Yankees Land Michael Pineda, Don’t Pay Retail

A few hours ago, news broke that the Yankees finally shipped Jesus Montero to Seattle for their premium right-handed starting pitcher. However, despite a couple of years of rumors and suggestions, Felix Hernandez is not the one donning pinstripes – the Yankees landed 23-year-old (in five days, anyway) Michael Pineda instead.

While Pineda isn’t King Felix, he’s a pretty terrific young pitcher in his own right. He jumped directly into the Mariners rotation out of spring training last year and was good enough to make the All-Star team in his rookie season. And, while Safeco Field is a nice place for a rookie pitcher to learn his craft, Pineda did most of the good work on his own.

Among qualified AL starting pitchers last year, only Brandon Morrow and Justin Verlander posted a higher strikeout rate than Pineda, who whiffed 24.9% of the batters he faced. His K% was better than David Price, CC Sabathia, and yes, even Felix. Pineda’s live fastball and willingness to live up in the strike zone led to a lot of swinging strikes, and that had nothing to do with the park he played in.

Lots of young pitchers can throw hard and rack up strikeouts, however. What sets Pineda apart is his impeccable command at such a young age. 66 percent of the pitches he threw last year were strikes, and his 7.9% BB% was below the league average. It is highly uncommon to see a kid with that kind of live arm arrive in the Major Leagues pounding the zone, but that’s exactly what Pineda did. 94-97 MPH fastballs to get ahead, and then an out-pitch slider or a fastball out of the zone with two strikes to get the K. It was a recipe for success, and Pineda used his command of those two pitches to establish himself as one of the game’s best young starting pitchers.

So, while he’s not perfect (his change-up is lousy and left-handers can still jump on him from time to time), Yankees fans should be thrilled with their new addition. And, given the price that other young arms have been fetching this winter, they should be even more thrilled with the cost.

Pineda is the third quality young arm to get traded this winter, following the trades that shipped Gio Gonzalez to Washington and Mat Latos to Cincinnati. Given that both pitchers come with one fewer year of team control and lack Pineda’s dominating fastball, a strong case could be made that the Yankees new starter is the most valuable asset of the three guys that were moved. However, compared to the other two packages surrendered, the Yankees didn’t really pay much of a premium to get Pineda, and one could even make an argument that they gave up less value overall than what the Reds surrendered to get Latos.

Jesus Montero is a good prospect, no doubt. I like him less than most, but he’s clearly a valuable trade chip. Given his strong Major League performance and the lingering hope among some folks that he might stick at catcher, he’s more valuable than any single piece surrendered in either the Latos or Gonzalez deals. But, in both of those trades, the acquiring team not only had to part with a top 50 prospect, but they also had to include several other pieces of value as well. In the Reds case, Yonder Alonso had to be accompanied by another top 100 prospect in Yasmani Grandal, a solid Major League ready relief arm in Brad Boxberger, and an interesting buy-low Major League starter in Edinson Volquez. Those secondary pieces by themselves would be enough to land a good Major League player, and they had to serve as add-ons to Alonso in order to acquire Latos.

For the Yankees, however, not only did they not have to surrender multiple prospects along with Montero, the value of the secondary players in the trade might actually lean in favor of New York.

Hector Noesi is a Major League ready arm with good command and impressive minor league performances, but not everyone is convinced the secondary stuff is good enough to keep him in the rotation long term. He pitched fairly well for New York out of the bullpen last year, but his strikeout rate against RHBs (23.1%) was nearly double his rate against LHBs (12.8%). If he loses a tick off his fastball in a transition back to the rotation, he could profile more as a back-end starter or good setup guy. There’s certainly value in that, especially to a team like the Mariners who play in a big park and generally run out good defensive clubs, but Noesi isn’t a super high upside arm.

Campos, on the other hand, could be special. While he’s nowhere close to the Majors, having spent the season in the short-season Northwest League as a 19-year-old, he regularly sat in the mid-90s and showed terrific command of one very plus pitch. His secondary stuff is raw, as you’d expect from a kid with minimal experience, but he’s a live arm who throws strikes and was rated the third best prospect in his league, despite playing against a group of players with college experience. Campos is the riskiest of all prospects – an undeveloped pitching prospect who is years from the big leagues – but has undeniable upside, and could turn out to be a very valuable piece in his own right.

Whether you prefer Campos’ upside or Noesi’s proximity to the Majors, it’s clear that the other pieces in this deal don’t skew heavily towards Seattle’s side. In reality, the Mariners really only got Montero for Pineda, while the A’s and Padres were able to get packages of young talent in return for their young arms.

Maybe Montero’s good enough by himself to justify being the sole piece of value, but based on what other teams were paying for good young pitching this winter, I would have expected the Yankees to have to surrender a bit more than they gave up. The Yankees should not only be happy to have added a big time arm to their rotation, but should be excited that they didn’t have to decimate the farm system in order to do it.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Um
Guest
Um
4 years 6 months ago

I feel so weird. I dunno what to say. I guess I’ll say #6 org!

Bill
Guest
Bill
4 years 6 months ago

I hate the stupid #6org stuff, but I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that Jack Z is not a good GM. In fact, he’s starting to look a lot more like Steve Phillips than Billy Beane. This is a terrible trade any way you slice it. Ed Wade wouldn’t have made this deal.

jack
Guest
jack
4 years 6 months ago

dave love how b/f montero was a mariner you say hes nothing more than delmon young but in your uss mariner write up you ignore that and go to the miguel cabrera comparisons he has gotten

johnnybaseballs
Member
johnnybaseballs
4 years 6 months ago

Maybe you should comment on that article. Try using punctuation too. It’s fairly useful.

David
Guest
David
4 years 6 months ago

Montero is Dave’s BF?

Basil Ganglia
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Basil Ganglia
4 years 6 months ago

There’s a wonderful aphorism that has proved it’s value over many years: “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” I think “jack” would be well advised to keep that aphorism close at hand.

MC
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MC
4 years 6 months ago

This tiff can be solved in only one way: pull your pants down and get your penises measured by a third party neutral.

Big Baby
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Big Baby
4 years 6 months ago

Between Pineda and Montero, which is the better player, in a vacuum?

Dork
Guest
Dork
4 years 6 months ago

Hoover or Dyson?

James Gentile
Member
4 years 6 months ago

Neither. For one there is no air and iIm not a physicist but I think they would explode? it would just be two exploded bodies and guts everywhere not playing baseball very well.

Mets' Fan
Guest
Mets' Fan
4 years 6 months ago

JDanger, the name of your blog is so awesome… UZRIllusion for those too lazy to hover.

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

This is one time you’re letting your fandom get in the way, Dave. While Pineda and Ramos are exciting talents, Montero is perhaps the best hitter in a generation. Think dare I say it, Edgar Martinez good. There’s no question you guys needed the offense and Montero is perhaps the youngest and best hitter available. The chances that even DH outlast a young pitcher or two is pretty high.

That’s perhaps the biggest downer for me. Having lived through Javier Vaquez 1.0, I worry greatly about this deal in three or four years. Pineda is more likely to be completely lost, especially against lefties in Yankee Stadium. Ramos is so far removed he could just as easily wind up a “closer”. And the Yankees are so bad at developing and recognizing pitching, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this deal as a total dud while Montero is a stud.

Joe D
Guest
Joe D
4 years 6 months ago

Comparing a guy with 70 ML ABs under his belt to Edgar Martinez is patently ludicrous. Absolutely everything is going to have to click right for Montero to sniff Edgar’s jock…

I don’t think people realize how insanely productive Edagr was…

We’ll have to look at this one in five years, I suppose, to get a better handle on it, but right now I think Cash swung a really slick deal…

Even if it somehow winds up a “fair value” swap, the Yanks are making the right move by moving a guy with no positional value to them for a guy who feels an immediate and pressing need. And since both are under team control for a good long while, they’re not giving up much at all in the way of cash in order to do it.

