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Friday, January 13, 2012

Yankees trade Jesus Montero to Mariners for Michael Pineda

Jay Buhner was unavailable for comment.

Gamingboy Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:26 PM | 111 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, yankees

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   1. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4036764)
Wow. Both teams get some valuable players. This will be interesting to watch over the next few years. If Campos is as good as he appears, the Yanks might have gotten two REALLY strong arms for Jesus.
   2. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4036765)
Yanks also pick up Kuroda, so much for Edwin Jackson.
   3. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4036768)
Is this considered a F***ing A trade?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4036770)
So, how much cash are the Yankees kicking in to send Burnett packing? I say $15M.

Or, does some team have a good bat for DH on a bad contract?
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4036771)
Is this considered a F***ing A trade?

I think so. Nice to see a good old fashioned baseball trade with no financial considerations.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4036773)
Find myself thinking of Nick Johnson for Javier Vazquez here. Not saying it will play out like that, just that it kind of has a similar feel from this Red Sox fans POV. While I'm unhappy that the Yanks have added a talented starter I'm somewhat pleased that they've gotten rid of this bat.
   7. jacjacatk Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4036774)
Or, does some team have a good bat for DH on a bad contract?


Alfonso Soriano says hi.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4036776)
Like I said before, win for the Yankees. Montero's defense is suspect at best, he had a disappointing 2011 in AAA while Pineda did well in the MLB, and a young SP > young DH. The Yanks don't have to sit around and wait for any kind of adjustment Montero might have to make and can even go and get a decent DH on the FA market. On top of all that, Campos is a nice throw in.

Not a terrible deal for the Mariners, as they are loaded with young pitching and need offense badly. But its a heckuva challenge trade for them.

So does Phil Hughes go to the pen? Freddy Garcia? AJ Burnett?
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4036777)
He said good bat.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4036778)
Montero's defense is suspect at best, he had a disappointing 2011 in AAA
And a 159 OPS+ in the majors.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4036780)
AJ Burnett?

Gotta think Burnett's gone, regardless of how much the Yankees have to eat.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4036781)

Or, does some team have a good bat for DH on a bad contract?


Carloe Lee.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4036784)
Carloe Lee.

Again, "good bat"

Why pay Carlos Lee $9M (Houston will reportedly eat half the $) when you can pay Carlos Pena $10M?
   14. Tuque Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4036785)
Is this considered a F***ing A trade?

It's at least a "Holy Shit" trade. That was what I said when I saw it.
   15. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4036786)
Montero...had a disappointing 2011 in AAA


I think you're overstating this. He had a rough patch mid-season but tore it up in July/August then stepped in to the Bigs and crushed the ball there too. The kid played his age 20&21; seasons at AAA with an ~.850 OPS.

Concerns about his defense are valid but so far I don't think we've seen anything from him that should materially change our opinions of him. He looks like a slugger to me. If he can catch he's a star, if he can't, well, probably good, not great.
   16. Danny Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4036787)
And a 159 OPS+ in the majors.

Relevant.

Great trade for the Yanks in the near term. Getting a DH at Montero's current level shouldn't be too expensive.
   17. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4036788)
I was playing MLB The Show this year in the Road To The Show mode, and I was a young pitcher, and I was awesome. I think I had an ERA of 0.30 or something like that, and I had thrown 2 perfect games (this was all in AA) but the Yankees wouldn't promote me to AAA. Then at the deadline they traded me for Carlos Lee.
   18. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4036789)
Now that I've looked at the numbers, I'm not sure Pineda is that great. He had very low BABIP in all but one month--July, when it was .299, still below average, and that month his ERA was 6.75. Obviously that's a tiny sample and probably meaningless, but it's a little concerning. On the other hand, his bad starts in July included a lot of home runs, which could always be a fluke. Still, if his ERA+ is 103 again, his raw ERA will be in the 4.50 range, so the fans and media will think he's a bust. I could see this turning into a Javy Vazquez situation. He'll have to improve markedly to not be considered a bust.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4036790)

I think you're overstating this. He had a rough patch mid-season but tore it up in July/August then stepped in to the Bigs and crushed the ball there too. The kid played his age 20&21; seasons at AAA with an ~.850 OPS.


It was his second go-around in AAA and he's the top hitting prospect in baseball. He probably shouldn't be having rough patches.

