MLB Trade Rumors: White Sox, A's 'Very Close' to Deal Involving Frankie Montas

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2022

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

The Oakland Athletics might be on the verge of trading away another key player from their roster.

Univision Sports' Mike Rodriguez reported Monday that the Chicago White Sox "are very close" on a deal for Oakland right-hander Frankie Montas.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the White Sox and A's were discussing a swap but that Chicago was reluctant to include Andrew Vaughn in the trade.

The A's have already shipped Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Sean Manaea out, so it might only be a matter of time before Montas is in a different uniform.

The 29-year-old struggled in his first start, allowing five earned runs over five innings in a 9-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day. But he's coming off a 2021 season in which he finished 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA and a 3.37 FIP in 32 appearances.

Montas would be a solid addition to Chicago's starting rotation behind Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. There's also a need for arms at the moment with Lance Lynn recovering from knee surgery and Giolito going on the 10-day injured list with an abdominal injury.

Sending Vaughn to Oakland would be a steep price to pay, though.

The 24-year-old struggled as a rookie, batting .235 and slugging .396 in 127 games. With a full season in MLB under his belt, he's now beginning to look like the hitter who had 50 home runs in college.

Vaughn went 4-for-10 with two homers and six RBI in Chicago's first three games.

"Vaughn worked on exactly what I talked to him about at the end of the year," White Sox hitting coach Frank Menechino said to The Athletic's James Fegan. "And I didn't talk to him all offseason (due to the lockout). And he came back and it's very noticeable the changes he made and the stuff that he learned from last year. I'm looking for a really good year from Vaughn."

As much as Chicago could use pitching relief, pursuing Montas at the price the A's could potentially demand might be a case of emphasizing the short term at the cost of the future.