Trade grades: Cardinals add Jordan Montgomery to playoff-caliber rotation, but what are Yankees doing?

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The trade: The St. Louis Cardinals acquire LHP Jordan Montgomery from the New York Yankees for CF Harrison Bader.

This one slipped in right before the deadline, and it is an unusual deadline transaction -- one major leaguer for another major leaguer, as opposed to prospects. The Cardinals had acquired Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, and now the Cards add a second lefty to fill out a rotation that was in desperate need of depth due to the injuries to Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz.

The grades are in ...

There's nothing flashy about Montgomery, who pitches off a 93 mph sinker. But he has a five-pitch arsenal, and in his three full, healthy seasons with the Yankees in 2017, 2021 and 2022, he has posted ERAs of 3.88, 3.83 and 3.69 -- solid, consistent numbers pitching in the American League East. What's interesting about him is that while his strikeout rate is in just the 38th percentile, his swing-and-miss rate is in the 76th percentile, with his changeup and curveball both recording whiff rates higher than 40%. He is basically your classic old-school lefty who gets grounders and keeps you in the game.