I'm not saying he sucks, just that 2011 was a bit disappointing and is a bit of a red flag going forward.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4036792)
Now that I've looked at the numbers, I'm not sure Pineda is that great. He had very low BABIP in all but one month--July, when it was .299, still below average, and that month his ERA was 6.75. Obviously that's a tiny sample and probably meaningless, but it's a little concerning. On the other hand, his bad starts in July included a lot of home runs, which could always be a fluke. Still, if his ERA+ is 103 again, his raw ERA will be in the 4.50 range, so the fans and media will think he's a bust. I could see this turning into a Javy Vazquez situation. He'll have to improve markedly to not be considered a bust.

His ZiPs projection is something like a 112 ERA+. A 9 K/9 ratio and 3 K/BB is very good, especially at 22.

He's a FB pitcher, so BABIP should be low.
   21. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4036793)
Now that I've looked at the numbers, I'm not sure Pineda is that great. He had very low BABIP in all but one month--July, when it was .299, still below average, and that month his ERA was 6.75. Obviously that's a tiny sample and probably meaningless, but it's a little concerning. On the other hand, his bad starts in July included a lot of home runs, which could always be a fluke. Still, if his ERA+ is 103 again, his raw ERA will be in the 4.50 range, so the fans and media will think he's a bust. I could see this turning into a Javy Vazquez situation. He'll have to improve markedly to not be considered a bust.
Exactly. It seems that everyone thinks that Pineda is the Yankees' obvious #2 starter right away. I can see him maybe being that in a couple of years, but right now I think he's just another guy who might help them in the rotation next year, and might not.

And I think they traded away Carlos Delgado.
   22. The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4036795)
It's at least a "Holy ####\" trade. That was what I said when I saw it.
Yeah, you don't often see 22-year-old Rookie of the Year contenders traded for Grade A prospects. What examples are there of players this young with these kind of pedigrees getting swapped for each other? Josh Hamilton for Edinson Volquez? But Volquez was really struggling at the time (and honestly hasn't done all that much since, other than one good-but-not-great season) I guess you could argue Trevor Cahill for Jarrod Parker qualifies. Ehh, I'm too tired to think, but anyway, rare. (But I hope we see more of it; it makes logical sense, plus it's ballsy.)

I was playing MLB The Show this year in the Road To The Show mode, and I was a young pitcher, and I was awesome. I think I had an ERA of 0.30 or something like that, and I had thrown 2 perfect games (this was all in AA) but the Yankees wouldn't promote me to AAA. Then at the deadline they traded me for Carlos Lee.
Ouch.
   23. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4036797)
Do the Mariners have anyone who can hit like Montero? He'll be the youngest (and least MLB service time) #3 or #4 hitter in baseball.
   24. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4036800)
What examples are there of players this young with this much proven value getting swapped for each other?


Again, Nick Johnson and Javy Vazquez.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4036802)
Do the Mariners have anyone who can hit like Montero? He'll be the youngest (and least MLB service time) #3 or #4 hitter in baseball.

Nope. But Safeco is going to kill him.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4036804)

What examples are there of players this young with this much proven value getting swapped for each other?


Young for Garza/Bartlett?
   27. Lassus Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4036814)
WOW
   28. puck Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4036818)
Again, Nick Johnson and Javy Vazquez.


That trade seemed quite different; they were traded after their age 24 and age 26 seasons. Vazquez had 191 starts and (I think) Johnson had already had an extended stay on the DL.
   29. Darren Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4036820)
This is a super-gutsy trade on both sides. I'd guess that these prospect for prospect deals don't happen often because being wrong is very, very painful. I'm not the prospect maven I used to be, but I'd rather have the hitter over the pitchers.
   30. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4036825)
Holy ####. Also, ######' A.
   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4036826)
Damn, I hate to see Montero go, but it's hard to complain about the upside (especially with Kurada added to the mix), and before today the Yanks' rotation had the chance of being scary-bad, so something had to be done.
   32. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4036832)
I this is the right move for the Yankees. People here are underselling Pineda. 9 K/9 and excellent control; he projects to a sub-4.00 even in the AL East/YS, and if he improves a notch he's an ace. He's a pitcher and he's more risky, but Montero is a DH, and his upside is less. Risky move, but one the Yankees should be making, especially since they'd rather buy hitting than pitching on the FA market.
   33. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4036833)
And now the Yankees are rumored to be in on Carlos Pena. Ugh. This trade, plus Kuroda/Pena, is a great off-season for them.
   34. The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4036841)
Of course, it was reported that the M's could have gotten Montero two years ago, in exchange for three months of Cliff Lee. Then they'd have both Montero and Pineda now. But no, they had to insist that the Yankees throw in the immortal David Adams.

