Frankie Montas atlanta braves jerseys to the Mets and four other starting pitcher trades that should happen

July 1, 2022 By Ryan Fagan 0

Frankie Montas

The Braves won the World Series last fall with, essentially, two starting pitchers and what must have felt like a million lockdown relievers to Astros fans. Baseball is very much a copycat sport, but it feels safe to say that the championship contenders for 2022 and beyond will not intentionally try to follow that same blueprint. 

Starting pitching is still important in October. Vital, even. 

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Let’s take a look at five teams with championship aspirations and needs in the rotation — needs of varying degrees — and five pitchers who fit what they need.  

Mets trade for A’s starter Frankie Montas

Stats that matter: 3.20 ERA/3.20 FIP, 9.3 K/9, 7.4 H/9, 1.5 bWAR

Contract status: atlanta braves pro shop MLB Home and Office Decor Montas is making a shade over $5 million this season, and he’s arbitration-eligible for the final time in the upcoming offseason, and he’ll be a free agent after 2023.

Honestly, it’s a little surprising that Montas even broke camp with the A’s. Most expected him to be traded before the season started, along with ex-A’s Chris Bassitt — who has a 4.01 ERA in 15 starts with the Mets — and Sean Manaea — who has a 3.87 ERA in 13 starts with the Padres. Oh, and Matt Olson (Braves) and Matt Chapman (Blue Jays), too, but we’re just talking about starting pitchers for the moment. 

The Mets already picked up one A’s pitcher in Bassitt, so Oakland (for now) is clearly familiar with what might be available in the New York system. And here’s the thing: All anyone seems to focus on with the Mets is the deep pockets of owner Steve Cohen, and how he’s not afraid to break the bank, luxury tax be damned. But the willingness to spend all that money stems from a desire to win, not just a playoff berth but a World Series. 

So, look at the available starting pitcher o Nelson Cruz Nationals Jerseysptions on the market and ask yourself, which one would most help the Mets and Cohen reach that goal? Montas is right at the top of that list. He’s made nine starts this year of at least six innings with zero, one or two earned runs allowed, incluMLB Camo Apparel ding his most recent start when he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Even if Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are healthy in October, Montas is a better No. 3 playoff starter than anyone currently on the roster. AnMLB Player Tee Shirts d if either Scherzer or deGrom misses October? A starter of Montas’ c Kris Bryant Rockies Jerseysaliber helps fill that void.

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Yankees trade for Reds starter Luis Castillo

Stats that matter: 3.32 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 7.1 H/9, 9.5 K/9

Contract status: Castillo is making $7.350 million this season and is arbitration-eligible for the final time heading into 2023. He’s a free agent after next year. 

A friend texted me the other day: vintage atlanta braves sweatshirt “Are the Yankees really 56-20?” Yes, yes they are. The Astros, Mets and Dodgers are all on pace to win at least 100 games, and they’re all at least eight games back in the overall MLB standings. The Yankees have been so good that it’s almost hard to comprehend. And yet, the only goal for the Yankees this year is to win the World Series. That’s it. They’ve been so very good in the first couple of months that they could play under .500 ball t atlanta braves 2021 world series hat he rest of the way and still cruise into the postseason. 

So as they approach the trade deadline, finding rotation depth isn’t the goal. The goal is finding players who can help them win in October. On the pitching front — they also need down-the-lineup help because that trio of Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks has not been good — Castillo can do that. The Yankees have an ace in Gerrit Cole and three No. 3-type pitchers who have pitched like No. 2 pitchers all season. And, folks, that’s an enviable situation. But Luis Severino is coming off three seasons basically lost to injuries and Nestor Cortes will set his career high for innings pitched before the All-Star break. Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery have both been great, but they don’t miss as many bats (7.4 and 6.8 K/9, respectively) as Castillo (9.5), and that matters in October. 

Since the Yankees won the 2009 World Series, they’ve been to the ALCS four times, and lost all four series. What they need in October is a No. 2 who pitches like a No. 1. And they’ve definitely been connected to the Reds and Castillo in the rumor mill. 

