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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Rangers trade Rafael Montero to Mariners

MLB Trade Rumors: Rafael Montero is going to the Seattle Mariners from the Texas Rangers, per Jeff Passan on Twitter.

Montero, 30, took over the closer role early in 2020, and ended the year with a 4.08 ERA in 17.2 IP over 17 games with 8 saves, and with a 3.70 FIP. Montero, who was signed as a minor league free agent after the 2018 season by Texas, put up a 2.48 ERA in 22 games and 29 innings in 2019 for Texas.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2020 at 02:57 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, rafael montero, rangers

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   1. JRVJ Posted: December 15, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5994362)
I did not expect the Rangers to be this active in the trade market, especially considering how lousy they were in 2020.
   2. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 15, 2020 at 06:51 PM (#5994377)
Why not? The club is in retool mood.
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 16, 2020 at 08:38 AM (#5994437)
Yet another reliever I've never heard of. As the number of relievers approaches infinity ...
   4. JJ1986 Posted: December 16, 2020 at 09:13 AM (#5994449)
I didn't think Montero had gotten that good after leaving the Mets and he really hasn't. He's probably above average, but not sure he's worth trading for.
   5. Adam Starblind Posted: December 16, 2020 at 09:17 AM (#5994451)
This is future Mets ace Rafael Montero. Consistently ranked ahead of likely bullpen piece Jacob deGrom on prospect lists.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5994552)
Montero is 3 years younger than deGrom who didn't throw a pitch in the majors until age 26 (though effective from day 1). They both debuted in 2014 and that was the first year either made the top 100 prospects -- Montero at a not overly impressive #68 at BA and #85 at MLB and apparently not top 100 at BPro. Montero must have also had an interesting path as he wasn't signed out of the DR until age 20. Comparing them by age is essentially impossible -- deGrom's first appearance in b-r's register is 26 IP at age 22 (2010) then nothing at age 23 (2011, Montero's first year). By the age deGrom has started his development at age 24, Montero has already in the majors.

We could go by year. In 2012, deGrom had a 2.43 ERA across A/A+; Montero had a 2.36 ERA across A/A+ in a few more innings. In 2013, deGrom had a 4.51 ERA across A+/AA/AAA -- half those innings were at AAA Las Vegas but he also had a 4.80 at AA Birmingham. His K-rate was just 7.3/9. Montero 2013 had a 2.78 ERA across AA/AAA with more AAA innings and a 8.7 K/9. Who's the better prospect, the 22-yo with the better ERA and K/9 or the 25-yo?

In 2014, Montero got off to an OK start in Vegas with a 3.67 ERA and 41 K in 41 IP. He got called up for 4 bad but not atrocious by rookie standards starts and bounced back and forth for the rest of the year which seems to have included a couple weeks on the minors IL. deGrom got off a better start with a 2.58 ERA but just 29 K in 38 innings at Vegas. His debut came the day after Montero's and in his first 4 starts, he put up a 2.42 ERA and K'd 25 in 26 innings and the rest is history. Montero gets hurt and throws just 28 innings in 2015 and misses all of 2018 too.

Prospecting is hard, doubly so when one of the guys gets hurt at 24 and 27. (I assume it was injuries.) But right up until mid-May 2014, Montero performed as well or better than deGrom and was 3 years younger. Baseball is a funny game.
   7. Adam Starblind Posted: December 16, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5994562)
Yeah, by the numbers it was logical. We were all excited about Montero. He had excellent control to go along with decent strikeout rates.

I wonder what scouts thought though. Montero had a low 90s fastball and was one of these guys who got accolades because "deception" made it look faster--despite how many of those guys crater when they reach AAA or the majors.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5994726)
Could well be. That Montero barely made the top 100 in his age 23 season suggests scouts weren't that excited although I'm sure a big season in the minors would have shot him up the list. I'm more interested in what the scouts thought of deGrom and why Montero wasn't signed until age 20. Was deGrom thought of reasonably highly but the prospect lists ignored him due to age or were the scouts as/more lukewarm about deGrom. On Montero ... was he maybe a crappy position player nobody wanted at 16-17 who switched? Or was he already having arm problems as a teenager?
   9. Adam Starblind Posted: December 18, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5994832)
Was deGrom thought of reasonably highly but the prospect lists ignored him due to age or were the scouts as/more lukewarm about deGrom.

I think deGrom's prospect status was relatively scout driven. He was originally a position player and only began pitching as a junior in college. Very soon after arriving in the minors he needed Tommy John, which probably scrambled what anyone had thought of him. Came back and succeeded as relatively old for the low minors, and then didn't get great results at AAA. And besides Montero, he was behind Harvey, Wheeler and Syndergaard in terms of prospect status. So he was touted for his "stuff" rather than dominance in the minors. Then he arrived in MLB somehow more or less a fully formed ace.

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