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

Perhaps, but which young hitter available for six years of team control is better? He doesn’t need to be Edgar good to be plenty valuable. Even 20 WAR in 6 years, how many young pitchers reach that threshold?

Montero brought young offense to an aging Yankee lineup. And got all of 2 ABs in an ALDS they lost three games by four runs.

Joe D
Guest
Joe D
4 years 6 months ago

“Perhaps, but which young hitter available for six years of team control is better? He doesn’t need to be Edgar good to be plenty valuable. Even 20 WAR in 6 years, how many young pitchers reach that threshold?”

You have Montero averaging 3.3 WAR per season as a DH…

According to Fangraphs definition of primary DHs…
In 2011, two DHs amassed at least 3.3 WAR, Michael Young (.380/.474/854) and David Ortiz (.398/.554/946).

In 2010, no DHs did.

In 2009, one DH did: Adam Lind (.370/.562/932)

In 2008, two DHs did: Milton Bradley (.436/.563/999) and Aubrey Huff (.360/.552/912).

Jesus Montero repeated triple-A last season and posted a .348/.467/814 line. He did have an 870 OPS the year before.

I love me some Jesus, and I think he’s a very special hitter… but the assumptions of what he can pull off are off the charts given what he has actually accomplished, and the incredibly high threshold a DH has to reach to provide that kind of value.

Tyler
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Tyler
4 years 6 months ago

The Yanks are “so bad” at developing and recognize pitching? I’ll give you Joba, but Pettite and Rivera are definitely bums.

Roll Call
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Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

Pettitte and Rivera weren’t developed by Cashman and his peons. He’s been in charge there for now 15 years. Two years from Wang and one from Nova doesn’t cut it.

Now they’ll turn Ramos into a reliever and who’s to say Pineda will stay healthy and effective?

Kazinski
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Kazinski
4 years 6 months ago

That was 20 years ago.

Rob
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Rob
4 years 6 months ago

Ian Kennedy, Nova, Robertson, Hughes…

jscape2000
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jscape2000
4 years 6 months ago

Adding to Rob…
Karstens (MLB with Yanks), McCutchen (AAA), Ohlendorf (MLB), Clippard (MLB).
I understand that not everyone can immediately win 12 (Pettitte), 8 (Wang) or 16 (Nova) games. And I understand this means the “fan” base must immediately clamor for better players in the off-season. But I would not hold it again Cashman for giving in to the clamor.

Jim
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Jim
4 years 6 months ago

Oh, and Roll Call…I think the name that you’re looking for is Jose Campos. Not Ramos–took me a while to try and figure out who the heck you were talking about, and then I figured out that the “Ramos” you were referring to is actually Campos.

Just an FYI. ;)

Raf
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Raf
4 years 6 months ago

Who was the last starter the Yankees developed that had any sort of career before Pettitte came along, Guidry?

cgehring
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cgehring
2 years 5 months ago

Straw man argument. Stop trying to make sense.

Gehring
Guest
Gehring
2 years 5 months ago

With all of the great points Raf and Evan3457 have made on this site over the years, this site should be called, “Faggraphs.”

Hason Jeyward
Member
Hason Jeyward
4 years 6 months ago

“Think dare I say it, Edgar Martinez good.”

lolwut

Did you get linked here from ESPN or something?

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, Heyward was outstanding in 2011. LOL.

Aggie E
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Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

Based off what??? his 60 platoon ABs most of which were at Yankee Stadium. Sound like another delusional Yankee fan…

SpikeSchwartz
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SpikeSchwartz
4 years 6 months ago

the point is that it’s more difficult to come by elite bats than elite arms…. and that is not to mention that the M’s have three A pitching prospects plus Felix on hand… or that just on a 1 for 1 basis it’s far more likely that Pineda breaks down physically more than Montero does.

Great bold deal for the M’s.

Big Baby
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Big Baby
4 years 6 months ago

its harder for the M’s to get elite bats. But its also harder for the Yankees to get elite arms.

MC
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MC
4 years 6 months ago

No one will know how this turns out <5 years from now. If Montero OR Pineda flames out the winner will be clear. If they are both All Stars both teams address needs. If Montero were still in AAA Yankees wouldn't have been able to make this deal. He had 60 flashy ABs and that raised his value quite a bit. That said the Ms are loaded with pitching

MC
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MC
4 years 6 months ago

P.S. For what it’s worth Pineda had a +5 ERA after the all star break last year

ValueArb
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ValueArb
4 years 6 months ago

A guy who was 50th in OPS in his AAA league last year is the next Edgar Martinez? Hmmm…

Ryan
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Ryan
4 years 6 months ago

Did you look at his 1st/2nd half splits?

chuckb
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chuckb
4 years 6 months ago

If Dave was letting his fandom get to him, wouldn’t he be raving about how awesome Montero is? Instead, he states that this trade appears to favor the Yankees. It’s a pretty big stretch to say that’s motivated by Dave’s “fandom”.

Graham
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Graham
4 years 6 months ago

Seriously, no one is batting an eye at @Roll Call claiming Montero is “perhaps the best hitter in a generation?”

Jesus Montero is a very good hitting prospect, no question. But if he had come up in virtually any other system, we wouldn’t be dealing with this ludicrous level of hyperbole. A month ago Yankees fans were all over FG talking about how Lincecum wasn’t worth Montero, for Tebow’s sake.. Montero is a DH who take a step back when repeating AAA and whose sum total of major league experience, however impressive, is 69 at-bats. I’m not disputing that he’s a tremendous hitting prospect, but the hype that’s been coming out of the Bronx has completely jumped the shark at this point.

Graham
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Graham
4 years 6 months ago

ack — *took*

D0nc0smic
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D0nc0smic
4 years 6 months ago

Best hitter in a generation? Now who is letting their fandom get in the way? he hasn’t really proved anything at the major league level and there are several players his age and younger who scouts think are better hitters.

John Roberts
Guest
John Roberts
4 years 6 months ago

Seems to show that execs do seem to value position players more highly than pitchers long term, given that Pineda has established himself, Montero is at the end oh the defensive spectrum, and the secondary peices favor the Yankees.

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

The value young hitting. Prince Fielder generated 24 oWAR in his first six seasons. A pitcher needs to stay healthy and good to reach that same level before free agency. I’d sooner take the bet on the offense and from a DH. The kid can clearly hit.

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

Now Montero is Price Fielder or is it Edgar Martinez? Hank Aaron Next???

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

No, just that young pitchers have a very hard time generating the same value and as consistently. That’s the standard here for Montero. And we’re forgetting about Noesi. Who wants to bet him and Montero combined next year offer more value than Pinedes?

Tyler
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Tyler
4 years 6 months ago

Good unbiased write-up from a guy who is not shy with his Yankee disdain. Good move for both clubs.

McE
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McE
4 years 6 months ago

So much conflicting information.

Pineda has the amazing control, killer fastball, and great K%… except he’s also in the injury nexus, has platoon splits, no third pitch, and is going to a park that favors LHBs. Montero has crazy power and lofty offensive projections… except he probably can’t stay behind the plate and loses a fair amount of value if he has to be slotted at DH. Campos is so, so projectable, but he’s nowhere near the majors. Noesi is so, so near the major, except he’s not very projectable.

As a Mariners fan, I’m trying to absorb all of this information in a way that makes me think we’re getting the better end of the deal. It might just be that two prospects who are overvalued by their fanbases were traded at the absolute peak of their values, and both will go on to have good-but-not-great careers. All I know is that Ackley, Smoak, and Montero is the kind of 2/3/4 that I can waste some time dreaming on a little bit.

Everett
Guest
Everett
4 years 6 months ago

I’m unsure what to think of it, but am cautiously optimistic. Also, I’m stalking you. Email me.

The Ancient Mariner
Guest
The Ancient Mariner
4 years 6 months ago

And Catricala in a year or so. Could be a killer young lineup core . . . but aside from Ackley, no value with the glove.

I would love this deal if it were just Pineda, or Pineda plus a lesser prospect (Chance Ruffin, maybe); but giving up two guys with big fastballs who throw strikes, even if one’s just out of short-season ball, really stings.