Dodgers trade for Rockies starter Chad Kuhl

Stats that matter: 3.49 ERA/3.96 FIP, 1.9 bWAR 77 1/3 IP in 14 starts

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Contract status: Making $3 million this year, free agent after the season

Chad Kuhl has found himself pitching in Colorado, developing into a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Rockies. That has to be the first time a sentence like that’s ever been typed, right? The Rockies signed Kuhl to a one-year deal for 2022, and he’s been better than anyone reasonably could have expected. In his five seasons with the Pirates, the right-hander posted a 4.44 ERA in 84 starts plus 16 relief appearances, but he spent a lot of time on the injury list, topping 16 starts only once, back in 2017. 

Kuhl is authoring his best year, with that 3.42 ERA. He still walks too many batters, at 3.4 per nine innings, but that’s down from the 5.0 mark he had in 2020-21. He’s had six starts with at least six inning and two or fewer runs, including his gem of a game — an audition, essentially — earlier this week. Kuhl tossed the first shutout of his career, against the Dodgers in Coors Field. Solid, right? The Dodgers have had all sorts of issues filling out a rotation this year, with injuries to Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Andrew Heaney. They’re hopeful to have all three back by October, but trading for Kuhl would be a relatively inexpensive way to solidify the rotation for the stretch run.

Braves trade for Pirates starter Jose Quintana

Stats that matter: 3.43 ERA/3.59 FIP, 2.68 K/BB, 1.5 bWAR

Contract status: Making $2 million this year, free agent after the season.

Jose Quintana’s rebound story with the Pirates has been fun to watch. He was a top-of-the-rotation guy with the White Sox, then was traded to the Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, and he was … OK for the Cubs. Certainly not exactly what they’d hoped. He threw just 10 innings in the shortened 2020 season, and was, well, bad for the Angels last year, losing his spot in the rotation and finishing with a 6.75 ERA before the Giants plucked him off waivers and put him deep in their bullpen. The Pirates took a flyer on Quintana before the lockout set in, and he’s been better than anyone c atlanta braves jersey dog ould have hoped. 

This is the ideal scenario for the Pirates. They brought him in on a no-risk deal, and not that he’s throwing well they’ll be able to flip him for a prospect or two. We chose the Braves here — who knows what Mike Soroka will be when he comes back, and Ian Anderson looks kinda lost out on the mound right now — but really, any team that fancies itself even a wild-card contender would do well to add Quintana to the back end of their rotation. 

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Blue Jays trade for Marlins starter Pablo Lopez

Stats that matter: 2.98 ERA/3.50 FIP, 3.67 K/BB, 2.4 bWAR

Contract status: Lopez is making $2.45 million this season, and he has two years remaining of arbitration eligibility. He’s set to become a free agent after the 2024 season.

Obviously, trading Pablo Lopez is not a foregone conclusion. The Marlins certainly do not have to trade the outstanding right-handed starer. As you see, he’s under club control for two more seasons, and it’s certainly reasonable to think the Marlins will be contenders during those two years. I thought they would contend for a wild card spot this year, in fact, and sitting six games under .500 is a pretty big disappointment. But their next six games are against the floundering Nationals and the floundering Angels, and they have four at home agains the Pirates before the All-Star break, too, so it’s not crazy to think they could make a push back toward contention.

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If they don’t, though, there are a lot of contending teams that youth atlanta braves hoodie would love to pry Lopez away from the Marlins. Scouted well, one trade can make a huge difference. Remember when the Marlins traded Marcell Ozuna? That deal brought back ace Sandy Alcantara and Daniel Castano, who’s also in the rotation, and Zac Gallen, who was flipped to Arizona (where he’s doing very well) for budding star Jazz Chisholm. So, yeah, you have to at least listen. And pitching is an area of depth, at least on paper. ranks the Marlins’ farm system as the sixth-strongest in baseball, and three of the Top 60 prospects in the sport are Marlins pitchers. So, for the right haul in return, Lopez could be made available.

And the Jays have a need, with Hyun-Jin Ryu out for the season. Toronto is a team that could realistically win the World Series, and Lopez would help.