Cameron suggests that the M's install Montero at DH, and sign one of EJax/Oswalt.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4036842)
And now the Yankees are rumored to be in on Carlos Pena.

Well, with Montero gone, I should certainly hope so.
   36. The Original SJ Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4036845)
carlos pena makes some sense as long as he NEVER sees a single pitch from a left hander. even Félix Doubront.
   37. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4036846)
Oddly, this move would open up some ABs for Posada, should everyone have been inclined that way.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4036849)
carlos pena makes some sense as long as he NEVER sees a single pitch from a left hander. even Félix Doubront.

Well, Andruw Jones' presence, and the need to DH ARod at least 40 games makes that pretty easy.
   39. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4036851)
I did enjoy the "DON'T F#&@ WITH THE JESUS" yell when he did something cool.
   40. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4036852)
Is this considered a F***ing A trade?

I Twittah'd after the trade happened this was "Cashman pulling a "f***ing AA trade"". As in Anthopoulos. Clever. (self eye roll)
   41. Boxkutter Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4036854)
Two years ago I hated the fact that Seattle didn't trade (Cliff Lee) for Jesus Montero, and now I hate the fact that they did trade for him. Don't get me wrong, I still like Montero. I like him more than Justin Smoak. But the only thing that team had going for it was their 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation. Now we have one good SP, and two young, but good hitters.

If they had made the correct trade two years ago, we could have had Montero in the majors last season seeing if he was able to catch (I am still guessing not). We'd still have our 1-2 punch at the top of the line-up, and we would still have all our pitching prospects. Why did they feel the need to do the Noesi/Campos part??? Is trading high upside pitching for back-of-the-rotation starters a new market inefficiency? With Walker/Hultzen/Paxton/Campos the Mariners were getting a nice farm system of pitchers going. You know two will flame out, one will be a league average RP or SP, but one is likely to live up to much of his hype.

Can Montero even play catcher right now? Or did the 1B/DH situation get crowded? Smoak is likely the starter still, which leaves Carp and Montero to DH? Carp was arguably the Ms best hitter last season, where does he go? LF? He sucks defensively out there. And we still have Catricala who isn't far from the majors and doesn't seem to have a defensive position. He is playing 3B, but most scouts don't think he can handle it in the majors (the Montero of the left infield). Can he handle a corner OF spot?

Doing the correct deal two years ago would have prevented all this. They'd have Montero instead of Smoak right now, but still have Pineda and Campos. Lee wouldn't have gone to Texas and helped them reach the World Series, which means they may not have made it last year either. And the Rangers wouldn't have gotten the two Compensation Picks (Matthews & Cone). That subsequently caused the Angels to go All-In with Pujols and Wilson. So even if this move works, Seattle still finishes in third place.

Oh, and let's not forget that we also received a rapist in the Lee for Smoak trade two years ago. You're ####### up, Jack Z. You're ####### up.
   42. tshipman Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4036861)
Nope. But Safeco is going to kill him.


/agree. The miasma of suck surrounding Seattle will also hurt.
   43. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4036868)
Now we have one good SP, and two young, but good hitters.


Well, an excellent SP. Who is the other good hitter?
   44. CraigK Posted: January 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4036877)
Ackley.
   45. shoewizard Posted: January 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4036886)
This make the M's less likely to be a suitor for Fielder ?
   46. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4036888)
As much as I like Montero, this was a very good trade for the Yankees, who can bump Garcia to the bullpen as the long man/sixth starter. Now the next step is to trade Burnett to the Cubs for Soriano.
   47. The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4036891)
As much as I like Montero, this was a very good trade for the Yankees, who can bump Garcia to the bullpen as the long man/sixth starter.
Regardless of whether they should do that or not, it seems much more likely that Hughes would be the victim, no?
   48. APNY Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4036894)
Even if you even out the money, no way do I want Soriano's age 36-38 seasons.
   49. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4036895)
Bold move Cashman, bold move.

I always assumed trading Montero would bother me more. Now I'm just curious to see how this turns out.
   50. Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4036898)
Nope. But Safeco is going to kill him.

How many games will they play at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington?

Oh, Oakland.
   51. . . . . . . Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4036906)
Pineda is such a good fit for the Yanks that even if the trade was dead on balls even, it had to be made. And I think that it's actually an objective win for the Yanks - I love getting the extra high ceiling arm. And the long term plan stays in place.
   52. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4036917)
Pineda is such a good fit for the Yanks


With the fly balls?
   53. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4036921)
Exactly. It seems that everyone thinks that Pineda is the Yankees' obvious #2 starter right away. I can see him maybe being that in a couple of years, but right now I think he's just another guy who might help them in the rotation next year, and might not.

