Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jesus Montero, Michael Pineda & Is It Safe to Declare a Winner NOW?

Since January 23, 2012 fans of the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners have been discussing a certain trade between the two clubs trying to find, as we fans tend to do, a winner and a loser. At the time Michael Pineda was a top pitching prospect fresh off a strong rookie year in Seattle while Jesus Montero was fresh off making his MLB debut as a September call up in the Bronx. Yankees fans had waited patiently, or rather impatiently at times, for Montero’s arrival and he arrived in a big way in New York hitting his first home run almost immediately so it left a bitter taste in some people’s mouth when he was traded for Pineda on that day in January of 2012. Ever since then the fans have bantered and argued over who the winner is, is it safe to finally declare the Yankees the winner now?

Both players have been suspended with their new teams, Pineda for blatant use of pine tar against the Boston Red Sox and Montero for illegal steroid and PED use, and both players have been injured as well, Pineda’s shoulder that cost him two seasons and Montero’s left knee, but it has been Pineda that has made an impact at the major league level. Both players have reportedly come into spring training camp overweight and out of shape but only one has attempted to attack a scout for offering him an ice cream sandwich on a hot day in the minor leagues, which was Montero. That’s before you factor in WAR which has Pineda at 4.4 and Montero at -0.8.

Montero has not been able to crack a struggling offense desperate for power, especially right-handed power, with any sort of consistency in Seattle while Pineda has become a staple in the New York Yankees starting rotation. Pineda has shown flashes of brilliance and dominance, see the Mother’s Day game against the Baltimore Orioles and all those strikeouts for an example of that, while Montero is looking to platoon, not start, at first base once again for Seattle this season. Montero was traded when he was a catcher optimizing his value, his value as a soft hitting first baseman is little to none in terms of WAR, trade value or projections.

This is not a post to prop up Pineda, he will do that on his own, nor is it a post to dog on Montero, I like Montero and I wish him nothing but the best, but it is a declaration of victory in my eyes for the New York Yankees. Remember, a blog is a place for opinions and this is mine. As Pineda enters his prime he is seemingly getting better and better while Montero is simply just holding on but remember, in some eyes Brian Cashman doesn’t have an earthly clue what he is doing. 

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