Yankees lefty Montgomery joins Cole on sideline with COVID-19

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — New York Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery tested positive for COVID-19, a day after fellow starter Gerrit Cole was sidelined by the virus.

General manager Brian Cashman revealed Montgomery’s positive test during a radio interview before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

The All-Star ace Cole was expected to start, but manager Aaron Boone revealed the right-hander’s positive test after a 7-1 loss to the Orioles. Cole was replaced by top prospect Luis Gil, who makes his major league debut.

Montgomery and Cole, who share the team lead with 21 starts apiece, will be out at least 10 days unless they draw two negative test results. Montgomery’s most recent start was Sunday, when he had a no-decision in a 3-1 win over Miami.

The positive tests came after the Yankees returned from a weeklong trip to Florida, which is among the states experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

At least 85% of New York’s players are vaccinated. Boone says he believes it’s up to the players to decide whether they want the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think the right thing to do is to be vaccinated,” Boone said. “I’ve said that a number of times, but in the end it’s up to individuals.”

All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge, infielder Gio Urshela and catcher Kyle Higashioka have tested positive since the All-Star break, as have pitchers Wandy Peralta and Jonathan Loisaga.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.