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Monday, March 03, 2014

NYT: Waldstein: Yankees May Finally Come Out Ahead in the Trade for Pineda

TAMPA, Fla. — At the time of the trade, one of the biggest of the winter before the 2012 season, both teams had every reason to be excited. The Seattle Mariners, in need of a hitter, had picked up Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ top prospect at the time, who many felt was a certain All-Star. The Yankees received Michael Pineda, a big, hard-throwing starting pitcher who had made the All-Star team as a rookie in 2011.

So far, the transaction is a wash — because neither team is happy with the results….

As unlikely as it seemed two years ago, the Yankees have a chance to come out ahead in the trade, in which they also received the pitching prospect Jose Campos. Pineda is a candidate to be the Yankees’ fifth starter, and at 8:35 a.m. Sunday he threw his first simulated game of the spring in front of the Yankees’ pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, and Manager Joe Girardi, who said he was pleased with the effort.

Pineda’s pitches were firm, and his command acceptable, and he even broke the bat of the switch-hitter Zoilo Almonte….

Hey, it’s only March, don’t #### on a young man’s hopes.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:41 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4665919)
We can only hope. Unlike some of the spiteful losers that skulk about the internet wishing all manner of ills on young players who have the temerity to don the "wrong" uniforms, we true baseball fans always delight in seeing young players display their talents at their highest level. Pineda's injury was an awful and unforeseen event that threatened to cut short the career of a potentially elite baseball talent. Early spring training results have been encouraging but he still has a long way to go to live up to his gaudy potential.

Yesterday's Daily News continues in a similar vein:

There’s a long way to go just to win the No. 5 spot in the rotation here in spring training, but Scott Sizemore, one of the hitters who faced the 6-foot-7 righthander on Sunday, sounded as if he believes Pineda is on his way back to his 2011 form..."I’d say he had to be throwing close to mid-90s today and he seemed to have a good feel for where he wanted to throw it. He’s got some of the best stuff out there."


Meanwhile on the other side of the country and the trade, Jesus Montero seems like he could really use a change of scenery.
   2. JE (Jason) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4665944)
So the assessment is the takeaway from a single simulated game? While I hope Pineda remains healthy, how is this any different from a "best shape of his life" story? Man oh man, I hate early March.
   3. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4665969)
So the assessment is the takeaway from a single simulated game? While I hope Pineda remains healthy, how is this any different from a "best shape of his life" story? Man oh man, I hate early March


It's different b/c pitching != hitting. The career-killing complication of shoulder surgery is velocity loss. If the velocity is back - and you know that very quickly - then Pineda has a good chance to regain his former form, albeit subject to risk of futher injury.
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4665989)
Forget about who won the trade -- if Pineda is healthy and a good pitcher this year, the Yankees will probably be in playoff contention (assuming their old players stay *relatively* healthy and don't completely fall apart production-wise).
   5. catomi01 Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4666021)
Meanwhile on the other side of the country and the trade, Jesus Montero seems like he could really use a change of scenery.


I seem to recall the Mariners saying they had "no plans" for Montero in the immediate future - if I'm the Yanks, offer them a C - level prospect and bring him back like they did when Drew Henson got homesick, and see if the Mariners just want to get rid of a headache. It didn't work then, but the upside is a decent, cheap bat to insure against Tex continuing to fade and another option to plug into the DH rotation, with the added benefit of being a better "break in case of fire" type emergency catcher than most teams have on the roster. I know its been a while and he's had plenty of issues, but he really did look promising with the bat in his brief call up with the Yankees the year before he was traded.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4666024)
Forget about who won the trade -- if Pineda is healthy and a good pitcher this year, the Yankees will probably be in playoff contention (assuming their old players stay *relatively* healthy and don't completely fall apart production-wise).

Assuming for argument's sake that the final rotation winds up Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and Pineda, has there ever been a starting crew with more potential upside AND more unknown projections at this point of the season?

Sabathia declined precipitously in 2013, but since he's now had a year to adjust to his weight loss, it's not impossible to imagine that at 33 he's capable of a strong comeback. But it's also not hard to imagine that last year was but the beginning of the end.

Kuroda completely tanked over the last six weeks of 2013, but before that he was lights out. At age 39, is there really any way to project what he'll be like this year?

Tanaka has the most obvious upside, but so did Dice-K. Success in Japan isn't necessarily a guarantee of success in MLB.

Nova looked like a solid pitcher once he returned from the minors, but he's had many a false Spring before, and he's yet to put together a first rate full year.

And Pineda obviously has the stuff, but will his arm hold out?

If everything goes well, the Yankees could have the best 5 man rotation in the Majors and be a solid pennant contender.

But if age and injuries set in, then they could easily finish last. You don't win many titles on the backs of nothing but an outfield and a catcher.