Bluebomb
Member
Bluebomb
4 years 6 months ago

I drafted Montero in a non-keeper H2H league thinking he’d get his (ESPN) catcher eligibility in the first month or two of the season. How does his situation change?
1) Will he be the opening day catcher. Miguel Olivo’s offense is downright embarrassing and John Jaso is below average. I think Montero’s bat makes up for him being a defensive liability.
2) How long will it take him to get catcher eligibility (10 games, start or no start) if he’s not recognized as a catcher from the beginning?
3) How will his numbers change? Stats are OBP/HR/SB/RBI/R. The last two will go down due to the crappy lineup. OBP should still be .350+, no? How will his HR numbers change?

Tyler
Guest
Tyler
4 years 6 months ago

Why in the hell was Campos included?

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 6 months ago

Pineda seemed to get figured out pretty dang quick last year, which isn’t too surprising for a 2-pitch pitcher.I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see him struggle changing divisions and home fields.

And if you’re comparing Montero to Alonso, that just means you’re underrating Montero by a huge amount. getting Montero alone is better than that Alonso package combined.

As a jays fan, I’m still upset that we passed up the Yanks’ offer of Montero straight up for Doc, instead of the Drabek/Taylor/D’Arnaud package we ended up with.

Tom
Guest
Tom
4 years 6 months ago

You really rather see halladay in pinstripes and mowing down our hitters multiple times a year?

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 6 months ago

Watching Montero rake yanks’ pitching 18 times per year would have made up for the 3-4 Doc starts we’d have to deal with, I think.

James Gentile
Member
4 years 6 months ago

It most certainly would not.

greenfrog
Guest
greenfrog
4 years 6 months ago

I would rather have d’Arnaud, Gose and Drabek (the net haul for Doc) than Montero. Plus, it’s a lot more fun rooting for Doc in the NL…watching him pitch the Yankees to championship after championship would be a bit hard to take.

RobWood
Member
RobWood
4 years 6 months ago

Greenfrog, Gose was traded from Houston to Toronto for Brett Wallace in July 2010. He wasn’t involved in the Halladay trade. Drabek, D’Arnaud, and Michael Taylor were acquired for Doc.

RobWood
Member
RobWood
4 years 6 months ago

Sorry Greenfrog, just saw the “net haul” part in your post. And since Taylor was swapped for Wallace, who was then swapped for Gose, you are right.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 6 months ago

“I would rather have d’Arnaud, Gose and Drabek (the net haul for Doc) than Montero”

Well, I guess it’s a matter of opinion, but I’ll take the stud prospect over the three good prospects any day. I think the Marcum v. Garza trade returns are a good example here – the one potential stud talent (Lawrie) is much more valuable than the collection of good prospects (Archer/Lee/Guyer/Chirinos). Of course, this depends on how good a GM and scouting department are at assessing talent. Elite talent is just much harder to add than Good talent.

and I don’t think including Gose in that package is really all that fair. AA did manage to salvage that deal somewhat by turning Taylor into Gose, but that really doesn’t change the value of the original package.

mettle
Guest
mettle
4 years 6 months ago

I happen to think Dave is right on the money in this eval and Cashman made Jack Z look like a n00b. I wonder at what point Z’s reputation will actually start to suffer among the community – time will certainly tell on this trade.

The Ancient Mariner
Guest
The Ancient Mariner
4 years 6 months ago

I’m still, in general, very appreciative of Zduriencik; but his reputation started to suffer in a significant way when the FO botched their handling of Lueke’s acquisition.

Monroe
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Monroe
4 years 6 months ago

I’d say the shine came of Jack Z when he gave away Brandon Morrow for Brandon League. Simply indefensible on the day the ink was wet and worse each year since.

Colin
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Colin
4 years 6 months ago

Using the pseudo word “n00b” on fangraphs should result in an immediate ban.

28 this year
Guest
28 this year
4 years 6 months ago

In a vacuum, these deal is tough to grade on who wins. But in terms of the prices of this winter, the Yanks win just for waiting out the market and getting Pineda for a steal compared to Latos and Gonzalez. While Pineda isn’t as proven as those two, his potential is beyond those two and he has more team control compared to those two. On top of that, the Yanks gave up fewer and lesser secondary pieces plus acquired a high upside guy as a secondary piece. Overall, I think both teams did well in a vacuum but looking at this offseason, Jack Z could have done better.

James
Guest
James
4 years 6 months ago

I’m having a hard time understanding how Latos has less potential or a less dominating fastball than Pineda. Pineda may average a higher velocity and Latos is one year older, but otherwise, they seem pretty equivalent, and factoring in track record, Latos is arguably better (although Pineda may have a better mental makeup). I’m guessing the consensus among most observers would be that Latos had a down year last year, and it still was on par with Pineda’s season. I think everyone would agree Latos’s age 22 season was better than Pineda’s age 22 season.

Big Baby
Guest
Big Baby
4 years 6 months ago

AL/NL age, those are the only real arguments for Pineda. Its hard to know which one will have a better career. They are pretty much at the same place in being almost #1s. But Pineda was traded for less.

Graham
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Graham
4 years 6 months ago

The Petco effect and serious concerns about Latos’ durability are also big factors.

James
Guest
James
4 years 6 months ago

I can’t find any discernable evidence of a PETCO effect with respect to Latos’s performance, and there’s also no evidence that he is likely to be less durable than Pineda (although no pitcher is safe with Dusty Baker – see Mark Prior, Aaron Harang, et al.).

Graham
Guest
Graham
4 years 6 months ago

The Petco effect is simply that it’s a run-suppressing environment, particularly with regard to home runs — meaning that he would presumably have given up more of them had he been pitching in a different home ballpark. As for the durability thing, it’s partly based on the fact that his workload has been rigidly managed throughout his career (meaning we don’t yet know how he’ll respond to throwing the 200-220 innings he’ll need in order to be a real frontline starter), and partly to the time he’s already missed due to injuries.

And yeah, Dusty. Gah. If only MLB could’ve stepped in and prevented Aroldis Chapman from going to the Reds. I shudder to think of that particular talent getting the Dusty treatment.

Scout Finch
Guest
Scout Finch
4 years 6 months ago

Sounds like a baseball trade.

Question for Dave and Mariners fans:

What are the chances your GM dangles some prospects for Lincecum in the wake of Pineda departing? If you were Jack Z, who would you dangle? If you were Sabean, who would you ask for? Middle ground?

Kazinski
Guest
Kazinski
4 years 6 months ago

The only player we have that that the Giants would trade for Lincecum is Felix.

And that makes sense for the Giants but not for the Mariners.

Both teams need hitting, and both have pitching. They just don’t have a lot of parts it make sense to swap, except for Dave’s incredible idea of swapping Zito and cash for Figgens and heartache. But I don’t think that makes much sense anymore after the Mariners just signed Iwakuma. Maybe Figgens for Aubrey Huff could help both teams too, but I think the Mariners would have to ship some cash or Mike Carp with that to make sense for the Giants.

James Gentile
Member
4 years 6 months ago

the chances are about negative 5%

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

Texas fan here who really liked Pineda. Seeing this kid early in the year I was in awe of his fastball/slider combo. He basically silenced the rangers bats the games he faced them. Sure he faded late like most 22 yr olds who had to win games 2-1 all year would. Montero is a bigger ? mark. i am always leary of overhyped NY prospects and there are reasons to still be after his much ballyhooed 60 AB SSS platoon appearance afer hitting very average in AAA. i think NY robbed Seattle when you add in the pitching prospect NY also got. Sorry Mr Cameron….

NS
Guest
NS
4 years 6 months ago

Pineda had an ERA and FIP close to 5 against the Rangers last year.

Rob
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Rob
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t get why the Mariners didn’t do the Montero+Banuelos+Betances+??? for King Felix offer that Heyman reported the Yanks offered. Felix is due nearly $60M over the next 3 years.

