Frankie Montas to New York Mets, how a trade could work

Neville E. Guard – USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets rotation will be without Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom until July, at the earliest. In an Eastern Newfoundland race that should get more interesting this summer, New York may need a trade with Frankie Montas to stabilize its pitching team.

New York simply cannot rely on Scherzer and deGrom to stay healthy. Arm issues are becoming a persistent problem for the New York ace, and Scherzer faces an injury that poses a high risk of a setback. Timely striking and rotational depth can only be sustained for so long the Mets should act.

Fortunately, the Mets and Oakland Athletics already have a trade history in 2022. New York acquired Chris Bassitt, sending pitching prospects JT Ginn and Adam Oller to Oakland. The A’s are familiar with the Mets agricultural system, which makes it easy to communicate between the two clubs.

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New York is already looking for Montas, according to NY Post’s Jon Heyman, and that’s another indication they’re looking for frontline pitchers.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what a Frankie Montas trade could cost the Mets and how it would impact this club.

Screening of a Frankie Montas trade to the New York Mets

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Robert Edwards – USA TODAY Sports

Oakland is willing and ready to trade Montas if the right offer comes along. While the front office places a high value on him, they know it’s time to move him. If Athletics wait another year, any potential return would be diminished as it becomes a one-year lease.

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Money will not play a role in negotiations for the Mets. Montas only owes $5.025 million this year and he’s eligible for arbitration in 2023. Of course, acquiring a better pitcher with 1.5 seasons in check will come at a cost to New York’s farm system.

  • New York Mets Trade: Brett Baty, Calvin Ziegler, Dominic Smith, Joel Diaz
  • Trade from Oakland Athletics: Frankie Montas

Baty is the centerpiece of the deal. Considered a top 50 prospect and the No. 2 player in New York’s farm system, trading him is a blow. However, Mark Vientos is another third base prospect who could get Baty consumable in the right deal. Adding a caster like Montas ticks that box.

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Dominic Smith provides the Athletics with an MLB bat to plug into their roster and he’s still under the team’s control for several seasons. Meanwhile, Calvin Ziegler could be a future starter in the A rotation if he develops.

While this cost may seem high to some, it has a 37 to 35.4 advantage in favor of New York in the trade calculator. The A’s are getting the premium perspective and minor league depth they crave, while New York keeps Francisco Alvarez and lands a No. 2 starter.

Frankie Montas’ impact on Mets rotation

MLB: Game 1 - Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s unclear when exactly deGrom or Scherzer will join the Mets rotation. As for Tylor Megill, he’s still working his way back from right biceps tendonitis. Even if he returns in a few weeks, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker are huge sustainability risks.

New York needs to find stability, someone who can help push Trevor Williams and David Peterson out of the rotation. Creating a back-to-back of Montas and Bassitt would prove ideal for manager Buck Showalter this summer.

  • Frankie Montas Stats (2022): 3.12 ERA, 0.193 BAA, 0.97 WHIP, 28.9% shrink rate

There should be no doubt as to the legitimacy of Montas’ stuff on the mound. In his last 27 starts dating back to June 26, 2021, the right-hander is posting a 2.56 ERA with a .195 batting average allowed, a 1.02 WHIP and a 28.9% strikeout rate in 162 rounds.

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He dominated after the All-Star Break in 2021, posting the sixth-best strikeout rate (29.7%) and the third-best Swinging Strike rate (15.4%). Things are not much different this season. In 57.2 innings, Montas struck out nearly 29 percent of batters against a SwStr rate of 14.1 percent.

According to Pitcher List, opponents are averaging .108 against Montas’ splitter, .208 against his four-seam fastball and .154 against his slider. After flashing ace-caliber stuff for several years, everything is starting to fall into place.

Montas would become New York’s No. 1 starter until his aces returned. When they’re in the dugout, he can learn from two future Hall of Famers and potentially take another step forward as a pitcher. When the MLB playoffs roll around, the Mets can run a playoff rotation with deGrom, Scherzer, Montas and Bassitt.

Maria D. Ervin