And I think they traded away Carlos Delgado.


I can say from watching Pineda against the A's that the guy is definitely the Yankees #2 starter right away, and it's not just because they don't have anyone else or because everybody looks awesome against the A's. He's an ace on more than half of all teams. Sabathia-Pineda-Kuroda-Hughes-Burnett is an excellent rotation and won't be much worse than anyone's in the postseason other than the Phillies.

Pineda put up some great numbers last year at 22. Among "Qualified" pitchers on FG, he was 1st in SwStr, 5th in Z-Contact%, %6th in K%, 17th in SIERA. He is one nasty dude.

Amazingly, I also think the Mariners got the better talent in this deal though. Montero can be an all-star 1B for years, if he can actually play there. Carlos Delgado is a good comp, other than the lefty/righty thing.
   54. Dan Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4036930)
I Twittah'd after the trade happened this was "Cashman pulling a "f***ing AA trade"". As in Anthopoulos. Clever. (self eye roll)


Nah. In order to make this an AA trade, Cashman would have to turn around and flip Pineda to the A's for Grant Balfour.
   55. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:04 AM (#4036933)
I think we're jumping the gun on Montero as DH. Name the one team that jumps to mind that could probably use to trade some defense for more offense and the Mariners are easily the very top of that list.
   56. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:42 AM (#4036935)
Haven't read through the thread yet, but has Cashman gone crazy? Possessed by George Steinbrenner's ghost?
   57. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:00 AM (#4036940)
Haven't read through the thread yet, but has Cashman gone crazy? Possessed by George Steinbrenner's ghost?


How so? I mean this deal could totally backfire, but classic steinbrenner would have traded big talent youth for aging veteran. This is young stud for young stud.
   58. Stevey Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:13 AM (#4036941)
Do the Mariners have anyone who can hit like Montero? He'll be the youngest (and least MLB service time) #3 or #4 hitter in baseball.


All the way back in June 2010, Carlos Santana debuted in the #3 spot for the Indians.
   59. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:03 AM (#4036945)
I mean this deal could totally backfire, but classic steinbrenner would have traded big talent youth for aging veteran.

To be fair, his baseball people kept saying "Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps".
   60. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 14, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4036959)
I came here to see all the Yankee-haters and Yankee fanboys turn on dimes in their respective evaluations of Montero, but almost everybody is being ridiculously reasonable. You guys are no fun anymore.
   61. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 14, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4036965)
Sabathia-Pineda-Kuroda-Hughes-Burnett is an excellent rotation and won't be much worse than anyone's in the postseason other than the Phillies.


You forgot Nova. No way is he not in the rotation.
   62. Darren Posted: January 14, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4036967)
Noesi's not getting much ink in this deal, but wasn't he expected to be in the Yanks rotation last year before getting hurt? His 2010 was very nice in AA. He's a nice addition to this deal for the Mariners.

I keep going back and forth on this. It must be a fair deal.
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4036984)
The risks in this trade seem pretty fairly balanced. I'd rather have an excellent hitting catcher than an excellent starter, but I'd rather have a good starter than a good DH. And I'd rather have a solid DH than a guy with an arm injury. Montero's got a higher downside and a higher upside, but Pineda's quite a bit better than Montero right now - he's already a good pitcher, and Montero right now is merely a pretty good DH. And Pineda has superstar upside as well.

Obviously a good trade for the Yankees, given their current roster set-up. They weren't in a very good position to find out if Montero can be what he can be, and Pineda is exactly what the roster needed.

It's only a good trade for the Mariners is Montero turns out. (and the other two guys don't have wildly differing outcomes). They're betting on him being a star.

I'm mostly annoyed because I've been holding Montero for my fantasy team. He should have catcher eligibility for a few years at least, and his bat will be a big plus. But now he's in frickin' Safeco, where RHB go to die.
   64. TerpNats Posted: January 14, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4036989)
Remember, guys, in 2013 Montero will get eight or nine games a year at Minute Maid Park, against an Astros rotation in transition. Trips to Houston will make him salivate like a Pavlovian canine.

