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Yankees, Mariners agree to Jesus Montero-for-Michael Pineda swap

Jan 13, 2012, 7:51 PM EDT

New York Yankees Jesus Montero hits a two-run single against the Baltimore Orioles  in New York

UPDATE: Greg Johns of was told by a team source that the Mariners are sending Michael Pineda and 19-year-old right-hander Jose Campos to the Yankees for Jesus Montero and right-hander Hector Noesi.

It’s easy to say the Mariners should have just signed Prince Fielder and kept Pineda, but perhaps this was an acknowledgement that it was never a realistic possibility. Safeco Field is one of the worst stadiums in baseball for right-handed hitters, but the 22-year-old Montero at least has power to the opposite field. He will presumably be the primary designated hitter in Seattle, though it’s possible they could try him behind the plate.

Pineda, who turns 23 next Wednesday, posted a 3.74 ERA and 173/55 K/BB ratio over 171 innings as a rookie with the Mariners last season. This included a 2.92 ERA at home and a 4.40 ERA on the road. Still, the Yankees now have yet another cheap, young pitcher with upside to put behind ace CC Sabathia for the next few years. Campos, who had a 2.32 ERA and 85/13 K/BB ratio over 81 1/3 innings at Low-A last season, is yet another option down the road.

Montero was projected to the Yankees’ designated hitter this season, so it will be interesting to see where Brian Cashman turns in the next few days. With Alex Rodriguez likely to need more DH time over the next few years, do they go for a short-term solution like Johnny Damon or Carlos Pena? Or do they intensify their pursuit for Yoenis Cespedes or perhaps even make a play Prince Fielder? Interesting times.

7:42 PM: According to Jon Heyman of, the Mariners have indeed acquired Jesus Montero from the Yankees for Michael Pineda. He adds that there are additional players in the deal. Wow.

7:30 PM: Here’s a juicy one.

According to Jerry Crasnick of, the Mariners are moving closer to a trade  for a “young impact hitter.” No word on who they might be talking to, but Crasnick was told that it’s a “significant trade” and that closer Brandon League is not going in the other direction.

Nothing confirmed here, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times is hearing rumblings that the Mariners could be sending young right-hander Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero.

That would be a doozy. Stay tuned.

  1. APBA Guy - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Montero for Pineda certainly sounds entertaining, butthe last time th mariners described someone as a “young impact hitter” it turned out to be Justin Smoak.

    • Alex K - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      Giving up on Smoak a little early, I think. He was hurt a lot of last year.

    • damnyankee13 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      not familiar with Smaok, but I remember when yall got Jay Buhner from us. He was good, Dont remember who we got from you , tho, so I guess yall made out on that deal.

      • klingonj - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:14 PM

        ken phelps. another great “I got you the peenat trade by George Steinbrenner in the years before he was suspened. Thank God that Stick Micheal and others were left alone for 2 years and built the Yankees dynasty

  2. tigers182 - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Delmon Young?

  3. dondada10 - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    If it’s Pineda for Montero straight up I’d have to say the Yankees are winning that one.

  4. proudlycanadian - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Pineda for Montero makes sense to me. The big losers would be the free agent starters who are hoping that the Yankees might be their landing place. If this trade took place, A. J. would probably be in his last season in New York.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      The Jays are also a possibility as they have the PCL batting champ and a surplus outfielder available to trade.

    • pisano - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      One can only hope this is AJ’s last year in NY, but myself I hope last year was his last year there, meaning maybe some NL team will take his sorry ass before the season starts.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:03 AM

        With Kuroda now on board, AJ should be toast. A great day for the Yankees. The Evil Empire has struck back.

  5. mydadyourmom - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Terrible terrible trade for the M’s. Just brutal.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      Payback for Ken Phelps.

  6. jints3bowls - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    THIS IS AWFUL! Mariners are you kidding me????? Montero is years away from being an “impact hitter”. Another terrible move on the Mariners….Pineda is a great young talent, well done….once again the Yankees give us trash for our treasure. I’m disgusted by this move…Pineda, a guy who has over a strike out per inning in 170 something innings last year for a guy who played 18 games in the majors.

    • hammyofdoom - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      okay I can understand you not liking this trade, but in his small amount of time in the majors at age 22 he DID hit .328, have a .406 OBP and slug nearly .600. That was only in 18 games, but trust me, this guy CAN hit and he will be an impact bat way sooner rather than later

  7. jints3bowls - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    There better be other players involved in this….

  8. hammyofdoom - Jan 13, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    GODDAMN YANKEES. I’m not going to look forward to seeing the Red Sox face them this coming year, they have a lot of good young pitching now.

