NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees acquired Gold Glove-winning center fielder Harrison Bader from the St. Louis Cardinals for left-hander Jordan Montgomery ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, a surprising deal aimed at improving defense.
A speedy 28-year-old from Bronxville, New York, Bader has not played since June 26 because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
When he returns, he likely would play share center field with newly acquired Andrew Benintendi in a move that would put Aaron Judge back in right and see Aaron Hicks and Benintendi share time in left, with Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter.
“Harrison Bader is one of the elite center-field defenders in the game,” general manager Brian Cashman said, anticipating Bader will return in September. “So he provides a lot of lanes for us.”
New York, which acquired Benintendi from Kansas City last week, traded strikeout-prone outfielder Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier Tuesday for minor league right-hander Clayton Beeter.
Montgomery was 3-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 21 starts but was 0-2 with a 5.36 ERA in his last eight outings. His departure came one day after Frankie Montas was acquired from Oakland to join Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Jameson Taillon in the rotation.
“Pretty shocked I guess,” Montgomery said.
Domingo Germán likely will remain in the rotation in the absence of Luis Severino, who is out until at least mid-September because of a strained lat muscle in his right side. The Yankees appeared to conclude Montgomery would not be needed for a postseason start.
St. Louis obtained lefty José Quintana from Pittsburgh a day earlier.
“We wanted innings, specifically starting pitching,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “We felt like we were getting inconsistency out of…