And while Buhner for Phelps gets all the ink regarding bad Yankees deals, let's not forget Willie McGee for Bob Sykes. At least Phelps had some value in the majors for a while; the only "Bob Sykes" who ever did anything in NY was a guy who owned a car dealership in Queens.
   65. LionoftheSenate Posted: January 14, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4037004)
The Yankees value young pitching more than young hitting, I get that. But it seems obvious Montero is a better player than Pinata. Yankees are making 3rd place decisions.
   66. Blastin Posted: January 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4037005)
This trade is the type I make in Baseball Mogul all the time where I swoop in and steal a pitching stud after their first success. I always win the World Series.

Would that life were like a computer game. Hah.

(As for real analysis: it's a risk, and if they really thought he couldn't catch, they have other catchers comin'. I'm happy with the new rotation though, for sure.)
   67. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4037012)
Ok, I looked by Pineda and he was better than I thought he was. He had more Ks than IP, and very solid BB and HR rates. His Whip was excellent. I'm kind of surprised his ERA+ only wound up at 103 since his peripherals were so good.
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4037014)
Ok, I looked by Pineda and he was better than I thought he was. He had more Ks than IP, and very solid BB and HR rates. His Whip was excellent. I'm kind of surprised his ERA+ only wound up at 103 since his peripherals were so good.
Not disagreeing at all that Pineda is a very good pitcher.

But if you're looking for a reason for his high ERA, it's that HR rate. Pineda's a pretty extreme FB pitcher, and a HR rate of about a homer allowed per 9 innings in Safeco is definitely below average. No question he's real good, but the main aspect of his statistical profile that isn't great is the FB rate and HR rate.
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4037015)
But it seems obvious Montero is a better player than Pinata. Yankees are making 3rd place decisions.

Not if he can't catch. The Yankees have nowhere else to put him.

RLYW has Pineda projected at 3.2 WAR in only 168 IP. To match that at DH you need to be an awesome hitter.

David Ortiz's 154 OPS+ last year was worth 3.8 WAR, his 137 OPS+ in 2010 was 2.8 WAR.

Montero would have to better a 140 OPS+ next year to match Pineda's expected value as a Yankee. And Pineda has real upside from there. If he gives you 200 IP, he's a 4 WAR guy.

   70. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4037021)
Dave Cameron (hear me out, please), is down on this deal from the Mariner side, more than most. Part of that is that he looks at Montero's minor league performance and he sees Carlos Lee. I'm not disagreeing with that from a statistical projection point of view. However, the question I have , however, is whether or not that's a fair way to judge a top hitting prospect. Put another way, the guys who become the elite major league hitters (and scouts all seem to agree that Montero, from a tools POV, is that kind of guy) how often is their ML performance simply them living up to their statistical projection and how often do they exceed that projection?
   71. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4037023)
Ah I see. I thought that 1 HR/9IP was pretty good. But looking it up now, the average AL team hit 162 HRs last year (and that's before adjusting for SafeCo). It used to be in the 180s; I need to mentally adjust for the lower HR totals of today.
   72. billyshears Posted: January 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4037032)
Dave Cameron (hear me out, please), is down on this deal from the Mariner side, more than most. Part of that is that he looks at Montero's minor league performance and he sees Carlos Lee. I'm not disagreeing with that from a statistical projection point of view. However, the question I have , however, is whether or not that's a fair way to judge a top hitting prospect. Put another way, the guys who become the elite major league hitters (and scouts all seem to agree that Montero, from a tools POV, is that kind of guy) how often is their ML performance simply them living up to their statistical projection and how often do they exceed that projection?


I think this is an important point. When Jose Reyes was a prospect, a lot of people were making comparisons to Edgar Renteria (as a way of making the point that Reyes projected to be merely an average MLB SS). The question with any isolated comparison like that though, is whether the comparable developed in an expected way, of if they were an outlier. Obviously a system like PECOTA that considers a number of comparables is better, but even PECOTA has difficulty with unusual prospects. It's ultimately a banal point that all prospects are individuals, but I think it's something that we often lose sight of.
   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4037035)
On the other hand, great hitting prospects who actually hit great are better.

Carlos Delgado, to whom Montero was compared above, hit 303/430/524 as a 21-year-old in AA in 1993. Manny Ramirez, whom I've heard as a comp for Montero as a hitter, was also 21 in the high minors in 1993. He hit 333/417/613.

I assume that Montero has a better chance of being a special hitter than someone with similar numbers and less impressive tools, but I think there's a good point to be made that he should be compared to players with both similar tools and similar results, not to players who massively out-hit him.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4037037)
On the other hand, great hitting prospects who actually hit great are better.

