MLB Rumors: Ken Rosenthal Explains Perplexing Yankees Trade For Injured CF

Jordan Montgomery was a useful 5th (or even 6th) starter. Insurance for the rotation if a man goes down. Harrison Bader is an injured outfielder, out until at least September with plantar fasciitis (a stubborn injury that can linger). 

So why did New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman make the controversial deadline trade of Montgomery for Bader?

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal says it's all about the playoffs. He notes two important factors:

1. Montgomery was unlikely to make the playoff rotation, and "the Yankees did not envision using Montgomery out of their bullpen in the playoffs."

2. Center field is the Yankees’ worst defensive position, according to the advanced metrics, says Rosenthal. Since 2018, Bader leads all center fielders in Statcast’s Outs Above Average. His sprint speed this season is in the 94th percentile. 

"The answer comes down to this: The Yankees, according to major-league sources, believe Harrison Bader will be more valuable to them than Jordan Montgomery would have been through 2023, especially in the postseason."

Now they just have to hope that Bader's plantar fasciitis has gotten the memo.