TODAY: The Yankees, Cardinals and Blue Jays seem to be the best candidates for Montas Jon Morosi of the MLB Network writes that the “right-handed market is centered on” these three teams.
30TH JULY: With Luis Castillo now on my way to seattle after last night’s trade with the mariners, Frankie Montas stands out as perhaps the best and most likely arm to trade ahead of Tuesday’s 5:00 p.m. CT deadline. The majority of the teams that were interested in Castillo are involved in the Montas market to varying degrees, so it’s possible last night’s deal will speed up the pace of the pitching market overall.
The Yankees, for example, were known as Castillo worshipers but have now made Montas their prime target, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and The New York Post’s Jon Heyman (Twitter connections). The Cardinals, who never seemed able to land Castillo from another NL Central club, continue their pursuit of Montas, writes St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold. However, their pursuit is made a little more difficult by the simultaneous interest in the Nationals superstar Juan Soto; The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes in his latest column that some of the Cardinals prospects that the A’s are targeting in exchange for Montas are also being coveted by the Nationals.
Several other clubs have been linked with both Montas and Castillo over the past week, including the Twins, Padres and Blue Jays. There are certainly other clubs on the periphery of the market whose presence is not publicly known. Both Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and rose valley have suggested, for example, that the Rangers had discussions with the Reds about Castillo. Whether the A’s would seriously consider sending Montas to a division rival isn’t clear, but it says Texas is in the market for weapons that can be controlled by 2023.
The Athletics’ asking price for Montas was reportedly quite high, even before Castillo’s trade last night may have increased Oakland’s influence in talks. Outlining the Cardinals’ current rotation needs, The Athletic’s Katie Woo wrote (before the Castillo deal) that Oakland are likely looking for two top personalities and “possibly one player currently on the roster with significant remaining team control.” It’s certainly a tall order, although not unrealistic given Montas’ commercial value.