The Yankees bolstered their outfield just before the 6 p.m. trade deadline came and went on Tuesday night. In a last-second deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York added Bronxville native Harrison Bader in a deal that sent Jordan Montgomery back in return.
The Yankees will also get a player to be named later or cash considerations in the trade.
Bader gives New York one of the best fielding center fielders in the majors, but comes at the cost of a starting pitcher less than 24 hours after the Yankees placed Luis Severino on the 60-day IL. Montgomery had just thrown two days prior in Sunday’s series finale against the Kansas City Royals.
A visibly emotional Montgomery said that he was “pretty shocked” when manager Aaron Boone had informed him of the move in his office.
“Still setting in,” he said after the deal was announced. “It’s my family. It’s all I know. I’ve been playing with some of these guys for years. … It’s just kind of tough.”
Montgomery was 3-3 this season for the Yankees in 21 starts and had a 3.59 ERA with 97 strikeouts. While the homegrown talent felt he still had more to give to the Yankees, he felt he had been a good teammate.
“I still don’t really think I really performed the way I should have here,” Montgomery said. “I’m a lot better player than I ever showed the fans, but I think I was consistent and gave the team a chance to win. I definitely worked my hardest, tried to lead by example.”
Ironically, the Yankees will fly out to St. Louis after they wrap a seven-game homestand on Wednesday and Montgomery said that it would be really weird to see his former team so quickly.
The righty had thrown four innings on Sunday, giving up four runs on four hits in what would become an 8-6 loss for the Yankees. While Montgomery has had his ups and downs, the deal did come at a peculiar time that leaves a hole in the Yankees’ rotation at the moment.
No other deal was reported to suggest New York had acquired another starter to take the place of Montgomery. The other odity of the deal was that Bader is on the injured list with plantar fasciitis.
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“St. Louis obviously needs starting pitching and Harrison Bader is one of the elite center field defenders in the game,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said about the deal. “He provides a lot of lanes for us when he’s healthy, which we certainly did a deep dive into his medicals. There’s a lot of optimism and belief that sometime September-wise we’ll be able to unpack that present and deploy him as a choice for our manager.
“Again he’s a 60, 70 defender, he’s a 60, 70 runner that can impact our team in many ways.”
The Yankees general manager later added that no one was stepping into Montgomery’s spot in the rotation.