Rapid Reaction: Montero for Pineda
January, 13, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
THE DEAL: Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi have been shipped to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for 22-year-old phenom starting pitcher Michael Pineda and righty prospect Jose Campos, a source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
FIRST IMPULSE: You win with pitching, not hitting. The Yankees are betting Pineda is the real thing. There was a time during this past season when he was outpitching Felix Hernandez. Through July 4, Pineda was 9-8 with a 2.58 ERA. He was striking out nearly a batter per inning (106 in 108 innings). Then, apparently, he tired out.
So, just like Montero, Pineda has shown flashes of true greatness. The Yankees think there is more where those first three months came from.
MONTE, WE HARDLY KNEW YE: Yankees fans had to be excited about Montero's bat. He looked like a young Miguel Cabrera. But he was never going to be Joe Girardi's type of catcher if he ever caught in the majors. And the Yankees know they can get a bat to replace his production, if need be. Montero might be an All-Star hitter for years to come.
NO-NO: The Yankees have been talking up Noesi. A danger of the deal is that Noesi could end up better than Pineda. Of course, the Yankees don't think so. Meanwhile, Campos was in Class A baseball last year. He is just 19. He posted a 2.32 ERA last season.
THE VERDICT: If Pineda had been hyped through the Yankees' system, I think you would be jazzed about him. That said, it is tough to not watch Montero hit. It was fun while it lasted. It is all a guess given the players' inexperience, but you want to get the best pitcher in a deal. The Yankees think they did.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: Do you like the deal?