Carlos Delgado, to whom Montero was compared above, hit 303/430/524 as a 21-year-old in AA in 1993. Manny Ramirez, whom I've heard as a comp for Montero as a hitter, was also 21 in the high minors in 1993. He hit 333/417/613.

I assume that Montero has a better chance of being a special hitter than someone with similar numbers and less impressive tools, but I think there's a good point to be made that he should be compared to players with both similar tools and similar results, not to players who massively out-hit him.


How much do we think catching has suppressed his offense?
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4037038)
Fair point. Delgado was catching at the time, so he's still outhitting Montero by a big step, but there's a general principle worth considering. Didn't Tango do a study on the offense-limiting effect of catching? Or someone? I feel like I remember reading about it, but a quick google turns up nothing.
   76. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4037041)
On the other hand, great hitting prospects who actually hit great are better.

Carlos Delgado, to whom Montero was compared above, hit 303/430/524 as a 21-year-old in AA in 1993. Manny Ramirez, whom I've heard as a comp for Montero as a hitter, was also 21 in the high minors in 1993. He hit 333/417/613.

I assume that Montero has a better chance of being a special hitter than someone with similar numbers and less impressive tools, but I think there's a good point to be made that he should be compared to players with both similar tools and similar results, not to players who massively out-hit him.


Anyone care to do the leg work on, if possible, looking at the top 10 projected hitters for '12 and then showing what their projections said they would hit when they were 21/22 years old?

EDIT: In addition, Montero also killed the ball in High A and AA as a 19-year-old to a similar extent (.356/.406/.583 and .317/.370/.539, respectively, in pitcher's parks in pitcher's leagues) as those guys. The question is then, does his AAA performance represent a regression, as the numbers would seem to indicate, or boredom, as some scouts have theorized and his SSS MLB numbers may have you think).

It's a very interesting trade from both sides.
   77. Johnny Slick Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4037042)
I love Dave Cameron to death as a Mariners fan but his Achilles heel is that he tends to overrate Mariners and Mariner prospects (and former Mariner prospects like Adam Jones) and underrate guys who aren't in the system and/or haven't been there before. I like Pineda and think he could become a #2 starter but in order to do so he has some room to grow. First and foremost, he needs a 3rd pitch and ideally a 4th. He sort of has a change-up but it's not very good. If he continues to develop that pitch, yeah, the sky's the limit. Lots and lots of pitchers don't do that. As it stands, he was unhittable his first tour around the league but once everyone caught on that it's either fastball or slider he was very, very average.

The other issue with him, as noted, is that in an environment that's not as pitcher-friendly as the Safe, he could have some significant gopher ball issues. And platoon splits from hell. Again, this is the kind of thing that can be overcome, especially by learning that 3rd pitch. Anyway, point being, there are lots of (solid) questions being asked of Montero's future role. What I'm saying is, Pineda's future isn't exactly locked either. 5 years from now he could very easily be a high-leverage relief pitcher. I think we can agree that if that's his future, the M's come out ahead (assuming Campos and Noesi more or less cancel each other out, which in and of itself is far from a sure thing).

TL;DR version: I like the move from both sides here. The Mariners need to shore up their lineup, and the Yankees had no place to put Montero. Sure, maybe the M's could have fetched more for Pineda but I also think they sold very, very high with him. It's hard to say what his 50th-percentile outcome is in 5 years because, well, he's a pitcher, but there is a TON of variance there. He's thrown so many innings that his arm could blow out and as noted he has significant holes in his game which could force a transition into short relief even if his arm does hold together.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4037044)
Fair point. Delgado was catching at the time, so he's still outhitting Montero by a big step, but there's a general principle worth considering. Didn't Tango do a study on the offense-limiting effect of catching? Or someone? I feel like I remember reading about it, but a quick google turns up nothing.

Also, have mLB offensive levels come down like MLB?
   79. Blastin Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4037045)
a transition into short relief


Well, we gotta replace Mo somehow. Heh.
   80. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4037046)
Any word on where the Mariners are planning on playing Montero?
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4037047)
5 years from now he could very easily be a high-leverage relief pitcher.

I find that hard to believe, barring catastrophic arm injury.

The guy's downside should be avg. SP, given a top fastball, and very good control.
   82. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4037048)
Well, we gotta replace Mo somehow. Heh.

Isn't that what Joba Hughes Soriano Robertson is for?

EDIT: I find that hard to believe, barring catastrophic arm injury.