I’ll take Pineda+Banuelos+Betances+??? and all that cash freed up rather than paying Felix nearly $60M over the next 3 seasons. That’s Oswalt+Jackson money or Oswalt+Kuroda money. Or close to Prince Fielder money, though on a several year longer committment.

Zach
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Zach
4 years 6 months ago

Totally agree, and this is the real question. I don’t entirely trust Heyman, but a Montero plus the B’s trade for Felix has been speculated for months from more than a few sources. I just don’t see the M’s competing with the Angels or the Rangers for 2-3 seasons, so holding onto Felix just doesn’t make sense. I figure it’s got to be a case of management/ownership not willing to trade a fan favorite for prospects that won’t have an immediate impact, but those three are all close to major league ready. I’d have been super excited about the M’s in a year or so with Pineda, Betances and Banuelos, but this seems like a missed opportunity.

greenfrog
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greenfrog
4 years 6 months ago

If I were Jack Z, I would have offered Felix for Montero, the two B’s and Sanchez. Take it or leave it, Cashman.

Colin
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Colin
4 years 6 months ago

Totally agree Greenfrog, would have done the same.

SpikeSchwartz
Guest
SpikeSchwartz
4 years 6 months ago

M’s don’t do the other deal simply b/c Felix is awesome.

Mike
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Mike
4 years 6 months ago

Without a doubt, but as mentioned, for now and long term, Montero + Betances + Banuelos + others + keeping Pineda and losing King Felix is better for the team than just Felix + Montero alone.

Basically, it’s like saying they want Felix at $15-$20 million instead of Pineda, Betances, Banuelos and others at low cost.

Colin
Guest
Colin
4 years 6 months ago

Felix really isn’t so awesome as to not trade him for a ridiculous haul when they are no where close to competing. My only thought as to why they are not entertaining a Felix deal is related to negative signals to the fanbase and the effect it has on ticket sales.

baty
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baty
4 years 6 months ago

I think Heyman’s actual twitter post used “slashes” instead of “addition signs”. It also used “etc.” and not the word “more”.

DrBGiantsfan
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

I’m really surprised the deal didn’t include one of Betances or Banuelos plus Montero for Pineda. Yanks got a steal of a deal.

Carmen Policy
Guest
Carmen Policy
4 years 6 months ago

I love it. If nothing else, it shows stones on each side. And I like stones.

bookbook
Guest
bookbook
4 years 6 months ago

Can’t imagine the M’s pursuing Lincecum. He’d make a nice #2 to be sure, but his annual salary won’t fit in the budget and he’s a sucker for the slider low and away.

Ira
Guest
Ira
4 years 6 months ago

Anyone else think that Pineda’s numbers were at least partially inflated by his competition? A little over half of his starts were against horrendous offensive clubs.

kid
Member
kid
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t agree. 14 of his 28 starts were against the Rangers, Jays, Tigers, Yankees, White Sox, Phillies, Angels and Rays. Perfectly competent schedule.

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
4 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t call LAA or CWS perfectly competent but 2 things need to be noted. Pin had an era against Bos, Tor, NYY, Det and Texas >5. Additionally, he had 4 era on the road. Sorry, I don’t speak WAR or ERA+ or any of that so straight era is it for me. Many talked about his two pitch mix as problematic. It will be very interesting to see how he fairs in the hitter monster that is the AL East teams and their smaller ball parks. Last year this time everyone thought Matt Garza would fail in Chi because of the park differences between Chi and Tam. I see the same thoughts here with another fly ball pitcher going the the ALE. I do think Cashman got the better of the deal though based on earlier hauls for Gonzo and Latos. Do we hear talk of Fielder and NYY match now? It’s currently Carlos Pena.

NS
Guest
NS
4 years 6 months ago

And he got killed by every good offense he faced. His +.500 splits were horrendous.

suicide squeeze
Member
suicide squeeze
4 years 6 months ago

Yep, good teams tend to score more runs.

jim
Guest
jim
4 years 6 months ago

half-season ERA splits? really?

NS
Guest
NS
4 years 6 months ago

^Results were just as bad in terms of FIP, Jim. And that’s a full season we’re dealing with. He was excellent against poor teams and terrible against good ones.

Squeeze’s implication that this is just ‘good teams scoring more runs’ is laughable. Regress the split against the league average and it’s still very bad.

suicide squeeze
Member
suicide squeeze
4 years 6 months ago

Please don’t regress single season splits against the league average in order to draw conclusions about said pitcher. It’s bad for your health.

wat
Guest
wat
4 years 6 months ago

You are fucking useless.

Eric White
Guest
Eric White
4 years 6 months ago

I think both teams got what they needed. The Yankees side has more upside but more risk. The only disappointing part for the M’s is that it seems that they didn’t get market value for Pineda based on the other similar trades this winter.

John Roberts
Guest
John Roberts
4 years 6 months ago

If the Heyman report is true, Jack Z should be fired.

dp
Guest
dp
4 years 6 months ago

I think that’s a rather impetuous sentiment, no? I don’t think I’d deal 4 cost-controlled years of a legit, rock-hard stud like El Rey Felix for anything less than impact major-league talent + prospects. There are less than 10 pitchers in existence who can offer what Felix brings to the table, and none of them have the combination of future upside and affordability (relative) that Felix brings to the table. He might just be the most valuable trade commodity in baseball. For that, the entire farm is not enough–I want your daughter’s hand in marriage as well, Farmer Cashman (metaphorically; women are not be used as chattel or trade chips).

Hold On
Guest
Hold On
4 years 6 months ago

When you say “Cost-controlled years” for Felix, you mean 3 years that the M’s are paying him around $19m each year.

I agree, Felix is a fantastic pitcher. Really, really, really good. However, one pitcher making a lot of money does not make a team, as the M’s have shown with pretty poor results in the last few years.

dw
Guest
dw
4 years 6 months ago

What about when Boston offered the M’s their pick of the minor league system, any 5 players, for Felix a few years ago?

What about all those other crazy phone calls Jack Z has received?

There are plenty of other reasons to fire Jack Z. Not trading Felix Hernandez for this week’s Grab Bag O’ Prospects is not one of those reasons.

John Roberts
Guest
John Roberts
4 years 6 months ago

Three five-star prospects — all of whom were at AAA last year! — does not constitute a “grab bag.” The Mariners will not compete in the next three years. Why not unload a 3/58 contract for a pitcher who will not change the fortunes of your team? And, gosh, I hate the Yankees, but if there are only a few pitchers who do what he does every year, them trade him to the god-damn Yankees and let’s watch him in October. Seattle would have Pineda/Banuelos/Bettances/Hultzen/Paxton/Walker (AND Montero) as consolation.

dw
Guest
dw
4 years 6 months ago

Remind me, if the Mariners were to dump Felix for This Week’s Grab Bag — and seriously, it’s every damn week another THEY DIDN’T TRADE FELIX FOR INCREDIBLY HIGHLY RATED PROSPECTS WTF from some hyperventilating sports blogger — what would they do with that $58M?

If you say “bid on Prince Fielder,” wouldn’t you be turning around in six months saying that Fielder “won’t change the fortunes of the team” so they should trade him?

Felix Hernandez is not what’s wrong with Seattle, and trading him won’t solve what’s wrong with Seattle. It’ll just ladle on another set of prospects that may or may not pan out.

Jim
Guest
Jim
4 years 6 months ago

“The Mariners will not compete in the next three years.”

Please, please, please…just go away now.

