About two hours after my blog on Friday the Mariners traded Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero. The first calls to sports radio shows in Seattle were negative; the callers hated giving up a young stud pitcher.
I love pitching. And Pineda has the potential for 18-20 wins a season, claiming a few strikeout titles along the way. He clearly has ace potential. I hate to see him go, but…
The Mariners need bats, and they want young bats to grow with the team. Having a core of Montero, Dustin Ackley, Alex Liddi, Justin Smoak,CasperWells, and perhaps Treyvon Robinson or Carlos Peguero, could, in a few years, pay dividends.
Listed as catcher, Montero most likely will DH as catching is not his forte. Even Joe Girardi, Yankee manager, was penciling him in as DH and backup catcher before the trade.
At present the Mariners can not compete with Texas or Los Angeles, so build a strong young team to compete in a couple of years. That is the Mariners thinking. Of course landing Prince Fielder improves the Mariners chances of competing.
The Yankees wanted King Felix and reportedly offered the Mariners three top pitching prospects and were turned down because the Mariners already have top prospects.
Currently they have Felix, Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Blake Beaven as starters with Danny Hultzen, Jimmy Paxton, or Charlie Furbush competing for the fifth spot. And they could still add a pitcher through free agency. Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson, Jeff Francis, and Joe Saunders are still available-at least as I write this.
Any trade is a risk, a risk for both teams, as there are no guarantees that either player will flourish. It was a bold move by the Mariners, but as the old adage says, you have to give up something to get something. This is a trade that can not be evaluated for another five to six years. Both are beginning their careers and are far from their peak years.
I loved watching Pineda pitch. Now I will love watching Montero bat. At least I hope so. But what is baseball without hope.