Major League Baseball's trade deadline is often about non-contending teams trading their notable players to contenders so they can rebuild for the future, but two playoff contenders made a deal just before Tuesday's 6 p.m. ET deadline.
The New York Yankees announced they sent left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader and a player to be named later or cash considerations.
From New York's perspective, the starting pitching rotation was getting somewhat crowded after it landed Frankie Montas in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.
Montas was one of the headliners potentially available at the deadline, and the Bronx Bombers improved their already excellent outlook by adding him to a rotation that also included Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes, Montgomery and Domingo German.
Luis Severino also figures to return from the injured list, which meant multiple starters may have been shifted to the bullpen ahead of the playoffs.
By trading Montgomery, it acquired an asset in Bader and may have cleared some of the logjam in the rotation.
Bader has been with the Cardinals his entire career which dates back to 2017. The first thing that jumps out about him is his fielding ability, and he was a Gold Glover in center field last year with 15 defensive runs saved above average, per FanGraphs.
Offensively, he is slashing .256/.303/.370 with five home runs, 21 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 72 games. While he will be overshadowed in a powerful Yankees lineup, he is someone they can deploy as a pinch runner or defensive substitution in key moments come playoff time with his speed on the basepaths and fielding ability.
As for the Cardinals, Montgomery is another starting pitching addition after ESPN's Jeff Passan reported they acquired Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.
Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz are both sidelined by injuries, so St. Louis needed to add more depth if it was going to catch the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. Milwaukee is three games ahead.
Montgomery has made 21 starts this season with a 3.69 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 97 strikeouts in 114.2 innings.