Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis linked to Frankie Montas

The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to A’s star Frankie Montas, but a deal would appear to be unlikely.

With Jack Flaherty on the Injured List, the St. Louis Cardinals pitching depth has been tested. In turn, they have seen some brilliant pitching performances from Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright. Dakota Hudson has pitched well after a slow start. But they have also seen struggles from Jordan Hicks and Steven Matz.

Which means that the Cardinals are likely going to be in the market for starting pitching even after Flaherty returns. And they have already been linked to right-hander Frankie Montas, who will be the top starting pitcher available at the trade deadline, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Montas, 29, will require a haul in a potential trade, which has me hesitant that the Cardinals will be major players for his services. That said, he is signed through next season, and that could enhance the chances of a potential trade. But president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has hardly shown a willingness to part with his top prospects and, in all likelihood, a Montas deal will require one of Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore or Jordan Walker to be the headliner.

That’s just me speculating, of course, but Montas’ market will be massive and thus any team who acquires the right-hander will have to pay a premium. In eight games this season, he has posted a 3.67 ERA and 53/13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He would give the Cardinals something they desperately lack besides Wainwright: a starter capable of pitching 200 or more innings, as Montas pitched 187 innings (32 starts) last season.

Montas would immediately slide near the top of the Cardinals’ rotation and on paper, a unit that features Montas, Flaherty (when healthy), Wainwright, Mikolas and Matz is pretty good. And come playoff time, having that rotation and Hudson, who is capable of pitching significant innings, pitching out of the bullpen would be a nice luxury to have.

The likelihood, at least right now, would appear to be small. But I would expect the Cardinals to be in the market for a starting pitcher in July – and as president of baseball operations John Mozeliak proved last year with his Jon Lester and J.A. Happ acquisitions, they come in ways that people sometimes don’t expect.