Trade grades: As Yankees rotation shows cracks, enter Frankie Montas

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The trade: The New York Yankees acquire RHPs Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics for LHP Ken Waldichuk, RHP Luis Medina, LHP JP Sears and INF Cooper Bowman.

After the Mariners outbid the Yankees for Luis Castillo, GM Brian Cashman turned to the second-best starting pitcher available in Montas and got his man, giving up a package of four players for the veteran right-hander, plus reliever Trivino, who has struggled with a 6.47 ERA in 2022.

The grades:

Let’s start here: The Yankees get a pitcher pretty comparable to Castillo in Montas without giving up a prospect rated near as high as Noelvi Marte, the shortstop the Mariners traded as the key part of the Castillo deal. Witness their numbers the past two seasons:

Castillo: 272⅔ IP, 244 H, 26 HR, 103 BB, 282 SO, 3.63 ERA, 127 ERA+
Montas: 291⅔ IP, 255 H, 32 HR, 85 BB, 316 SO, 3.30 ERA, 121 ERA+

Both are under team control through 2023 and even had sore shoulders this season, with Castillo missing all of April and Montas missing two weeks in early July. Castillo has been dominant the past month, which pushed his value above Montas in recent weeks, but if Montas is healthy — he returned from his shoulder issue to make two abbreviated starts of 53 and 78 pitches and looked OK — the Yankees acquired a pitcher who could reasonably slide in as their No. 2 starter behind Gerrit Cole in the postseason.

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