Thank you.

dp
Guest
dp
4 years 6 months ago

I like your analysis, Dave, but I disagree. If Montero reaches his potential ceiling of being a .300+ hitter with a .900+ OPS, then I think that holds more potential value than what Pineda’s ceiling as a good no. 2 starter going forward offers. From the Mariners’ perspective, it is doubly true as they have failed to field competitive teams in recent years primarily due to an inability to find players who can provide offensive production. Montero changes that instantly, and can do so for years to come. Pineda fills a massive need for the Yankees, and does so in an efficient manner. Conversely, the chances of Pineda succumbing to injury and/or ineffectiveness (especially if he fails to develop an average change) may very well be seen as higher than are those of Montero failing to produce at the level expected of him. Both, of course, could easily fall well short of their respective ceilings, though I’m reasonably sure that both will be future All-Stars in the coming years. If it’s a wash talent-wise (as it seems to be when one includes Noesi and Campos), then I’d imagine that you’d wish to take the future elite-level no. 3 hitter over the future no. 2 starter, both in terms of needs and in terms of certainty. It’s a hell of a challenge trade, though. Makes me all tingly.

#6org4lyfe

Big Baby
Guest
Big Baby
4 years 6 months ago

Pineda is already a #2, his ceiling is a top 5 pitcher. The question, as with all pitchers, is health. He was fabulous last season, I can’t see how he isn’t already a #2 with #1 status just as likely as #3.

Montero’s value comes from catching. If he cannot catch, then it will be hard for him to put together the value of a #2 starter. If he catches, then he can have values similar to that of an ace, but then his health is risked.

Campo makes this deal a win for the Yankees. Noesis come and go. Pitchers like Campo’s to do, but they can also stick around and become Pinedas.

Jeremy
Member
Jeremy
4 years 6 months ago

It’s not just health. He still can have a rough go with LHB, and really is just a two pitch pitcher. Plus his durability is a bit of a question mark.

Extremely talented, but not perfect.

Big Baby
Guest
Big Baby
4 years 6 months ago

Look at his advanced metrics splits and he’s not so bad. For someone who’s a two pitch pitcher do have done what he did, is impressive. I like the odds of him picking up a change-up more than I like the odds of Montero staying at catcher.

I’m not sure why he has durability issues. He had one year, and pitched amazingly in aggregate even though he surpassed his previous season high in innings.

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
4 years 6 months ago

Ok all, somebody please tell this old dog what #6org means. It got a lot of – comments above and is mentioned by do here.

barold
Member
barold
4 years 6 months ago

Dave ranked the M’s #6 in the 2010 organizational rankings, which resulted in much tumult . google #6org or search for it here. Dave posted a 4 part discussion of the ranking and the aftermath later in the season.

bstar
Member
bstar
4 years 6 months ago

So, chicago mark, basically anything dave writes brings out the #6org trolls. If he writes about something involving the mariners, you can quadruple the troll count. Then when you throw in the Yankees and a trade involving two good young players, you’ve got urself a very combustible conversation on ur hands. Fortunately, most of fangraphdom has grown tired of the dave-hate and usually chase the less mature away or ignore them. All good harmless fun.

joel p
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

good article. i like the way its presented in that its not exactly a bad deal, it just wasnt as good of a deal as the other deals for young pitching have been. i dont agree with that opinion exactly but i see the point.

i would take a young hitter over a young pitcher everything being equal. pitchers just arent as consistent and they get hurt more often.

the example about the jays trade given is why i would prefer one really good player over a lot of good but not as good players. sure u get more chances to hit big with the bigger package but personally i would rather take one guy that is much more of a sure thing. position may be a problem for montero but the bat is as sure of a thing as u can get.

Austin
Guest
Austin
4 years 6 months ago

Some people give Cashman a lot of crap but this deal to me shows why he is one of the best in the game. Sure he has a lot of money to work with but he makes his share of excellent deals for the Yankees. Very excited as a Yankees fan.

Tyler
Guest
Tyler
4 years 6 months ago

Completely agree….the Nick Swisher trade, which he gets zero credit for, was absolutely flawless

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

And the Vizcaino for Vazquez trade? You counting on this working. I’m older enough to remember the first Vazquez trade. That looked brilliant too.

Seth Beno
Guest
Seth Beno
4 years 6 months ago

The Mariners needed this deal but I would have been very hesitant to give up Campos. Still, the future of the rotation is very promising with Hultzen, Walker and Paxton on the way.

Seth Beno
Guest
Seth Beno
4 years 6 months ago

The Mariners needed this deal but I would have been very hesitant to give up Campos. Still, the future of the rotation is very promising with Hultzen, Walker and Paxton on the way.

Mylegacy
Guest
Mylegacy
4 years 6 months ago

How was – is – Marcum/Lawrie similar/different from Pineda/Montero?

Did the “hitter” win in both cases?

Roll Call
Guest
Roll Call
4 years 6 months ago

Great comp.

Dealer A
Guest
Dealer A
4 years 6 months ago

Lawrie was much less proven, in a lower level and on a downswing when he was traded. It wasn’t until after being traded that Lawrie truly took off. There is no way Lawrie would have been enough to land Pineda or Montero.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 6 months ago

interesting comp anyways. Marcum wasn’t worth as much as Pineda, and lawrie not as much as montero, but relative to each other it’s a similar debatable value one for one swap. And early returns on that are that the hitter is coming out on top.

Also interesting is that while the Marcum deal was panned for not getting enough value in terms of other secondary prospects, the Garza deal at the time was praised for the depth of the package received. Now, of course, nobody would prefer to have Archer/Lee/Chirinos/Guyer over Lawrie.

Joey B
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

I guess I don’t understand is why Z refused to trade 3 months of Lee for Montero, but then turns around and trades 5 years of Pineda for montero?

Jason
Guest
Jason
4 years 6 months ago

Aside from preferring Smoak, the Mariners were rightly concerted with the medical reports on David Adams, who ended up with a broken ankle.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 6 months ago

I take this as the M’s admititng they made a mistake in trading for smoak.

Jeremy
Member
Jeremy
4 years 6 months ago

Considering they are likely to play different positions, I don’t see that at all.

It’s been a year and a half. The M’s likely don’t view their current situation in the same way they viewed it a year and a half ago.

Johnny Slick
Guest
Johnny Slick
4 years 6 months ago

Not so much. I think the team still thought they might have had their C of the future in Adam Moore and DH was less open than it is now due to the presence of Hugs Sweeney and Milton Bradley. Now dH is a spot either Montero or Mike Carp can go to if they can’t play the field.

J.B.
Guest
J.B.
4 years 6 months ago

Now they can sign Jamie Moyer! That should be fun at least, since they have zero chance at the play-offs this coming year.

Chris H
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

I’ll never understand trading away a top of the line starter for a position-less DH hitter. As good as Edgar Martinez was, I wouldn’t give up Matt Cain for him.

Not that this trade was horrible in a vacuum – it’s just lacking satisfaction given the Oakland trades of pitchers who offer less in terms of control and potential. Yes, the Ms need hitting but is a DH with 69 MLB PAs and a #4 the best that Z could have gotten? Why the pressure to compete now with such complete teams like LAA and Tex?

Jack Z came up short yet again (Morrow for League anyone? I don’t care if League had the best pitch in baseball that year and Morrow had/has injury problems – #2 starters are more valuable than RPs). Just seems like he’s wasting valuable pieces when he should be stockpiling for the future and building an arsenal of home-growns like TB and Texas has been doing.

Eric Walkingshaw
Member
4 years 6 months ago

“As good as Edgar Martinez was, I wouldn’t give up Matt Cain for him.”

I know this is way off-topic, but this aggression will not stand, man.

Going by WAR, even with the huge positional adjustment applied to DHes, Edgar had 9 seasons that were more valuable than Matt Cain’s very best season (last year). He was a perennial lock for a .400 OBP and peaked at .479 in 1995, the highest mark in over 30 years, and topped only by Bonds (repeatedly) since then. He outproduced the ineffable Griffey at the plate, both throughout Griffey’s heyday in the 90s, and over their careers.

Matt Cain is a good pitcher, but you’d be a damn fool not to trade him for one of the greatest hitters of a generation just because he didn’t play defense.

Jim
Guest
Jim
4 years 6 months ago

“Jack Z came up short yet again (Morrow for League anyone? I don’t care if League had the best pitch in baseball that year and Morrow had/has injury problems – #2 starters are more valuable than RPs).”

