MLB trade deadline: Yankees get Harrison Bader, deal Joey Gallo and Jordan Montgomery

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees acquired Gold Glove-winning center fielder Harrison Bader from the St. Louis Cardinals for left-hander Jordan Montgomery before Tuesday’s trade deadline, a surprise deal aimed at improving defense.

A speedy 28-year-old from Bronxville, New York, Bader hasn’t played since June 26 due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Upon his return, he would likely play on the center field shared with newly acquired Andrew Benintendi in a move that would put Aaron Judge back on the right and see Aaron Hicks and Benintendi split time on the left, with Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter.

“Harrison Bader is one of the game’s elite center fielders,” general manager Brian Cashman said, anticipating Bader’s return in September. “So he provides us with a lot of avenues.”

New York, which acquired Benintendi from Kansas City last week, traded outfielder Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league right-hander Clayton Beeter earlier Tuesday.

Montgomery was 3-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 21 starts, but 0-2 with a 5.36 ERA in his last eight outings. His departure came a 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 is likely to remain in the rotation in the absence of Luis Severino, out until at least mid-September with a pulled muscle in his right side. The Yankees appeared to conclude that Montgomery would not be needed for a playoff start.

St. Louis got left-hander Jose Quintana from Pittsburgh a day earlier.

“We wanted innings, especially the pitch release,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “We felt like we were getting some inconsistencies in our rotation.”

St. Louis also got receiver Austin Allen from Oakland on Tuesday for right-hander Carlos Guarate

Preparing for the stretch run and the playoffs, the top AL Yankees also acquired right-handed relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino.

Bader graduated from Horace Mann School in the Bronx, about 5 miles from Yankee Stadium. He went to the University of Florida and was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round in 2015.

Bader made his league debut two years later and hit .267 last year with 16 home runs, 50 RBIs and nine stolen bases. His 15 defensive points saved were 10th in the majors, according to the Fielding Bible, and he won a National League Gold Glove.

Slowed by the foot injury this year, Bader is batting .256 with five home runs, 21 RBIs and 15 interceptions. His defensive points saved fell to minus-2.

Bader is in the first season of a two-year, $10.4 million deal that will pay $4.7 million next year.

Montgomery, who could make his Cardinals debut against the Yankees this weekend, is 22-20 with a 3.94 ERA in six major league seasons. He was sidelined from May 2018 to September 2019 with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

“I still don’t think I’ve ever played like I should here,” Montgomery said. “A much better player than I’ve ever shown, but I think he was consistent and certainly worked my best.”

Montgomery has a salary of $6 million and is eligible for arbitration next winter. Bader and Montgomery are eligible for free agency after the 2023 season.

Allen was 1 of 14 this season for Oakland and hit .271 with five home runs and 26 RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas. Guarate, 21, is 5-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 12 starts and seven relief appearances for Class A Palm Beach.

Notes: New York optioned RHP Carlos Espinal at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and activated C Ben Rortvedt from the 60-Day IL and optioned him for the RailRiders.

Neal T. Doss