The guy's downside should be avg. SP, given a top fastball, and very good control.


Why is it very hard to believe that a two pitch pitcher with a gopher ball problem who struggled mightily in the 2nd half last year may have the downside of a high leverage reliever?
   83. billyshears Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4037050)
On the other hand, great hitting prospects who actually hit great are better.

Carlos Delgado, to whom Montero was compared above, hit 303/430/524 as a 21-year-old in AA in 1993. Manny Ramirez, whom I've heard as a comp for Montero as a hitter, was also 21 in the high minors in 1993. He hit 333/417/613.

I assume that Montero has a better chance of being a special hitter than someone with similar numbers and less impressive tools, but I think there's a good point to be made that he should be compared to players with both similar tools and similar results, not to players who massively out-hit him.


Well, Montero had a very similar line at age 20 in AAA as Manny Ramirez did at age 20 in A+. Of course, Ramirez exploded at age 21 and Montero had a bit of a weird age 21 season. You would be hard pressed to make the case that Delgado was a better prospect than Montero until their age 21 season. This is not meant to throw out Montero's last year as much as it is to point out that prospect evaluation can turn on very small samples which can be interpreted in various different ways.
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4037052)
Any word on where the Mariners are planning on playing Montero?

This is the $64,000 question.

I'd give him 100 Gs at catcher this year, then make the call.

At DH, he needs to be a 140 OPS+ to be a 3.5 WAR player. Unless he is Miggy Cabrera, he needs to catch.
   85. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4037053)
Yankees have a space for Fielder now, I see.
   86. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4037055)
At DH, he needs to be a 140 OPS+ to be a 3.5 WAR player. Unless he is Miggy Cabrera, he needs to catch.


Do you work for Microsoft tech support? This is unassailably true, yet misses the point completely.

He's a Mariner. Whether or not he's an All-Star DH, all he needs to be is demonstrably better than the other in-house alternatives in order to have value to the team.
   87. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4037056)
As it stands, he was unhittable his first tour around the league but once everyone caught on that it's either fastball or slider he was very, very average.
Well, his game logs don't exactly fit that narrative. The stretch in July that killed Pineda's great run and bumped his ERA up by a full point (18 R in 16 IP in three games) came against three teams (the Angels, Jays, and Red Sox) who hadn't faced Pineda before. Certainly, it's possible that these clubs "caught on" through advance scouting, but it's not perfectly clear.

Pineda does have a pretty clear 1st time facing him / 2nd or 3rd time facing him split. 3.20 ERA in 98 innings against teams who'd never faced him before, 4.46 ERA in 73 innings the second or third time around.

EDIT: Mischaracterized one start. Pineda had faced Toronto once before they beat him up in July. So my first paragraph is partly wrong, and the numbers in the second paragraph were wrong. I corrected the split in the edit.
   88. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 14, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4037070)
He's a Mariner. Whether or not he's an All-Star DH, all he needs to be is demonstrably better than the other in-house alternatives in order to have value to the team.


This misses the point by even more than the post you quoted. We're talking about whether the guy is going to be an elite player, not whether he's going to be the best hitter on a bad hitting team.
   89. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4037076)
He's a Mariner. Whether or not he's an All-Star DH, all he needs to be is demonstrably better than the other in-house alternatives in order to have value to the team.
The out-house alternatives matter too. This is the offseason. The Mariners could still sign any number of cromulent DH types. Johnny Damon, Vlad Guerrero, Hideki Matsui, and Magglio Ordonez all remain unsigned. The replacement level for DH in the offseason is a reasonably averagish hitter.
   90. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4037080)
EDIT: This was partly in response to Anyone care to do the leg work on, if possible, looking at the top 10 projected hitters for '12 and then showing what their projections said they would hit when they were 21/22 years old? although not what they asked for (but a lot easier to do :-):

Montero ZiPS, age 22: 271/333/486, 112 OPS+ (NYS)
Hosmer ZiPS, age 22: 304/354/474, 123 OPS+
Trout ZiPS, age 20: 267/338/414, 106 OPS+
Belt* ZiPS, age 24: 268/365/452, 121 OPS+
Freeman ZiPS, age 22: 279/344/455, 115 OPS+
Heyward ZiPS, age 22: 255/360/427, 113 OPS+ (shoulda seen him last year)

Some from 2011:

Stanton, age 21: 246/327/493, 112 OPS+ (actual 262/356/537, 141)**
Morrison, age 23: 284/372/452, 116 OPS+ (actual 247/330/468, 116)
J Upton, age 23: 292/369/505, 125 OPS+ (actual 289/369/529, 141)
Snider, age 23: 260/320/465, 108 OPS+ (actual 225/269/348, 65)***

There's nothing particularly special about Montero's projection as a hitter except for the power (which if you're going to have one thing...) even after you adjust for his age. On the other hand, other than Stanton, Hosmer and Trout (I suppose), nobody is clearly ahead of him. And he could bust out just like Stanton and Upton.

