The Cardinals and Yankees have agreed to a trade that will send left-hander Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis in exchange for center fielder Harrison Bader, the teams announced.
Montgomery, 29, posted a 3.69 ERA (104 ERA+) and a 4.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 114 innings this season in pinstripes. He's scheduled to hit free agency after the 2023 season. Montgomery does most of his work behind a three-pitch mix: a 93-mph fastball and low-80s changeup and curveball. He throws strikes and has generated a career-high 46 percent ground balls this season, making him a good fit in front of St. Louis' top-notch defensive infield.
Bader, 28, will also qualify for free agency after next season. He's currently on the injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He's expected to return before the regular season ends, albeit not anytime soon. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweeted that Bader will be shut down for a week or two and placed in a walking boot.
Prior to going on the shelf, Bader had hit .256/.303/.370 (93 OPS+) with five home runs and 15 stolen bases (on 17 tries). He's regarded as one of the best-fielding outfielders in the majors, having amassed 47 career Defensive Runs Saved, according to Baseball-Reference. In other words, the Yankees would be justified if they use Bader as their center fielder, moving Aaron Judge back to a corner.
The Cardinals on Monday also acquired veteran left-handed starting pitcher Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a four-player trade. Both teams have announced the deal.
Quintana, 33, has pitched to a 3.50 ERA/119 ERA+ and a 2.87 K/BB ratio across 20 starts and 103 innings this season for the Pirates. Those outputs constitute a rebound for Quintana, who in 2021 had an ERA north of 6.00 in a mix of rotation and bullpen work for the Angels and Giants. Early in his career with the White Sox, Quintana was a regular purveyor of 200-inning seasons and better-than-average run-prevention numbers, but following a trade to the Cubs he seemed to enter a premature decline phase. This season he's regained effectiveness, in part because of increased use of his changeup.
Quintana is on a one-year contract worth $2 million, so he's a "rental" acquisition by the Cardinals.
Right-hander Chris Stratton is also going to the Cardinals in the trade. Stratton, who turns 32 later in August, has worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen for the Pirates since they acquired him in 2019. Over that span, he's put up a 3.98 ERA in 162 relief appearances and one start.
Right-hander Johan Oviedo and third base prospect Malcom Nunez are going to the Pirates in the trade. Oviedo, 24, has put up a 3.20 ERA in 13 relief appearances and one start for the Cardinals this season. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 86 in 19 starts and 14 relief appearances spread across three big-league seasons for St. Louis. Nunez, 21, owns a slash line of .280/.366/.465 with 41 home runs in 276 minor-league games. This season, he's put up an OPS of .823 at Double-A Springfield. MLB.com ranked Nunez as the No. 10 prospect in a deep Cardinals system.
Mets prospect Saul Gonzalez was traded from New York to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for Mychal Givens, Andy Martinez of Marquee Sports Network reports.
A 22-year-old righty, Gonzalez has never pitched above Single-A, where he sports a 2.81 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 25.2 innings this season. It seems likely that the 6-foot-7 hurler will eventually end up in the bullpen.
Phillies propsect Ben Brown was traded from Philadelphia to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for David Robertson, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports.
Brown broke out this year and emerged as one of the Phillies' better pitching prospects. The 6-foot-6 righty logged a 3.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 105 strikeouts in 73 innings at High-A. He turns 23 in September.