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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

Did Frankie Montas acquisition indicate issue with 1 Yankees pitcher?

Frankie Montas in the dugout

Jul 29, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) sits in the dugout during the fifth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees made an exciting addition to their pitching staff on Monday, but the news might not be so exciting for another Yankees starter.

Righty starter Frankie Montas was acquired by the Yankees in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. Prospects Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, JP Sears, and Cooper Bowman went to Oakland with righty reliever Lou Trivino accompanying Montas to New York.

After the Montas news was announced however, the Yankees turned around and placed starter Luis Severino on the 60-day injured list. Severino, who is battling a right lat strain, is now ineligible to return until mid-September.

The trade for Montas combined with the surprise transfer of Severino to the 60-day IL might indicate a possible issue with Severino’s health. Severino, who has made just 19 starts over the last four seasons due to Tommy John surgery, also dealt with a separate lat strain in 2019 and missed six weeks.

With Montas in tow, the Yankees have the luxury of entering the postseason with Gerrit Cole, Montas, and Nestor Cortes as their top three starters. They also have Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery (both of whom own sub-3.75 ERAs this season) to round out the rotation.

If Severino cannot return this season or can only pitch out of the bullpen in the playoffs, the Yankees now have a viable contingency plan. With the team also pursuing another big-name righty before landing on Montas, perhaps that tells us there is some skepticism over Severino’s status right now.

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