The Yankees' Pineda play

Updated: January 14, 2012, 10:19 AM ET
By Buster Olney

If Yankees executives are a little anxious this morning, you wouldn't blame them. Nineteen months ago, they agreed to a deal for what they viewed as a difference-making pitcher, and the swap seemed so assured that one club official told everyone he bumped into at the Yankees' complex in Florida that everything was finished. But at the 24th hour, the trade was blown up; Cliff Lee was the pitcher in that proposed pitcher, Jesus Montero was the trade bait, and the team that pulled out, of course, was the Seattle Mariners.

Once again, the Yankees are in that twilight zone situation: They've agreed to trade Montero for what they believe will be a difference-making pitcher, Michael Pineda -- who turns 23 in four days -- and physical examinations are pending; the deal may not be announced, officially, until next week.

But the Mariners and Yankees have been talking about this deal for months. Presumably, there won't be any seller's remorse in Seattle, despite the strong initial reaction from rival GMs that the framework of the proposed deal -- Pineda and Campos for Jesus Montero and the underrated Hector Noesi -- is an extraordinary trade for the Yankees, who also have signed Hiroki Kuroda.