Did Yankees make a mistake by letting Frankie Montas go?

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Sara Molnick
Friday July 5, 2024

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Frankie Montas finally found success at Yankee Stadium, this time as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, ending a four-start winless streak. He pitched five-plus innings, allowing two runs and taking a shutout into the fifth, helping the Reds complete a three-game sweep with an 8-4 victory over the New York Yankees.

Montas reflected on his challenging tenure with the Yankees, acknowledging that his performance was hampered by health issues. Acquired from Oakland in 2022, he struggled with a 6.35 ERA over eight starts before shoulder inflammation cut his season short. His difficulties at Yankee Stadium were particularly notable, going 0-3 in his career in the Bronx.

“Everybody knows what I can do when I’m healthy,” Montas said. “My time here, unfortunately, wasn’t healthy, at all.”

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After undergoing labrum surgery in February 2023, the former Yankees pitcher made only one brief appearance that season. He became a free agent and signed a one-year, $16 million contract with the Reds.

Montas expressed appreciation for the Reds’ confidence in him, citing their support as a key factor in his improved performance. He emphasized the importance of being healthy and having the backing of his new team, contrasting it with his injury-plagued time in New York.

“They came to me and pretty much gave me the confidence to go out there and let me know, hey, you’ve got a lot to give to this game. We trust you. We believe in you,” he said. “Knowing that they have my back when I go out there definitely feels pretty good.”

The ex-Yankees pitcher has established himself as a key asset for the Cincinnati Reds, starting the season strong with six scoreless innings in a victory over Washington on opening day.

Reds manager David Bell praised Montas for his major league experience and leadership, noting his significant role in fostering team cohesion both on and off the field. Bell expressed confidence in him potential, suggesting that his current performance is just a glimpse of what he can achieve.

Montas holds a 4-6 record with a 4.19 ERA over 16 starts this season. His career stats include a 44-47 record over nine major league seasons, with previous stints at the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and New York Yankees.

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Teammate Spencer Steer, who contributed a crucial three-run homer in a recent game against the Yankees, commended Montas’ competitive spirit and work ethic. Steer described Montas as a “bulldog” on the mound, highlighting his relentless commitment and expressing gratitude for his presence on the team.

After an impressive 2021 season that earned him consideration for the Cy Young Award, the Yankees acquired Montas from the Oakland Athletics during the 2022 Trade Deadline. Unfortunately, he struggled in his eight starts with the Yankees, posting a dismal 6.35 ERA and .838 OPS against. His season was further marred by a shoulder injury that had been nagging him since before the trade. Montas made a lone postseason appearance during the ALCS against the Houston Astros, giving up a home run.

Despite the setbacks, the Yankees held hope for Montas’s resurgence in 2023, as they had him under team control for another year and a half. However, early in February 2023, the team announced that Montas would require arthroscopic shoulder surgery, sidelining him for most of the season. After the Yankees didn’t renew his contract, the right-hander secured a one-year, $16 million deal to land in Cincinnati.

His current performance belies the Yankees’ prediction. Did they give up on him too early?

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Did Yankees make a mistake by letting Frankie Montas go?

  1. Montas was offered a guaranteed contract of $16M. He, sometimes you go to the highest bidder even if you do a not nice thing to your previous employer who did right by you. I can’t fault the Yankees on this one.

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