitters. He’s done more over the years.”
Trivino has played 39 matches this season with 10 saves. He has scored 45 runs in 32.1 innings of the pitch. He has a career-high strike rate, 28.7%, and the lowest walk rate, 8.9%.
Trivino, 30, is 20-23 with a 4.04 ERA (263.0IP, 234H, 131R/118ER, 120BB, 277K, 28HR), 260 appearances (one start) in five Major League seasons with Oakland (2018-22) is in. In his big league career, he has placed right-handers with .211 batting average, .299 on-base percentage and .319 slugging percentage (.618 ops), 117H, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 14HR, 60BB and . In 632 batsmen faced 173K (554AB).
“We feel like statistically their year is coming down a little bit, but we don’t think in line with what we’re seeing on some of the underlying things and what we think,” Boone said. “So he’s obviously been a pretty good reliever for them on some of the playoff teams.”
Afros is 1-4 with 2.66 ERA in 47 appearances including one start. He ranks second among the majors in appearances. The right-handed pitcher has put opponents on the .220/.267/.299 slash line this season and has been particularly effective against lefties (.132/.220/.245)
He has trapped 24 of his 28 runners he inherited this year, the third-best score in the National League.
Afros has not allowed a run in 20 of his 24 relief appearances since the start of June, posting 2.01 ERA (22.1IP, 5ER) in that period.
The 28-year-old showed off two pitches like a Yankees in his reliever. A slider, which he throws 40% of the time and a sinker, 36% of the time.
“The sinker-slider guy who comes from a different slot with plus control and command,” an American League scout said of Efros. “Fits very well in Yankee Stadium and doesn’t make contact too hard.”
The changes came with a heavy cost.
The Yankees sent left-handed pitchers JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk, infielder Cooper Bowman and right-hander Luis Medina to Montas and Trivino for the A. He sent Haydn Vesnesky to the Cubs for Efros.