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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. klingonj - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    I remember the Phelps trade and the thought at the time was we swindled the Mariners. I hope this isn’t a repeat.

  2. farvite - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I remember the day the Ms shipped Tino and Nelly to NY.. I thought boy MLB sucks…. This feels exactly the same..

  3. rcali - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Just not fair.

  4. randygnyc - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Fair? And revenue sharing is fair? We gotta pay our bills AND yours too?

    • marinersnate - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:08 AM

      And having no salary cap is fair too, a system where the Yankees have more money than the rest and can simply buy all the best players. Yes, that is fair.

      • jgeek85 - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Best players…Albert pujols, prince fielder, cliff lee, Yu darvish, yeah Yankees did outbid everyone else

  5. btwicey - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Hopefully this will give Paxton a better chance of nabbing that spot, kids ready.

  6. spudchukar - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Probably a swap of high profile prospects that will have marginally successful careers due to flaws. The acquisition of Noesi, may be the piece that endures.

  7. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Well, Montero was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people loved Michael Pineda’s arm. They kept saying “Pineda, Pineda.”

  8. drewsylvania - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

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

    This is what gets me. They could have had Montero for 3 months of Cliff Lee. Instead, they gave up 5 years of Michael Pineda.

    Montero is ready to hit now, and should turn into a force in the middle of the lineup. But the emphasis is on “should”. Pineda has shown that he’s awesome in the bigs NOW. While it’s possible Montero won’t pan out. Plus, Montero is a DH. The Yankees know this–did JZ not get the memo that the guy can’t catch?

    This is not the type of deal a smart Mariners GM pulls.

  9. randygnyc - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Cashman’s response to seatle backing out of their deal, which cash suggested had been agreed upon, was the harshest criticism I’d ever read in print, using terms like underhanded and unethical. I feared these communications would be blocked for many years. Troublesome because beyond cliff lee, we’d also like to trade for Felix. Pineda, a young, successful and developing arm, will always be infinitely more valuable than a positionless, prospect, hitter. And personally, I prefer Cervelli way more as a backup than montero, with his hands of stone and feet mired in cement.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      Cervelli’s not that good back there, but he’s much better than Montero’s “unacceptable”.

  10. athleticproject - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Here are my thoughts from my blog.

    Basically, both teams fill needs, but Montero not having a position takes away some value. Can’t believe Pineda was traded. Would be nice to receive feedback. Thanks!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Good article, thanks for the link. Unfortunately everyone and their brother is writing about it so it’ll get lost amongst the crowd. But good read.

  11. buffalomafia - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Next Prince Feilder!

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