The Oakland Athletics entered a rebuilding process during the offseason, setting their minds in cutting payroll.
They let go of Mark Canha, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, and other players via free agency, and traded Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt, and Sean Manaea.
Rival executives and national media believe they only have one really big trade piece remaining on their roster, and it’s their Opening Day starter, Frankie Montas.
The 29-year-old right-hander is seen as a more valuable commodity than, say, Manaea, who is slated to enter free agency after the season.
Not only is Montas a better pitcher than Manaea, but he is also under team control for an extra year after 2022 at a reasonable price (to be determined in arbitration).
The Phillies Are Scoring Early And Often Against Montas
However, if Opening Day is any indication, is value isn’t getting any higher.
“4-0 Phillies in the third. Maybe Frankie Montas is trying to stay in Oakland by depressing his own trade value,” A’s writer Steve Berman, who covers the team for The Athletic, tweeted on Friday afternoon after Montas’ rough start against the Philadelphia Phillies.
4-0 Phillies in the third. Maybe Frankie Montas is trying to stay in Oakland by depressing his own trade value.
— Steve Berman (@BASportsGuy) April 8, 2022
At the time of Berman’s tweet, the game was 4-0 Phillies.
However, at the moment of writing this article, it was 5-1 Philadelphia, and Montas had allowed all five runs in four innings of work.
He had also conceded six hits and one walk, while striking out five foes.
The big blows were a Kyle Schwarber home run in the first frame and a Rhys Hoskins two-run single in the third.
Montas, who had a very solid 3.37 ERA in 187 innings last season, is talented enough to rebound and avoid the fate Berman joked about: remaining in Oakland.
But his first start hasn’t been pretty.