Morrow is only a “#2 starter” in the sense that he is slated right behind #1 starter Ricky Romero in the Jays’ rotation, ahead of Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek, and the rest of the rotation.

Being a #2 starter talent-wise is a completely different thing, however–and Morrow is not a “#2 starter” in that sense now, nor do I think he ever will be at his present pace of pitching/development.

Stop saying ludicrous things, thank you.

Monroe
Guest
Monroe
4 years 6 months ago

Morrow put up WARs of 3.7 and 3.4 since going to Toronto. While that not make him a #2 in the strictest sense, it would have made him the second most productive pitcher in Seattle in 2010/2011 … and that simply is not a guy you trade for a reliever.

Colin
Guest
Colin
4 years 6 months ago

Using WAR to evaluate Morrow at this point is probably unfairly favorable as he has shown in significant samples an ability to not perform up to the level of his FIP.

kyle
Guest
kyle
4 years 6 months ago

When is Marcum a free agent? Is it after this upcoming season? If so, 2years of Marcum for 6 years of a 3b that could developed into a stud hitter. Does not sound as sexy to me as a catcher who may have to become a DH and could developed into a stud hitter for 6years of cost controlled pitching.

Herbalist
Guest
Herbalist
4 years 6 months ago

I am not a Mariners fan, but tonight I feel the pain of M’s fans who just had their future perennial all-star and Cy Young candidate (and probably the hardest throwing starter in the big leagues) snatched for them for a bad defensive catcher whose minor league numbers were good but nothing overwhelming. The other two prospects are a wash. This is a blood bath in Seattle

SpikeSchwartz
Guest
SpikeSchwartz
4 years 6 months ago

you sound like a Yankee fan.

LifetimeYankeeFan
Guest
LifetimeYankeeFan
4 years 6 months ago

Very good article.

This looks to me like a trade that could turn out very well for both clubs. The Ms need a good hitter and every report on Montero has said that he can hit. Having seen him during his Sept. call-up, I can say that he certainly looks like a prospect that could become a real force at the plate for years to come. I was surprised that the Yankees traded him, but not shocked. The Yanks have four catching prospects and Montero was by far the worst defensively. Additionally, there were times when his attitude was questioned when things didn’t go his way. He might develop into a Posada-type catcher whose hitting makes up for his bad defense and game-calling, but there’s a real risk that he may never be interested enough in the defensive side of catching to become a starting-caliber major league back-stop. Out of the spotlight of NYC, however, I think he has a better chance of developing his defensive skills than he would with the Yanks. Whether at catcher or DH, Montero will hit but his value in this trade will depend on which position he ends up in.

By the same token, the fact that Pineda is only a 2 pitch pitcher and has more of an injury risk makes acquiring him a risk for the Yankees. If he lets Mariano Rivera teach him the cutter (a pitch Mo has willingly taught others) or improves his change-up, Pineda could become a # 1b to CC Sabathia’s # 1a if he can stay healthy. The risk is that he won’t do either. As it is, he will slot in nicely as the # 2 starter, giving the Yankees two hard throwers to go with the softer throwing Nova and Kuroda.

Getting Pineda will help the Yankees immediately, with possible benefits down the road if he stays healthy, while they could afford to give up Montero’s bat–which will help the Mariners now, but perhaps even more over the next few years. Slight advantage Mariners.

Noesi is a bit like Ian Kennedy. He’s got nice stuff, but isn’t overpowering. Unlike Nova, Noesi hasn’t really learned to pitch on the MLB level yet and the Yankees don’t have the time or inclination to let a young pitcher learn that on their staff–they want to win NOW, all of the time. For the Ms, though, Noesi could slot in as a # 4 or # 5 starter immediately. While I don’t think he has the stuff to become a # 1 starter, he could develop into a solid # 3 or # 4 starter. At worst, he will be a solid, if unspectacular addition to the bullpen if he doesn’t advance a lick beyond where he is now.

I figured that the Yankees would have to pay a premium to get a young arm like Pineda and I think to a certain extent that they did–giving up an everyday player and a major league ready starter for a starting pitcher–until I read about Campos (who I knew nothing about previously).

The glowing reports that I’ve read about Campos are such that they could swing this deal from favoring the Mariners to favoring the Yankees IF…if Campos continues to develop and stays healthy. But, as we all know, with young pitching prospects those two things don’t always happen. Getting Campos in this deal could turn out to be very nice for the Yankees, but it also comes with a big risk–the risk that he may never make it to the big leagues.

The Mariners are getting two players who will help them immediately, while the Yankees are getting one who will help them right away and one prospect who may or may not end up being a significant contributor. Both sides are taking some risk in the players they are getting. Sounds like a fair, virtually equal deal to me.

As for the Yankees including Banuelos or Betances in a deal: Cashman absolutely loves these two guys and has tried to protect them as much as possible when the owners have pressed him to make a deal. The only way that Cashman would willingly give up one or both of them would be in a blockbuster trade for a proven top-line # 1 starter like Lee or King Felix. Cashman is convinced that one or both of these guys can be a # 1 starter-type of pitcher with a little more experience and doesn’t want to give up either one. Having seen them, I can’t blame him: I really like Banuelos’ stuff and make-up and Betances showed me some very nice flashes. I would have been very upset if the Yankees had included either one in this deal instead of Noesi. And, I think, as much as we may miss Montero, most Yankee fans would feel the same.

Maybe, given the market, the Mariners could have gotten a better deal from some other club, but not from the Yankees. As it is, I think they got a good deal that will help them right away. If Pineda and Campos stay healthy and continue to develop, the Yankees will have gotten a good deal, too–with more risk, but possibly a tad more upside if Campos delivers on his potential. That, to my way of thinking, is a pretty fair and even trade. Let’s hope it works out for both sides.

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

Seattle got 2 prospects. A guy with 60 ML ABs is not an everyday player…

awy
Guest
awy
4 years 6 months ago

he is more than capable of being an everyday player for more than a year now

Chris H
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

I think you’re missing two key points – that the Mariners aren’t in a position to contend within their own division right now, much less in the AL and that they could have stock piled an immense amount of talent by moving Pineda. This is a team that won 67 games last year and is old/bad at 3B, SS, RF, C, #3, #4, #5.

Colin
Guest
Colin
4 years 6 months ago

If you are a rebuilding team you tend to not use the guy with 5 years of team control left to rebuild the farm.

ToddM
Guest
ToddM
4 years 6 months ago

You know a trade favors the Yankees if the vast majority of Yankees fans are calling it “fair” and the vast majority of Mariners fans are thinking they got screwed.

Nice writeup anyway, though.

KMav
Guest
KMav
4 years 6 months ago

As a Yankee hater, this deal stinks big time. I can’t believe the Yankees got Pineda for a DH prospect.

People say Pineda only has two pitches. True, but he kicked tail with those two pitches. Third best K rate among starters. Best BA against righties. And a 3.53 xFIP. He is only 22. What if he ever gets a 3rd pitch and isn’t tired at the end of the year? What if he learns how to pitch too? What then? Pineda averaged 94.2 with his fast ball. He is a 6-5 250lb. statue of man meat. He is only going to get better.

People say yes, but look at his road splits. Sure they were not great, but they were not that bad either. His home/road xFIP’s were almost identical. Also before he got tired, he had a 2.87 ERA on the road his first 9 road games. What about Montero’s home/road splits? SSS, but the guy had a 1.483 at home and .502 road OPS. Yankee stadium was built for Montero. Montero will get Beltre’d in Safeco.

This is such a bad deal that I wish MLB had David Stern as the commish to veto it.

Geo
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

Jose Campos could end up being “The deal” when it’s all said and done. I like what I saw each time I scouted him this season. As Dave pointed out he’s got terrific command and he throws strikes. His composure on the mound is well beyond his years. Here’s the scouting report with our video that we took of him from August: http://baseballinstinct.com/2011/08/27/prospect-instinct-jose-campos-rhp-seattle-mariners/

As always, nice write-up Dave.