    • damnyankee13 - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      we dont need the profanity.
      Actually, I am looking forward to the red sox and Yankees this year.:]
      said the spider to the fly
      and we got Kuroda!

  9. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Montero’s a great prospect but I think Pineda is one of the best young SP’s in the game. Seattle got fleeced.

  10. randygnyc - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Unbelievable deal for the Yankees. DH’s are a dime a dozen. How many arms like pineda’s in the world? 2 dozen?

    • Kevin S. - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      DHs may be a dime a dozen, but not ones that hit like Montero. And Pineda gives up a metric crapton of fly balls. Not sure a righty fly-ball pitcher can thrive long-term in NYS.

  11. baseballisboring - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!

    • baseballisboring - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      This deal may not look great for Seattle…but their offense has been embarrassingly bad for the last several years. Now with Montero, Ackley, Smoak (who I’m still a believer in) they have a few pieces to develop into a good lineup while Hultzen and some of their other minor league arms develop. Guys like Pineda aren’t something you come across every day, but neither are bats like Montero. I’d still call this one a win for the Yanks, but for where the Ms are in their organizational outlook, I don’t think it’s atrocious. But I can’t help but feel like they’d have been better off trading for like, 3 good hitters instead of one great one.

  12. farvite - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    What? Were Brien Taylor, Ruben Rivera, Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes not available??!

    FAIL Jack Z. You’ve lost me now.

  13. bry2j316 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Why do you give up a guy with an arm to win Cy Young’s for a right handed catcher who can’t catch who has never hit more than 21 home runs anywhere. He is supposed to come to Safeco and improve? Montero is a typical over-hyped Yankee prospect.

  14. mashoaf - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    This trade paves the way for the Felix Hernandez to the Yankees trade that will happen in the near future.

  15. randygnyc - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    This kinda smoothes out the wrinkle of when the Mariners f@cked us on Cliff Lee

  16. kappy32 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    How in the world does this pave the way for Hernandez to NY? It actually hurts the chance because Montero was their best offensive prospect & the Yankees have continuously stated they are not trading BOTH Bentances & Banuelos. What are the M’s going to trade Felix for? The same low-A player they just sent to the Yanks? When Felix hits the market, every other team in baseball is going to look to add him. The Yanks just traded away a piece that could have separated them from the rest of the pack.

    • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:19 AM

      The Mariners turned down a deal with the Yankees for Banuelos, Betances, and Montero + others for Hernandez, so the Yanks were willing to trade the young B’s.

  17. farvite - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Must be fun to be a Yankee fan.

    Has to feel good to know that even though your farm team sucks you can still pillage 20 or-so other teams.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      It’s almost like the Yankees didn’t give up the best ML-ready hitting prospect in the game, or something.

      Oh, and please find me the prospect guru who thinks the Yankees farm system sucks right now. I’m pretty sure Law, Goldstein, BA and Sickels all had them top-ten last year.

    • bigharold - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      “Must be fun to be a Yankee fan.”

      If the Yankee farm sucks how is that there are two pitchers that everybody is trying to trade for, a couple more catching prospects and the guy they just traded away.

      The Yankees needed pitching the M’s needed hitting and they each traded their best young guy in that role. Seems kind of even aside from the fact that generally pitching has more than hitting, .. unless ,you don’t have hitting.

      You are right about one thing it’s fun to be a Yankee fan,.. especially the last half hour.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 14, 2012 at 8:19 AM

      Sorry but you are flat wrong on this. Their farm system is highly regarded and the M’s just got one of the best hitting prospects in years, on any organization.

      Montero CAN hit. Period. The issue remains, and the reason for him being traded, is that he’s just not that good as a catcher. The Yanks were obviously concerned about his defense and didn’t want to clog DH as the old dudes on the right side of the infield will need a break once or twice a week at DH.

  18. uyf1950 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I love this deal for the Yankees. Not only do they get a very, very good young arm that should immediately help the rotation.

    But it gives them the payroll flexibility for the FA class of 2013 to sign either Hamels or Cain should they still be available and still be able to get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold for 2014.

    Like I said I like this deal a lot for the Yankees short and long term.

  19. dubitodd123 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Hell of a trade for Ny and mariners both Geting what they need Ny wins the trade by a little

  20. dubitodd123 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:43 PM


  21. washstnative - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I think the Yankees consider the Mariners their 4A Farm club. (Probably the rest of the league as well) how many decent young players are the M’s going to give away. I mean the last decent thing the M’s got from the Yanks was… Jay Buhner.

    • damnyankee13 - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      how many trades have the yankees and mariners made?

