Yankees get OR Bader from Cardinals for LHP Montgomery

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees bought gold-glove winning midfielder Harrison Bader from the St. Louis Cardinals for left-handed Jordan Montgomery ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, a surprise deal aimed at improving defense.

A speedy 28-year-old from Bronxville, New York, Bader hasn’t played since June 26 due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

When he returns, he would likely play midfield with newly acquired Andrew Benintendi in a move that would once again place Aaron Judge on the right and see Aaron Hicks and Benintendi split time on the left, with Giancarlo Stanton as the designated batter.

“Harrison Bader is one of the elite midfield defenders in the game,” said general manager Brian Cashman, ahead of Bader’s return in September. “So he creates a lot of lanes for us.”

New York, which took over Benintendi from Kansas City last week, traded strikeout-prone outfielder Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier Tuesday for minor league righthander Clayton Beeter.

Montgomery was 3-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 21 starts, but was 0-2 with a 5.36 ERA in his last eight appearances. His departure came a day after Frankie Montas was taken over from Oakland to join Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Jameson Taillon in the rotation.

“Quite shocked, I think,” Montgomery said.

Domingo Germán is likely to remain in the rotation in the absence of Luis Severino, who is out until at least mid-September due to a strained lat muscle on his right side. The Yankees seemed to conclude that Montgomery would not be needed for a postseason start.

St. Louis received the lefty José Quintana from Pittsburgh the day before.

“We wanted to start innings, especially pitching,” said John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations. “We felt like we were getting inconsistency out of our rotation.”

St. Louis also got catcher Austin Allen from Oakland on Tuesday for righthander Carlos Guarate

In preparation for the stretch run and the playoffs, the AL-best Yankees also cited rightful relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino.

Bader is a graduate of Horace Mann School in the Bronx, about 5 miles from Yankee Stadium. He attended the University of Florida and was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round in 2015.

Bader made his big league-debut two years later, hitting .267 last year with 16 homeruns, 50 RBI’s and nine stolen bases. His 15 saved defensive runs were 10th in the majors, according to the Fielding Bible, and he earned a National League Gold Glove.

Delayed by this year’s foot injury, Bader hits .256 with five home runs, 21 RBIs and 15 steals. His saved defensive runs were reduced to minus-2.

Bader is in the first season of a $10.4 million two-year contract that will pay $4.7 million next year.

Montgomery, who could make his Cardinals-debut against the Yankees this weekend, is 22-20 with a 3.94 ERA in six big league seasons. He was sidelined from May 2018 to September 2019 due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

“I still don’t really think I’ve ever performed as I should here,” Montgomery said. “A much better player than I’ve ever shown, but I think I was consistent and gave my absolute best.”

Montgomery has a salary of $6 million and will be eligible for arbitration next winter. Both Bader and Montgomery will be eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.

Allen was 1 out of 14 for Oakland this season, hitting .271 with five homeruns and 26 RBI’s for Triple-A Las Vegas. Guarate, 21, is 5-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 12 starts and seven relief appearances for Class A Palm Beach.

Notes: New York chose RHP Carlos Espinal to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and activated C Ben Rortvedt of the 60 Day IL and gave him an option with the RailRiders.

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