ToddM
Guest
ToddM
4 years 6 months ago

Interesting that klaw likes this deal for the Mariners. I guess it all boils down to what you think of Montero as a catcher.

Personally, I think both of these guys are going to struggle in their new environments, at least for a while, but that’s what you get trading a pitcher in a pitcher’s park for a hitter in a (sort of) hitter’s park.

Monroe
Guest
Monroe
4 years 6 months ago

Klaw also said with Campos, the Yankees may have just filled 2 of the top 3 slots in their rotation.

omniart
Member
omniart
4 years 6 months ago

The more that I read about this deal, the less sure I am about who will win the trade. So many possible ways that this will play out. God but I love baseball.

kid
Member
kid
4 years 6 months ago

I live in Seattle but I’m only a casual Mariners fan – I really only want them to be good because I feel bad for city because they have to deal with the team’s general disinterest in committing to winning. And losing the Sonics. The idea behind the deal – giving up a pitcher for a potentially very good hitter – is a very good idea. The Mariners were dead last in the Majors in runs scored in 2011 with a -119 run differential, so figuring out ways to score runs is absolutely paramount (as most playoff teams have, ya know, positive run differentials). That being said, it was hard to look at what Pineda did last season and not be extremely impressed. Elite strikeout potential and velocity without that walk-heavy profile that accompanies guys like Morrow and Sanchez? Incredibly valuable. I’m trying not to focus too much on the current and future WAR because this team doesn’t need WAR, it needs RUNS… and in the worst way possible.

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

I will agree that WAR will always look down on DH/Poor defensive players but There are red flags when it comes to Montero and also Jack Z has make some questionable moves recently that should give Mariner fans pause….

Chris H
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

kid – does it not concern you that a team in your division was able to get an actual C prospect and 2 huge SP prospects for a pitcher that has less controllable and more expensive years than Pineda? Yes, you need runs, but even with Montero you’re not going to compete for a few years so why not accumulate prospect from your assets?

This trade is godawful. This is a Sabean move.

Buck Turgidson
Guest
Buck Turgidson
4 years 6 months ago

Do you mean Norris? Jury’s out on his ability to don the tools of ignorance in the bigs, similar to montero in that respect.

Jim
Guest
Jim
4 years 6 months ago

Get over yourself, seriously.

None, and I repeat *none* of the prospects in the Gio Gonzalez deal approach the ceiling of Jesus Montero. Sure, both Cole and Peacock could be good starters, and Norris has the potential to be a league average or slightly above league average catcher, but as someone else said earlier this offseason about the Nationals’ minor league system(before the Gonzalez trade):

“After Harper and Rendon at #1 and #2, it falls off quite steeply”

So, I don’t really fault any GM for taking back in a trade an elite hitting prospect for a really good young pitcher with 1 good-great season under his belt. Sure, it puts more of the risk in that 1 player panning out, but what if 3 or 4 prospects were received for Pineda and none of them panned out? What then?

It’s not the same as the Latos or Gonzalez trade, so please stop comparing them!

kid
Member
kid
4 years 6 months ago

Dumb question. We all agree that the Mariners need runs, right? OK. So why did they draft Danny Hultzen, a solid-not-great pitcher, with that #2 overall pick in last year’s draft instead of Rendon or one of the prep hitters? Am I the only person who had a “WTF?” moment when they saw that?

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

I would hope they drafted the player that graded out the best as opposed to drafting for need…

jim
Guest
jim
4 years 6 months ago

because when you draft by need you pick greg reynolds when evan longoria is still there

Chris H
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

*prospects

cyankee
Guest
cyankee
4 years 6 months ago

As a Yankees fan i’m not sure how i feel. The one thing that really get’s me worried is the shelf life of pitching compared to position players. Just really hoping Pineda doesn’t blow out an elbow or shoulder!

JJ
Guest
JJ
4 years 6 months ago

Pineda’s FB tendencies and (relative) weakness against lefties may not play well at The House Next to the One that Ruth Built, especially against lefty-loaded lineups like the Red Sox have. Albeit the sample size is small, but check out Pineda’s performances in Fenway, Arlington, Toronto. Not too good.

Plus, might the Yankees be worried about his workload? If they go deep in the playoffs, I can’t imagine them letting Pineda rack up 220 innings this year.

Brian
Guest
Brian
4 years 6 months ago

Big trades are fun and exciting! Can’t wait to see how this pans out.

Sandy Kazmir
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

Cashman’s ego under the guise of newfound Yankee frugality may have just cost his team a pretty good hitter. If the Yanks liked Pineda then I don’t see why they didn’t just sign Edwin Jackson. Montero moves to DH where the Yankees can afford to cap some of the phenom’s ceiling, because they’re in a position on the win curve that allows them to care more about maximizing team wins. Pineda may have a ton of hype after a very strong first half, but he’s essentially E-Jax with perhaps a modicum of control.

Cashman wants to prove that he, like AA and AF, can make the smart move of trading for a controlled player rather than pay for a free agent. The only issue is that they make gobs of money and should continue to leverage this advantage. As a Rays fan, I’d be much more nervous to face that team with Montero and Jackson than just Pineda.

Raf
Guest
Raf
4 years 6 months ago

Given the Yankees’ run under Cashman, I don’t think he has anything to prove to anyone.

cgehring
Guest
cgehring
2 years 5 months ago

How cute: the Crapshoots Boys, Raf and Evan3457, together through thick and thin.

Evan3457
Guest
Evan3457
4 years 6 months ago

Kinda silly to say “a modicum of control” more than Jackson. Pineda had a higher K/9 last season than Jackson’s ever had in his career, and a lower BB/9 than Jackson’s ever had.

NS
Guest
NS
4 years 6 months ago

Jackson has had an equal or lower walk % 2 out of the last 3 years – and the third year was only higher by .8%.

cgehring
Guest
cgehring
2 years 5 months ago

How cute: the Crapshoots Boys, Raf and Evan3457, together through thick and thin.

Gehring
Guest
Gehring
2 years 5 months ago

Evan3457 and Raf: this site should be called “Faggraphs.”

bstar
Member
bstar
4 years 6 months ago

What about facing Edwin Jackson would make you nervous? He gives up more hits than IP and has only surpassed Pineda’s(half-season) WAR total once in his career. Pineda’s got a little bit more than just better control than Jackson.

bgrasso12
Member
bgrasso12
4 years 6 months ago

“I still think you’re overvaluing Pineda. If Montero averages 3 or 4 WAR I his first six years, how hard is that for a young pitcher to match?”

Considering Pineda put up 3.4 WAR last year – a number VERY few DHs can match – I’d say the question should be turned around the other way.

maqman
Guest
maqman
4 years 6 months ago

M’s fan, love Pineda, he’s the only Yankee I will ever root for. However if this deal keeps us from signing the Princely albatross it’s worth it to me.

Mike
Guest
Mike
4 years 6 months ago

lol on the contrary, Montero is the only Mariners player I’d root for.

Sailor Sam
Guest
Sailor Sam
4 years 6 months ago

Does this mean Miguel Olivo doesn’t bat clean-up?
When I look at the value, I ask the question ‘who is harder to replace Montero or Pineda?’. I think the answer is Montero and I think the Mariners got a good deal at face value. But who knows where the rest of the jigsaw pieces fit, and only history will be able to judge.

bSpittle
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

In a pitching-heavy time, I think Montero is being undervalued by some.

Aggie E
Guest
Aggie E
4 years 6 months ago

Last Year Victor Martinez hit .330 OPS of .850 and would likely be considered a key player for Detroit but being a below average 1B/Catcher who mostly DHed he accumulated just a 2.9 WAR. It takes exceptional hitting without the addition of defense and baserunning to be a great player. Sign me up on this trade whenever montero gets there.

ToddM
Guest
ToddM
4 years 6 months ago

Careful now. Although our attempts at defense and baserunning WAR are noble, they aren’t entirely reliable. VMart may have had a sub 3 WAR for the Tigers last year, but he was an extremely important part of that squad.

