The Yankees purchased damaged goods with a no return policy.
Frankie Montas came to the Bronx in a trade with the Oakland Athletics in July of last season. However, the 29-year-old was not in top form as he was recovering from a shoulder injury.
“He wasn’t completely 100 percent,” Montas told reporters Wednesday morning at the Yankees’ spring complex in Tampa. “I was trying to pitch through it. Of course they moved me to a new team, I wanted to show what I can do.
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“Things did not go as expected. But I’m here to try to help this team and go out there and show what I can really do when I’m healthy.”
It was clear Montas wasn’t the same pitcher after donning the pinstripes while struggling to post a 6.35 ERA in eight starts with the Yankees.
The shoulder discomfort continued throughout the offseason and ultimately led to his surgery on February 21.
If all goes well, Montas could return sometime during the second half of 2023. The right-hander is in the midst of a 12-week shutdown before a launch schedule can begin. Montas has no doubt that he will pitch this season.
“Oh yeah, for sure, I’ll be back this season for sure,” Montas said Wednesday. “(Shoulder surgery) was something I had to take care of, I am not in control. Of course, believe me, I’m one of the guys who wants to pitch right now and show what I can do. But things didn’t work out that way, so I’m just trying to rehab and come back so I can help with whatever they want me to do.”
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At the time of the trade that sent Ken Waldichuck, Luis Medina, JP Sears and Cooper Bowman to Oakland, Montas was considered one of the two best pitchers available, along with Luis Castillo, who was traded from the Reds to the Mariners.
Montas made his last start for the Yankees on September 16 in Milwaukee against the Brewers before being suspended due to “shoulder inflammation.” The Dominican native returned briefly to pitch an inning out of the bullpen in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where he immediately delivered a home run to Jeremy Pena.
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Before the trade that brought the starting pitcher to the Yankees, he was dominant as the A’s ace. In 2021, he posted a 3.37 ERA in 32 starts, breaking triple digits with his fastball off a shutout splitter. Even closer to the date of the transaction, Montas had a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts just before the Aug. 2 deadline.