The Cardinals bring in Frankie Montas
Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. For as hot as the talks for Soto have been, the Cardinals are as frequently mentioned as a destination for the A’s Frankie Montas, and I predict he will be dawning the Birds on the Bat by August 2nd.
Montas has been a long rumored target for St. Louis, and his mix of team control and elite pitching ability should drive Mozeliak to get the deal done. In 2022, Montas has a 3.18 ERA in 104.2 innings of work, and he finished 6th in the AL Cy Young voting last season. Montas’ shoulder injury complicates things for sure, but St. Louis continues to discuss a deal with Oakland.
Although pivoting to Syndergaard, Lopez, or Skubal could be in the cards, Montas has been the heaviest linked to St. Louis. Skubal provides more control but isn’t quite the pitcher Montas is, Lopez appears to be too high of an asking price, and Syndergaard has not been himself this year.
Getting Montas from the A’s will likely require a center piece of Nolan Gorman or Maysn Winn, but with those injury concerns, perhaps the club can acquire him with a mix of Alec Burleson, Matthew Liberatore, and others.
No matter who the Cardinals acquire as their “big arm”, which I do expect they grab one of the bigger names, they likely will grab some insurance as well.