The New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals are among the teams interested in Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, per reports.
Montas is perhaps the best starting pitcher available after Cincinnati Reds star Luis Castillo was traded to the Seattle Mariners earlier this week for prospects Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore.
The Yankees have been in the market for another starting pitcher for some time.
Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery and Jameson Taillon have delivered impressive performances on the mound this season, but injuries to Domingo German and Luis Severino have caused some concern within the organization.
German returned from a shoulder injury on July 21 and has been underwhelming in two starts, posting an 8.22 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, three walks and nine strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
Severino, meanwhile, remains on the injured list with a low-grade right lat strain. He has started 16 games this season—recording a 3.45 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 95 strikeouts in 86 innings—but hasn't pitched since exiting his July 13 start against the Cincinnati Reds after just two innings.
Adding Montas would also put the Yankees in an even better position to contend for a World Series title. The club has the top record in the AL at 69-33 and boasts one of the best rosters in baseball.
As for the Cardinals, they need some depth behind Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas. Dakota Hudson, Jordan Hicks and Andre Pallante currently fill out the remainder of the St. Louis rotation, and the club would benefit from adding another arm.
The Cardinals are second in the NL Central with a 53-47 record, just 3.5 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, and hold the last wild-card spot. Adding Montas could put the club in a better position to compete for the division crown.
Montas has spent the last six seasons of his career in Oakland and has posted a 3.18 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 109 strikeouts in 104.2 innings this year.
The right-hander has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2024. It's reasonable to believe any team that acquires him at the deadline would be interested in signing him to an extension.
The 29-year-old would only be the latest member of the A's to be moved as part of Oakland's fire sale this year. The franchise has already parted ways with first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Matt Chapman and starting pitchers Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea.
The A's have the second-worst record in MLB at 39-63 and are on pace to miss the playoffs for the second straight season.