    • jgeek85 - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Cliff lee for Justin smoak is better than Pineda for montero?? What was the last thing the Yankees got from mariners any way…stop blaming the Yankees for your failures and focus more on your team…not in million years were these mariners gonna be able to develop talent like the be thankful you got montero in this trade and think about Justin smoak for cliff lee trade…I mean you trade your ace to a division rival for a below average player and blame the Yankees for making M’s their 4a team…

  22. farvite - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    I enjoyed Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock……………… /sarcasm

  23. Reflex - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM


    I don’t say that often, but oh baby this was a great move for the M’s.

    I’m not even a fan, but living here I’d like to see the locals be a bit more exciting. They f’ing fleeced the Yanks on this one.

    Pineda is one of the dreaded ‘Inverted W’ pitchers. He already had to have his elbow reconstructed. His shoulder will be next. I give him no more than two years. Yanks may not care, Montero isn’t really necessary to their plans and two years of a near ace like Pineda is worth it for a no-defence all bat guy like Montero. But for the M’s, they might have just got thier Edgar Martinez replacement. Their system is deep in young pitching, and Pineda is a known high injury risk. Dealing him for an elite hitting prospect is a no-brainer.

  24. Dom Fruges - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    One season doesn’t make someone a super star. I think the Yankees sent off two good players on a wing and a prayer. Also makes me wonder how much influence Joe Girardi had in this. Montero was much better hitter than the next ranking prospect. So, Yankees go with defense prospect — Joe G. was a defensive guy. Noisi was fine prospect too. Look for this to bite Yankees in the butt.

  25. kinggw - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    I dont know why most people are assuming the Yankees won this trade. It seems pretty even to me. Pineda has great stuff, but keep in mind he pitched in Seattle. How will he do in the hitters paradise known as Yankee stadium? I believe Montero is a bit overrated, but so is Pineda so this looks like a push to me.

    • Reflex - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      Pineda’s home ERA: 2.93
      Pineda’s road ERA: 4.40

      His one start at Fenway: 7ER

      Seriously, this was the definition of selling high. I was calling for the M’s to have the courage to deal Pineda all year, I’m thrilled to see they did it.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        more information, please note the super small sample size, but it’s all we have at the MLB level

        H – 9.58 K/9, 3.27 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9(!), 0.181 BAA, 0.220 BABIP
        A – 8.71 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, 0.86 HR?9, 0.231 BAA, 0.286 BABIP

        H – 3.62 FIP, 3.51 xFIP
        A – 3.26 FIP, 3.55 xFIP

        Compared to last year’s Yankee starters:
        FIP – 2nd behind CC (2.88) and well ahead of Colon (3.83)
        xFIP – 2nd behind CC (3.02) and just ahead of Colon (3.57)

      • Reflex - Jan 14, 2012 at 4:23 AM

        Sure, if you want to go with “He’s a bit better than Bartolo Colon” I’ll give you that. I haven’t said he wasn’t an upgrade for the Yanks. I have said, however, that he’s not an ace, he is an injury risk, and giving up the best hitting prospect in the game for him was a bit of a stretch. Especially given his injury history, his splits, and his flyball tendencies.

        If you think a pitcher who is a bit better than Bartolo Colon is worth the best hitting prospect in the game, hey, its your opinion I guess.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 14, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        Rank vs AL Pitchers last year:
        FIP – 12
        xFIP – 9
        tERA – 8
        SIERA – 8

        Is he the best pitcher in baseball, no. But come on, he had a really good year last year at age 22.

        I have no idea if he’s an injury risk or not. Most of the inverted W stuff is ex post facto comments. Please provide a few examples where it happened before the injury and everyone was talking about it.

      • Reflex - Jan 14, 2012 at 8:50 PM

        Might want to read Chris O’Leary’s site. He called out several breakdowns before they happened(such as Strasberg). Furthermore, the way you identify the source of a problem is you look at the problem and find a common thread. Granted corrolation is not causation, but it builds credibility for a given theory.

        Its hard to find a inverted W or inverted L pitcher who does not break down, usually severely. But certain other motions tend to be durable. This is not rocket science. Furthermore, in this specific case, Pineda has already had the first breakdown that tends to corrolate to his motion(elbow). The shoulder usually goes next, 2-4 years later, depending on workload.

        I didn’t think much of it either until someone pointed out to me that my boy Wainwright was using it and due for the breakdown. And then it happened. And then he came back, and two years later it went down again.

        Lost in all the news off ‘pitchers get hurt a lot’ is the fact that a lot of pitchers, most in fact, *never* face serious injury. While there is of course biological variation between human beings, at the same time anyone familiar with RSI injuries knows that certain motions repeated over and over will harm a human badly. Why shouldn’t we be looking at the motions athletes make rather than only the motions factory workers or keyboard jockeys make?

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