Harrison Bader, Montgomery swap a win-win deal for both Yankees, Cardinals

Harrison Bader of the Yankees and Jordan Montgomery of the Cardinals
Josh Barrett
Saturday July 1, 2023

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ST. LOUIS — The Yankees and the Cardinals did an unthinkable just three days before their meeting at Busch Stadium last season. They swapped pitcher Jordan Montgomery to acquire centerfielder Harrison Bader. The deal proved to be beneficial to both teams.

However, an injured Harrison Bader wearing a walking boot stayed back in the Bronx and it took him over six weeks to play his first game in pinstripes. But Jordan Montgomery, who used to play for the Yankees, pitched well for the Cardinals. He didn’t allow any runs in the five innings he pitched against his old team.

Now, about 11 months later, the Yankees are back in St. Louis and Harrison Bader is ready for the showdown against his former team. His form, leadership qualities, and commitment to make the Yankees successful presents him an important asset for the team. On the other hand, Montgomery is an important part of the Cardinals’ rotation.

Boone on Harrison Bader, Montgomery swap

Manager Aaron Boone commented on the situation, expressing his thoughts on the trade and the subsequent events. He mentioned that the trade happened quickly and the Yankees suddenly found themselves without Jordan Montgomery in a surprising turn of events. They then faced him right after the trade, which Boone found to be quite unusual. Although it was difficult to lose Montgomery, Boone was happy to see him doing well with his new team.

Boone also acknowledged that they were aware of the potential of acquiring a talented player, Harrison Bader, who would make a significant impact in the team’s lineup. It took some time for him to find his rhythm, but once Harrison Bader did and joined their lineup, he became a real game-changer. This has been evident once the centerfielder turns healthy and plays for the Yankees.

Harrison Bader is celebrating during Yankees (3) vs. Rays (2) at Tropicana Field on May 6, 2023.

However, Harrison Bader has faced challenges in maintaining his good health, as he has had to deal with injuries multiple times this season. Firstly, he was on the injured list due to a strained oblique, and later on, he suffered a strained hamstring, which required another stint on the injured list.

As a result of these injuries, Harrison Bader had to sit out a total of 46 games. However, it’s worth noting that the Yankees have performed well when he has been able to play this season. Specifically, they have won 24 out of the 35 games in which Harrison Bader has been a part of the lineup, which demonstrates the positive impact he has had on the team when he’s been healthy.

Yankees love Harrison Bader

Boone expressed surprise upon being informed of the statistic and shared his observations. He commented on the remarkable record, attributing it partly to Harrison Bader’s exceptional skills and impact on both offense and defense. Boone also acknowledged that factors such as the unpredictability of baseball games and the limited number of games played could affect the statistic, considering it a relatively small sample size. Nevertheless, it is widely acknowledged and understood that Harrison Bader is a talented two-way player.

Boone further highlighted how seamlessly Harrison Bader had integrated into the team, emphasizing that he feels like a true Yankee, fitting in well with the rest of the players.

Harrison Bader in order to play for Yankees

It remains uncertain whether Harrison Bader will continue as a member of the Yankees beyond this season, as he is scheduled to become a free agent during the upcoming offseason. He has been a valuable asset for the Yankees whenever he has been able to play, even surprising them with his power during the playoffs last year. However, his injury history will likely be taken into consideration when the Yankees make their final decision regarding Harrison Bader’s future with the team.

Montgomery ready to face the Yankees, Bader

On the other hand, Montgomery, who used to play for the Yankees, will be pitching against them on Sunday. Last season, he had an impressive 3.11 ERA in 11 starts for the Cardinals. Currently, he has maintained a consistent performance with a 3.52 ERA across 16 starts and 92 innings this year, which is the kind of reliability the Yankees had come to expect from him.


The 30-year-old left-handed pitcher, known for his beard, mentioned that facing his former teammates on Sunday will feel different compared to when he had to pitch against them last season. At that time, the trade was still fresh in everyone’s minds, creating a unique dynamic.

According to Montgomery, it might be slightly less challenging for Harrison Bader. He mentioned that he maintains communication with several players from his former team, indicating that he still keeps in contact with them. However, Montgomery acknowledged that facing friends on the field is never a simple task. He accepted this as a normal part of being a professional player, recognizing that many other athletes also have friends they compete against in the league.

Montgomery mentioned that he doesn’t dwell too much on thinking about what could have happened if he had stayed with the Yankees. He believes that they decided to let him go, and he doesn’t let it bother him. On Friday afternoon, he had a warm and friendly reunion with his former teammates and coaches, sharing many hugs. However, he made it clear that he’s excited about the prospect of facing them in the upcoming weekend.

Confidently, the ex-Yankees stated that he’s not afraid of the challenge. He sees himself as the one in control of the game since he’s the one holding the ball. To him, it’s just like playing any other game.

Harrison Bader and Montgomery have asserted that they are content with their current teams, despite ongoing debates about which team benefited more from the trade over the past 11 months.

According to Manager Boone, it seems that the trade has proven to be favorable for both teams involved. He expressed his belief that it has turned out to be a situation where both teams have benefited in some way. Boone also mentioned that the Yankees continue to support Montgomery beyond Sunday’s game.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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