P.S. Question for historians: If that above rotation holds, would it be the first 100% non-white starting rotation in MLB history? Probably not, but I can't think of another one off the top of my head.
   7. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4666050)
I seem to recall the Mariners saying they had "no plans" for Montero in the immediate future - if I'm the Yanks, offer them a C - level prospect and bring him back like they did when Drew Henson got homesick, and see if the Mariners just want to get rid of a headache. It didn't work then, but the upside is a decent, cheap bat to insure against Tex continuing to fade and another option to plug into the DH rotation, with the added benefit of being a better "break in case of fire" type emergency catcher than most teams have on the roster. I know its been a while and he's had plenty of issues, but he really did look promising with the bat in his brief call up with the Yankees the year before he was traded.


I don't know that the Yankees really have anyplace for Montero now, although I wouldn't be opposed to bringing him back if the cost was reasonable. Someone on another board proposed a swap for another Yankee catching prospect, Austin Romine, who is blocked as the ML backup behind Cervelli and as the AAA starter behind John Murphy, if the Mariners want a prospect who will certain be able to handle the defensive aspects of catching they could do worse. I'd prefer Montero as a throw-in as part of a larger deal for someone like Nick Franklin but "whatever". I just feel bad for Montero, Seattle seemed like a poor fit from the start given its offense-suppressing configuration. If the Yankees don't get him I'm hoping someone will give him a chance in a more favorable environment. A 1B/DH who hasn't proven he can hit is a hard sell.
   8. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4666061)
I read it as "Yankees May Finally Come Out Ahead in the Trade for Piniella" and was hoping to read a story about some string of trades starting with Ken Wright 40 years ago that led to a prospect who was on his way up. Yes, I'm old and can't read. Also, they did pretty well with the Piniella trade, I guess.
   9. Blastin Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4666108)
P.S. Question for historians: If that above rotation holds, would it be the first 100% non-white starting rotation in MLB history? Probably not, but I can't think of another one off the top of my head.


That would be pretty cool, actually.

And I agree: Sabathia could be Mussina (had a precipitous drop-off, learned how to locate with new stuff and resurges) or he could be done.

Kuroda could be awesome and fade, etc.

Tanaka could be Darvish or he could be Dice-K (to lazily compare him to other NPB pitchers even though he has little in common with them otherwise). He sure works a lot faster than Dice-K though and for that I will love him.

Nova has a chance to be special... but can he do it for a whole year?

And we all know about Pineda, who I'm really rooting for. The yanks' hitters are old, but they could have a rotation that is 3/5ths young and good.

Lots of ?, but I am excited to find out.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4666138)
Someone on another board proposed a swap for another Yankee catching prospect, Austin Romine, who is blocked as the ML backup behind Cervelli and as the AAA starter behind John Murphy


I don't think Cervelli is blocking anyone. I just think the Yankees don't want to call up someone they think might have a legit MLB career so they can play once or twice a week.
   11. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4666145)
Where does Romine play if he isn't on the Yankees? Do he and Murphy split time at AAA? I suppose that's defensible, but the Yankees greatest minor-league depth right now is at catcher, if they're looking to trade prospects that's where they can offer the most interesting players. Either Romine or Murphy is the odd man out, I'm thinking.
   12. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4666153)
Assuming for argument's sake that the final rotation winds up Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and Pineda, has there ever been a starting crew with more potential upside AND more unknown projections


AND all end in "A"?
   13. toratoratora Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4666175)
Assuming for argument's sake that the final rotation winds up Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and Pineda, has there ever been a starting crew with more potential upside AND more unknown projections

Bah-It's the MFY. They'll all be studs, Roberts will miraculously not only remain healthy, but regain his late aughts form, Johnson will hit 30 dingers,Tex will bounce back, Jetes will have a Will Clark-ian final year and Arod will win the Derby.
That's the way these things always go with the MFY. Just when you think they're down and out, they come right back and gut you.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4666190)
I don't think Cervelli is blocking anyone.

According to a story in today's Times, Cervelli is studying Japanese in order to be able to communicate better with Kuroda and Tanaka, who in turn are trying to learn English. That might even turn out a key factor in determining who'll be McCann's backup. (McCann is also studying Japanese.)


----------------------------------------------------------------

Assuming for argument's sake that the final rotation winds up Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and Pineda, has there ever been a starting crew with more potential upside AND more unknown projections

AND all end in "A"?


And that, too. Jesus, how can anyone NOT root for a rotation like this?

----------------------------------------------------------------

Bah-It's the MFY. They'll all be studs, Roberts will miraculously not only remain healthy, but regain his late aughts form, Johnson will hit 30 dingers,Tex will bounce back, Jetes will have a Will Clark-ian final year and Arod will win the Derby.

