Monday, October 12, 2015

Most Popular Article of the Week: Making the Case to Trade Michael Pineda

"Got traded... see ya guys." - Michael Pineda

The New York Yankees and GM Brian Cashman ruffled the feathers of the league when they traded then top prospect Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners for an up-and-coming pitcher named Michael Pineda. It took a while for New York to reap some of the benefits of having the young right-hander, Pineda missed the entire 2012 and 2013 season with shoulder issues and missed some of the 2014 season with arm trouble as well, but finally got a long look at what they traded for in 2015. At times Pineda looked to be the ace of the staff and the savior for the team and at other times I wouldn’t have personally given up Jesus Montero’s mother for him in a trade. All in all though Pineda finished the season with a 12-10 record and a 4.37 ERA as he prepares to enter salary arbitration for the first time in his career. Is it time to sell “high” on Pineda and his two seasons of team control?

Pineda is a young talent that just can’t seem to stay healthy nor can he remain effective. Excuses are thrown around that Joe Girardi wasn’t giving him enough rest or was giving him too much rest of that someone messed with his Buddha statue named Jobu in his locker (Pedro Cerrano reference) and not enough results to really back him up on anything. After basically a full season and a glimpse into the future I’m not sure if Pineda has the marbles (I have a million of these “Major League II” references so stay tuned) to cut it in New York.

Pineda is an immense talent but this team is without a true #1 starting pitcher in my opinion while also having a few holes elsewhere to fill. When you look at the free agent market heading into this winter the talent pool is flush with starting pitchers, namely David Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto and likely Zack Greinke if he opts out of his deal as he is expected to, while the Yankees have a laundry list of names to fill just five positions in the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka leads that list followed by Luis Severino, Adam Warren (Brian Cashman himself called him a starter recently), CC Sabathia for likely two more seasons, Ivan Nova, Bryan Mitchell and a slew of minor leaguers that are unlikely to crack the rotation out of Spring Training including Brady Lail and Rookie Davis.

If the Yankees could sell Pineda off for a right-handed hitting power bat or a second baseman the team has enough confidence in to play every day then I’m all for it. I’m all for selling high on a player when selling high makes sense for the organization and selling Pineda off this offseason may be in the best interest for everyone involved. Or not.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)