But if he can't stay at C, he's not looking like a special player (e.g. I'd then much rather have Castro's projected 104 OPS+, age 22, comps of Jeter, Brett, Yount and Molitor).

*I know there's a big 2 years age difference but felt the 9 point OPS+ gap was sufficient to justify his inclusion. See also Morrison and Upton.

**This guy should be considered a god around here and yet we rarely talk about him.

*** Included just to scare the crap out of Montero fans given the similarity of the projections. :-)
   91. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4037084)
Also, weren't the Ms supposed to trade Pineda for Votto? :-)

Actually, given that Montero's upside is Votto-esque, Cameron wasn't as far off as usual. :-)
   92. Srul Itza Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4037088)
I was really looking forward to rooting for Montero as a home-grown Yankee stud hitter. But I really like the new rotation.

Now if the Yankees can just "Vernon Wells" AJ Burnett to some dumb team . . .

   93. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 14, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4037091)
Do you work for Microsoft tech support? This is unassailably true, yet misses the point completely.
That's our early leader for BBTF Put-Down of the Year in 2012
   94. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4037101)
It's about half of a Nineties joke, and I forget the other half. It has something to do with a helicopter.

*EDIT*

Whoop! There it is!

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications qquipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter's position and course to fly to the airport. The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter's window. The pilot's sign said "WHERE AM I?" in large letters. People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign and held it in a building window. Their sign read: "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER." The pilot smiled, waved, looked at her map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely. After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER" sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded "I knew that had to be the Microsoft building because, like their technical support, online help and product documentation, the response they gave me was technically correct, but completely useless."


   95. Squash Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4037121)
He sort of has a change-up but it's not very good. If he continues to develop that pitch, yeah, the sky's the limit. Lots and lots of pitchers don't do that.

The "He just needs to develop a changeup!" bit about pitchers is pretty much the same as "If he just improves his plate discipline!" thing with hitters. It almost never really happens - you've either got it or you don't.
   96. Randy Jones Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4037141)
The "He just needs to develop a changeup!" bit about pitchers is pretty much the same as "If he just improves his plate discipline!" thing with hitters. It almost never really happens - you've either got it or you don't.


This is absolutely untrue. Many, many pitchers are able to develop new pitches as their careers progress. Both old and young pitchers. Also, maybe Mo can teach Pineda the cutter. He's taught it to a number of other pitchers that have come to the Yankees.
   97. cardsfanboy Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4037154)
Well, we gotta replace Mo somehow. Heh.


The Reliever with the best war(AL) last season was David Robertson, they might already have the replacement for Mo.
   98. Srul Itza Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4037155)
maybe Mo can teach Pineda the cutter.


Now there's your nightmare scenario for the AL East.
   99. drdr Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4037156)
Montero had bad year (for top prospect) in AAA this year, but he had eye infection and some catcher's arm injuries (hit wrist or tumb, I can't remember). Otherwise, he is one of those prospects for whom you can't say "he only needs to learn...". He has good contact skill, he has power, he doesn't strike out too much for a power hitter, he can take a walk. He needs to improve, of course, but doesn't need to develop something he doesn't have right now.
I really like both Montero and Noesi, but I think Yankees made a good trade. They found a pither who didn't cost them B&B, and I like him better than Oakland's pitchers, and they got a good prospect back. Noesi can be league-average starter, but in NY he would only be last men in the pen.
   100. Johnny Slick Posted: January 14, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4037163)
As pointed out in the fangraphs page, the cutter really doesn't work for Pineda as a 3rd pitch because it's too similar to the slider. Maybe as a 4th pitch once he develops his change, but he really needs to develop that change-up first. Last year per Fangraphs he only got it over the plate roughly half the time, and when he did get it over hitters mashed it. I agree that this definitely isn't a "he only needs plate discipline" issue in that it's one skill Pineda needs to add, not several ("plate discipline" includes eye but also things like wrist strength and the ability to foul off pitches on 2-strike counts).
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