Nice little finishing touch there yourself.


   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4666193)
And that, too. Jesus, how can anyone NOT root for a rotation like this?


It's remarkably easy.

   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4666203)
Jesus, how can anyone NOT root for a rotation like this?

It's remarkably easy.


Another symptom of our Post-1979 National Decline**. First being punked by Putin, and now this.

**©2014 SugarBear Blanks
   17. JE (Jason) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4666240)
According to a story in today's Times, Cervelli is studying Japanese in order to be able to communicate better with Kuroda and Tanaka, who in turn are trying to learn English. That might even turn out a key factor in determining who'll be McCann's backup. (McCann is also studying Japanese.)

It's also not a bad idea for Cervelli to learn Japanese since it's only a matter of time before he'll need to find work in the NPB.
Jesus, how can anyone NOT root for a rotation like this?

Andy, I'm pretty sure Montero is too busy focusing on Seattle's rotation to answer your question.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4666308)
Assuming for argument's sake that the final rotation winds up Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and Pineda, has there ever been a starting crew with more potential upside AND more unknown projections at this point of the season?

Nova looked very good yesterday, and there are a lot of reasons for optimism. If that depth pans out, the Yankees can be a little more careful with the workload of Sabathia & Kuroda, likely making the older guys more effective in the long haul. The other potential plus is David Phelps, a candidate for the 5th starter who has also had some good outings in relief. If the Yankees don't need him to start, Phelps might be able to fill the long-vacant Ramiro Mendoza role - spot starter, long man, short relief when needed. Pitching is never guaranteed, but if you can't be optimistic is Spring Training, you're probably in for a bad year.
   19. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4666320)
Tanaka has the most obvious upside, but so did Dice-K. Success in Japan isn't necessarily a guarantee of success in MLB.

Dice-K in his first 2 seasons put up something like 380 innings at 126 ERA+, and a 33-15 record. Not quite as good as the hype, but pretty damn good. Then he blew out his arm, as many pitcher's have before and since. But he was a very good pitcher initially.
   20. toratoratora Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4666329)
Dice-K in his first 2 seasons put up something like 380 innings at 126 ERA+, and a 33-15 record.

And caused something like 50,000 heart attacks with his chronic nibbling.
He was the Anti-Pedro-an utter un-joy to watch
   21. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4666379)
Dice-K in his first 2 seasons put up something like 380 innings at 126 ERA+, and a 33-15 record. Not quite as good as the hype, but pretty damn good. Then he blew out his arm, as many pitcher's have before and since. But he was a very good pitcher initially.


Ehh, that second season he had a .260 BABIP (compared to .294 for the rest of his career). His Fangraphs xFIP in 2008 was 4.64. He always walked too many guys.
   22. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4666489)
Dice-K in his first 2 seasons put up something like 380 innings at 126 ERA+, and a 33-15 record.


That significantly oversells his actual value to the team.
   23. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4666499)
if you can't be optimistic is Spring Training, you're probably in for a bad year not much of a baseball fan anyway
   24. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4666503)
I really am pulling for Pineda to be fully recovered and pitch well. I also really want to see Montero turn it around and live up to some of his potential. I want the trade to be worth having arguments about in ten years.
   25. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4666520)
AND all end in "A"?


Bunch of women.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 08, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4668220)
Pineda's 2014 debut against the Tigers yesterday:

2.0 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, no walks, 4 strikeouts, 15 pitches, 15 strikes, no balls

I can't see this as leading to anything but a Cy Young Award, multiple rings, and an eventual plaque in Cooperstown.

I mean, 15 pitches and 15 strikes? I don't think even Alfonso Soriano could match that.

   27. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 08, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4668230)
Pineda was touching 92 with his fastball, which beat writers have pointed out is about 4 mph down from his pre injury fastball. But I guess my question is if early spring training pitching performances usually feature slower velocity numbers since pitchers are just getting started. Or am I thinking too linearly?
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4668232)
Aren't we generally told not to worry too much about velocity this early in the spring? Besides, he threw 15 pitches. Did he even have a chance to get loose?
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4668240)
Joba Chamberlain appeared in the same game but I haven't seen any reports on how he was throwing.
   30. bookbook Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4668242)
By my math, the Yankees came out ahead on this trade every time Montero was written into the M's line up at Catcher, every time Noesi took the mound. The question isn't whether the Yanks "won" this trade, it's all about the orders of magnitude of the mismatch at this point. (I'm rooting for Pineda's future success, and Campos' recovery too.)
   31. Publius Publicola Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4668251)
Joba Chamberlain appeared in the same game but I haven't seen any reports on how he was throwing.


Judging by the results, not all that great. In one inning, he gave up a hit, a walk, and a wild pitch, though two K's and no runs.

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