The stories of the Yankees’ busy trade deadline doings were told on the faces of the people involved.
Lifelong Yankee Jordan Montgomery, who was surprisingly dealt on Tuesday to St. Louis for speedy, injured centerfielder Harrison Bader, had obviously been crying before he met the media. Either that or he has really bad allergies all of a sudden because his eyes were as red as the Cardinals cap he’s going to be putting on once he gets over the shock of being traded.
Bullpen acquisitions Scott Effross and Lou Trivino were all smiles as they reported to Yankee Stadium after Monday’s trades.
Their smiles were probably nothing compared to the ear-to-ear grin you have to imagine Joey Gallo broke into when he heard that not only had he finally been delivered from his New York nightmare, but that he had been traded to the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers.
World Series MVP Joey Gallo? It could happen.
About an hour after the deadline -- and about the time the Yankees-Mariners game began, an eventual 8-6 loss — general manager Brian Cashman finally emerged from his bunker sporting a two- or three-day stubble. Cashman said he has been so busy over the last week that he still has not met Andrew Benintendi, whose acquisition on Wednesday kicked off the Yankees’ busy trading season.
Finally – and slightly related to the trade deadline – there was Luis Severino, who looked quite upset when he told reporters he didn’t agree with the Yankees’ decision on Monday to move him to the 60-day injured list. Severino, who is out with a lat strain, cannot return until Sept. 12.
“I acknowledge, without a doubt, he was caught off-guard,” Cashman said of the move, which was made to give Severino more time to heal and also to create a 40-man roster spot for one of the new players. “And when we tried to walk through it with him with a calendar – I think he’s a competitor – he didn’t want to look at it. He didn’t care. He just wants to pitch, but he’s not capable of pitching yet and it’s going to take time.”
Soothing Severino’s psyche will be less important than getting his body right to be a force in the playoff rotation along with Gerrit Cole, newly-acquired Frankie Montas and Nestor Cortes.
That’s what everything is about for the Yankees now: October. All moves were done with an eye on bringing home World Series trophy No. 28.
“Me and my staff entered the trade-acquisition market of exports and imports to figure out the overall eco-system of that roster and what fits best and with a plan for October,” Cashman said. “How can we best be flying high at the best of our abilities when it counts most in October and what gives us the most amount of quality choices, and that’s what went into every single decision we made.”
So, to recap: Benintendi, Effross, Montas, Trivino and Bader are in. Gallo, Montgomery and a boatload of prospects are out.
Bader, a Bronxville native who won his first Gold Glove in 2021, is on the injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He will spend at least his first month as a Yankee on the shelf, which makes the decision to deal a reliable, homegrown starter in Montgomery even more of a risk.
“Harrison Bader is one of the elite centerfield defenders in the game,” Cashman said. “When he’s healthy . . . there’s a lot of optimism and belief that sometime September-wise we’ll be able to unpack that present.”
If and when he’s able to play, Bader will be an obvious defensive upgrade over Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks in center and will give the Yankees plus gloves at every position.
Effross and Trivino should help the Yankees overcome the injury losses of Chad Green and Michael King.
Montas’ Yankees debut won’t come until after he joins the team in St. Louis for a series that begins on Friday. Montas’ mother-in-law recently passed away and that delayed his trip to New York.
It’s possible Montgomery will face the Yankees this weekend.
“It’s going to be weird,” Montgomery said, the pain etched on his face from a deadline day he would have preferred not to have been a part of at all.