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Yankees get ace; Athletics whiff on Oswald Peraza

Montas trade grades: Yankees get ace; A’s restock farm originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Athletics’ most anticipated move of the season finally went down Monday.

Frankie Montas, the best arm remaining on the trade block with team control through next season, was shipped to the New York Yankees along with reliever Lou Trivino ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

In return, the A’s received four prospects: pitchers Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, JP Sears and infielder Cooper Bowman.

Of the A’s new prospects, Waldichuk is the headliner. He was considered the Yankees’ top pitching prospect by and No. 2 by Baseball America.

Waldichuk, who earned a save in the 2022 MLB Futures Game but will be a starter in the big leagues, brings the junk to the mound. He throws with a unique delivery that deceives hitters and relies on a fastball that typically sits in the 90-95 mph range with good movement.

Waldichuk has pitched into the sixth inning once all year but has notched at least seven strikeouts in nearly half his outings. Overall, he registered a 6-3 record, 2.71 ERA, .196 opponent batting average and 13.7 K/9 in 17 starts.

However promising Waldichuk appears, there was one intriguing Yankees prospect that was previously linked to trade rumors but not included.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Monday that the Yankees were open to trading shortstop Oswald Peraza — the team’s consensus No. 2 prospect behind Anthony Volpe — and it appeared that Montas was on the top of the Yanks’ wish list. Oakland not receiving Peraza, a top-100 overall prospect in baseball, is a bit of a surprise.

It’s impossible to grade the A’s move without comparing it to the Cincinnati Reds’ return for Luis Castillo. Another right-hander pitcher under contract through next season, Castillo was sent to the Seattle Mariners for four prospects — Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore.

Marte and Arroyo were considered the Mariners’ top two prospects overall, and both were ranked top-50 prospects at Baseball America’s midseason update at the All-Star break.

While the A’s received the equal amount of prospects, none are on Baseball America’s top-100 list — although Waldichuk is listed as the 70th-ranked prospect by He represents the A’s best chance at developing a star from the Montas trade.

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The other three prospects acquired are not as highly touted but certainly are not slouches. The A’s found more depth in the trade than Seattle did.

Medina has thrived at Double-A this season with a 3.38 ERA and 10.1 K/9. Sears made his MLB debut this season and whiffed 15 batters in 22 innings, an impressive stat line to pair with a 1.67 ERA and .155 OBA in 11 outings at Triple-A. Bowman, a fourth-round pick by the Yankees last summer, is still trying to find his footing in professional baseball with a .698 OPS but brings speed (35 stolen bases) and is solid in the field.

Yankees grade: A

The Yankees’ grade is easy. Sure, they whiffed on Castillo, but New York got its next best thing without giving up any of its top prospects. Montas will fit in as a top-three arm in New York’s rotation with Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes and will be given the ball for big starts in October.

A’s grade: C+

Today’s game is about star power. The A’s picked up four prospects, three of which realistically could suit up this summer, but it’s a far cry from the Reds’ return for Castillo.

Based on this year’s trade market, it seems the A’s could have gotten more in return for their best asset.