Clutch hitting may not be a true skill, but he had that false skill last year. His defense (he rarely caught) may suck, but he did the job he was paid to do… make people pay for not giving Cabrera pitches to hit.

…before anyone flames me on this, I’m a stathead. I’m speaking of the past, not predicting the future. If Montero replicates VMart’s performance from last year, I doubt anyone in Seattle misses Pineda.

Ben
Guest
Ben
4 years 6 months ago

I think this trade works out for both teams. Yeah, some Yankee fans won’t like it, as there are some Yankee fans who justify reasons why every trade Cashman makes is bad. But many of these Yankee “fans” are not reading the article properly. Look what the Reds gave up for Matt Latos, and what the Nats gave up for Gio Gonzalez. Premium pitching does not come cheap, period. Also, the Yankees farm is very deep at the catcher position, with Romine and Sanchez getting closer to the majors and Russell Martin still an effective player on the right side of 30. I think this trade was an absolute no-brainer for the Yankees. I wouldn’t put too much stock into what the Cashman haters say: these are Yankee fans who will say every move he makes sucks, simply because they don’t and never have like the man. Read what’s being said around the Internet: there’s not a single respected analyst out there who think the Yankees made a bad trade.

Steve Lidd
Guest
Steve Lidd
4 years 6 months ago

Dave – since the constraints on the Yankees are roster spots and not $, do you expect them to now pursue Fielder with their opening now at DH? (I saw a report that they were not interested in Carlos Pena, but no mention of Fielder)

cwendt
Member
cwendt
4 years 6 months ago

1. The Yankees badly want to be under the $189 million luxury tax in 2014, and Fielder would screw that up unless there was a three-year deal, which Fielder shouldn’t want, or an opt-out, which the Yankees shouldn’t want.

2. Fielder would cost $20 million+, which would put the Yankees at least $10 million over their past high payroll.

3. The Yankees don’t need a full-time DH. They need a cheap LHB (like Johnny Damon) to DH against RHP, and then they can rotate A-Rod & Jeter at against LHP and play Jones in LF, spelling Gardner or Granderson.

All this tells me: No Fielder.

Mark
Guest
Mark
4 years 6 months ago

Great move by the Yank’s, based on scarcity and their ability to replace what is lost. A potential frontline starter is always harder to obtain in free agency or by trade than a impact hitter of Montero’s quality. Montero gives up way too much on the defensive end to even consider him to be a catcher, along with the fact their is a surplus of catching talent in the system. Also the move free’s up the DH spot to rotate Jeter Arod and Teixeria for the first half of the season and gives them the option to pick up a DH in a trade midseason. (Ex. Berkman a few years ago). Don’t count the Yank’s out on Prince Fielder yet either.

trinhidad
Member
4 years 6 months ago

Looking at this trade I suspect that Jack Zduriencik is feeling he is on the hot seat. There are better packages/prospects out there but Montero was the most likely to help next season.

jim
Guest
jim
4 years 6 months ago

yanks in on manny at all now?

Matt C
Guest
Matt C
4 years 6 months ago

First off let me say that I like this trade for both teams and I can see where both of them are coming from. And also let me say that I didn’t read all the comments, so I’m sure this has been mentioned but oh well.

Ok with that said I just want to say I find it funny how undervalued Yankees’ prospects get by alot of the media after they trade them. Before this trade most scouts agreed that he probably wasn’t going to stick at Catcher yet just about every publication and scout had him as a top 10 prospect in all of baseball(I believe even higher than Pineda). Then after he rakes in his short MLB debut this year many experts bring up the Miguel Cabrera comparison again.

But now after the Yankees trade him all of the sudden he is just a DH that can’t play defense, and just another great offensive player without a position who are a dime a dozen to replace.(the exact words used by some analysts on MLB Network Radio today) So if he is that easily replaced why was he a top 5 prospect in all of baseball while he was with the Yankees? I don’t get it.

Again I like the trade for both teams and obviously I’m not trying to say Dave is like the people I described but I just had to vent here since I’m not a member at the other sites and places I heard these things at.

CircleChange11
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

Isn’t this a good deal for two teams in different situations?

NyY need SP.

SEA needs bats.

NYY need to win now.

SEA is building a core lineup for next few years.

I can imagine that SEA thinks its easier to find another Pineda than it is to find another Jesus Montero.

Why does someone have to “win” the grease today? If one of these guys has 2 more WAR than the other over the next 5 years, does that mean one team won and the other lost? No.

And look at that, prospects have flaws and risk. Who knew?

So I guess I’ll be the boring one and say good trade for both teams. NYY gets a cost-controlled SP that fits right in with their rotation and playoffs. SEA gets another young bat to pair with Ackley and Smoak. Given SEA’s past, I doubt their afraid of having a guy that *might* be a DH only. That’s not to say he’s the next Edgar, only saying that having a really good DH inthe AL is a good thing. If he catches some, even better.

I do agree with some others that having a good young bat may be safer than a good young arm, but I don’t want to wait some years and use hindsight as my guide, that’s cheating.

Nathaniel Dawson
Member
Nathaniel Dawson
4 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t say that where he pitched had nothing to do with his K rate. Safeco Field tends to increase strikeouts, something like about 5%. Certainly the vast majority of the work was solely Pineda, but the park he pitched half his games in likely helped boost his K rate.

kid
Member
kid
4 years 6 months ago

I scanned the comments and didn’t see anything specifically about this, so forgive me if it’s been covered, but can Montero play 1B well enough to be at least average there? That would give his value a little boost, I imagine. Plus, it’s not like Smoak is is a revelation at first.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
4 years 6 months ago

When you vote up a Dave Cameron reply to some troll does it make you feel like a huge loser? It should.

chief00
Member
chief00
4 years 6 months ago

The question that rings in my ears is ” are these players of the types to excel in their new environments?” Pineda struggles somewhat against lefties in a park where left-handed hitters thrive, necessitating the development of a different pitch or approach. Montero is moving to a pitcher’s park. His splits in ’11, though it’s an extremely small sample, showed that he struggled away from NY. Is Pineda likely to excel in NY? Is Montero likely to excel in SEA? My guess is that Pineda will perform better in his new digs than Montero will in his. Thoughts?

CircleChange11
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

Another aspect of this is Jack Z’s job.

Realistically he can’t go into 2012 with the same team he had in 2011. That doesn’t look good when you were bad in 2011.

Everyone knows they’re anemic on offense, so he got one of the best hitting prospects around.

A part of me questions all of this “can’t catch stuff. What do that mean exactly? I ask because we heard the same thing about Piazza and Napoli. Does JMontero dive out of the way of pitches or something? For a position that has underdeveloped metrics, what does “can’t catch” really mean? Can’t block balls? Can’t throw runners out? Catches with a boxing glove? Does anyone have any real defense assessment/projections of his defensive value? I’d imagine that the fielding run difference between average and fair/poor is much less than the batting run difference between very good and average. Is he really Adam Dunn behind the plate? How do we know?

Jack z has traded Fister and Pineda. Combined with the signing of Figs, he needs Ack and Monty to put up some big seasons, or it’s not going to look good for his job future.

Of course he may have just traded Pineda before he “Liriano’d”. Fastball-Slider pitchers are the most risky for injury.

pft
Guest
pft
4 years 6 months ago

Pineda will struggle in the AL East with it’s smaller parks and better hitting until he develops a better changeup or splitter. He is young enough to do so and become a #2 SP’er or higher if he stays healthy.

I sometimes think the SAFECO effect, or what may be known as big park syndrome is more psychological than anything. If a hitter can avoid changing their approach and swing to compensate for the bigger park they will do well, otherwise, they become Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer or Jason Bay. Time will tell how Montero does. Hopefully the Mariners just let him become fulltime DH and play everyday despite any slumps he might have. It’s amazing how many teams mess up a top prospect by not having the confidence to play them everyday when they are called up, panicking over the first 50 AB slump.

Good trade for both teams I think, Mariners needed a good bat they could afford, Yankees needed a SP’er. .

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