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What Are Yankees’ Options with Frankie Montas Hurting Again?

Montas will miss the first month of the 2023 season due to his nagging shoulder.

Frankie Montas’ shoulder remains a problem.

The right-hander is dealing with shoulder inflammation and is expected to miss the first month of the 2023 season, according to the New York Post's Dan Martin and Jon Heyman. Montas, whose throwing shoulder nagged him before and after the A’s traded him to New York last summer, is 8-10 weeks behind in his offseason routine.

Montas, who avoided arbitration Friday with a $7.5 million deal, figured to be the Yankees’ fifth starter in 2023 after he struggled last season, recording a 6.35 ERA over eight starts following the trade. New York fortified its rotation with the singing of Carlos Rodón this offseason, but Montas’ shoulder has created at least a temporary vacancy prior to spring training, and replacement options are limited.

As far as internal candidates go, Clarke Schmidt and Domingo Germán are frontrunners for the job. Both have been better relievers than starters at the major league level, though Germán has much more rotation experience than Schmidt does and pitched well as a starter last season.

The 30-year-old Germán owns a 4.52 ERA over 70 career starts, while Schmidt, 26, has a 4.95 ERA over just five starts. Fourteen of Germán’s 15 appearances were starts in 2022; he recorded a 3.61 ERA over 72.1 innings. Schmidt, meanwhile, tallied a 3.12 ERA over 29 games and 57.2 innings last year, but he only made three starts in the big leagues. All eight of his appearances at Triple-A were starts, however, and he registered a 3.27 ERA over 33 innings with the RailRiders.

The free agent market is rather dry at this point, with veterans like Michael Wacha, Zack Greinke and Chris Archer headlining an uninspiring list.

A trade is always possible, but adding a significant starter would likely require significant prospects, and left field and New York’s offense are also question marks.

Like the starting pitching market, there are few free agent options remaining in left, so the Yankees will have to make a trade – and save their chips – if they want to acquire a difference maker in the outfield.


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