Wow. What can I say? I arrived home not just a half an hour ago to see my computer showing me the Yankees have traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda. The Mariners will also receive Hector Noesi and the Yankees will get Jose Campos. A prospect who’s in the works as of now. That isn’t the big news though. Here are my initial reactions to the trade:
NO! There’s zero way the Yankees traded away Jesus Montero! He was going to be our future catcher and a future superstar! Montero hit very well in Yankee Stadium in his limited time. I checked his stats ever since big time prospect sites were hyping him up. I never followed a prospect so close in my life. Now I feel betrayed. Cashman if you wanted a Seattle pitcher you got the wrong one. The pitcher we all wanted was Felix Hernandez. Perhaps the only pitcher I was willing to see on the Yankees in exchange for Montero.
In 69 plate appearances Montero had a triple slash of .328/.406/.590 with a wOBA of .421. Not too bad. Actually that’s amazing. A reason I really didn’t want to let him go. But then…
Maybe this was a decent deal that will work out for both teams. The Yankees desperately needed a #2 pitcher behind CC Sabathia. They got that with Pineda. Pineda’s also young, at 22 years of age. Montero is also very young, but at least we have control of a young potential ace. With Montero we had a crowded position at either catcher or DH where he wouldn’t see the field as much as he should.
Now the Yankees can either keep Martin around a while longer, or hope Romine or Sanchez develop into major league ready catchers. The Yankees can also put an aging Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in the DH role when needed. This fills an immediate need, but it also helps the Yankees build for the future.
About an hour later, I’m loving this deal. You know what it would of taken to get Felix Hernandez? Betances, Banuelos, and Montero at the very least. That would kill the Yankees farm system completely and would give them little to work with over the next decade. It’s actually true the Yankees tried pulling that deal off, but the Mariners declined. Good thing for the Yankees because I consider that a horrible deal for New York. With this deal the Yankees now have a future.
Pineda, Betances, Banuelos, and even Campos can all be potential aces. This is very wishful thinking because prospects don’t always turn out how you want them, but it can happen. Or at least they can be productive pitchers for the Yankees. Add CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova and we have a rotation for the next decade. Management is looking deep into the future here. The Yankees know to win World Series you need excellent starting pitching. In the Yankees case pitchers who let up under 4-5 runs a game.
As for my opinion of Pineda’s game? Well Pineda should fair very well in pinstripes. Yankee Stadium is kinder to strikeout pitchers than fly ball pitchers. So I’m glad Pineda has a 9.11 K/9. His ERA may rise a little, but a lot of pitchers have the same problem when getting to Yankee Stadium. For Montero I wish him the best. The idea of him being a home run hitter is gone though. Safeco field is a pitchers park. For him to live up to the power expectations he’s going to need to have Miguel Cabrera like seasons.
My final point is it’s much easier to pick up a hitter than a pitcher. The Yankees scrapped together something last year in the starting pitching department and were lucky it panned out. Who expected Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to pitch so well? Rumor is the Yankees will go after Carlos Pena, according to Heyman. With the Red Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays all getting better this off-season we needed to make some noise. It appears the Yankees are back to making headlines. Oh look they just signed Kuroda.