Quick Bit: The Sporting News examines five potential landing spots for Oakland starter Frankie Montas.

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One of the biggest arms on the MLB trade deadline market is Athletics ace Frankie Montas. The 29-year old has been one of the few shining lights for the A’s in a horrid season. Montas has a 3.16 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings pitched.

That means Montas is on pace for a season that’s very similar to his 2021 campaign, when he finished sixth in American League Cy Young voting.

Good pitchers are worth their weight in gold. And given the A’s history of selling high-value assets (see Matt Olson and Matt Chapman for recent confirmation), it seems Montas is destined for new pastures sooner rather than later.

Here are five potential landing spots for Frankie Montas, one of the game’s most underrated arms.

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Yankees

When it comes to acquiring talent at the deadline, which team comes close to the Bronx Bombers? They have the farm system to bring in nearly any player — there’s a reason why they’re being linked to the likes of Juan Soto, Bryan Reynolds, Andrew Benintendi and Ian Happ, among others.

So why Montas? Well, Nestor Cortes has had a phenomenal season, but he still came into it having never logged more than 93 innings in a single campaign. He’s at 101 innings at the time of writing. It’s also never a bad idea to get additional help in the rotation and lighten everyone’s load.

Also, right-hander Luis Severino is slated for a lengthy spell on the IL after experiencing right shoulder tightness prior to the All-Star break. Severino has filthy stuff; his Statcast profile is quite favorable, with an xERA, xWOBA, xBA K% and fastball velocity all well above league average.

Still, he pitched in just three games in 2019, missed all of 2020 with Tommy John surgery and returned to pitch in just four games in 2021.

Montas could help carry the burden as the Yanks push towards postseason play.

Braves

At 59-40, Atlanta could probably stick to its guns and stand pat before the deadline. But the allure of adding Montas, a frontline starter in every sense, to an already impressive rotation could make GM Alex Anthopoulos think about a move.

Montas’ chase rate is in the 89th percentile in MLB, according to Statcast. That’s better than all but one member of Atlanta’s rotation (Max Fried). Montas has a unique skill set that could mesh well with Fried, Charlie Morton, Spencer Strider and Kyle Wright.

Ian Anderson has struggled this year, posting a 5.31 ERA. If Atlanta is willing to part with the former top prospect, it’s easy to imagine Oakland would accept, especially given the current timelines of both franchises.

Oh, and adding Montas could keep him out the hands of another NL East team (see below).

Mets

When talking about prospect pools, few teams can match what the Mets can offer. They have Francisco Alvarez, the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, waiting in the wings. They also have Brett Baty, a top-20 prospect in his own right.

And, more than that, they’re in win-now mode. The additions of Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar in the offseason proved as much.

The Metropolitans are flying high at 60-37 and lead the NL East. But they only have a two-game edge over Atlanta, a team they are slated to play 12 more times this season.

Adding Montas can help deliver New York an NL East crown. New York doesn’t want to bring back two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom too quickly from a stress fracture, and Scherzer has had his own injury problems this season, missing a sizable chunk of the first half with an oblique injury.

With that loaded prospect pool and a desire to win as soon as possible, the Mets are as good a choice as any to win the Montas sweepstakes.

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Dodgers

The Dodgers’ player development model is among the true crown jewels of baseball. Perhaps it can help them net another top player on an underperforming team.

Much like the Yankees, it can be argued that LA doesn’t need help. The rotation has Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin, three pitchers putting together sub-3.00 ERA seasons.

But you can never have too much pitching. And with Walker Buehler set to miss much of the second half of the season, rotation help certainly would be appreciated.

This is what the Dodgers do, after all. And with another crop of youngsters — headlined by catcher Diego Cartaya (No. 13 prospect in baseball) and right-hander Bobby Miller (No. 26 prospect in baseball) — making waves in the minor leagues, it seems as good a time as any for them to cash in and add a little more to that vaunted starting staff.

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Twins

Minnesota doesn’t quite have the same allure as the other teams mentioned in this list. But with a 2.5-game edge over the second-place Guardians in the AL Central, the Twins are in prime position to secure only their fourth postseason appearance since 2011.

Montas has been routinely linked with Minnesota since the lockout ended. In fact, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported in March that the Twins’ front office was gearing up to make an offer for Montas or former A’s starter Sean Manaea.

Manaea isn’t in Oakland anymore, long ago dealt to the Padres. Montas won’t be there much longer. And although Minnesota made strides in the rotation before the season — it added Sonny Gray in March — adding Montas in July or August might be what it takes to outlast the Guardians and White Sox.

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