The New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners swapped young studs on Friday, pulling the Yankees out of what had been -- for them, at least -- a dormant offseason and giving the Yankees the type of high-caliber (not to mention young) starting pitcher every team covets.
The Yankees have reportedly sent catcher Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi to Seattle in exchange for starter Michael Pineda and right-handed prospect Jose Campos. Following is the web's reaction of the news:
The Mariners blog Lookout Landing believes Pineda is a rare talent with room for improvement, but wonders whether he will ever reach his ceiling.
Pineda's 22 years old. He's 23 next Wednesday. He has five remaining years of team control - six, if the Yankees send him to the minors, which they are not going to do. His selling points are that he's enormous, with a hard fastball and a biting slider. Last year, as a rookie, he posted baseball's sixth-best strikeout rate. He also posted a good-but-not-outstanding xFIP of 3.53. Same as Mat Latos, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Nolasco.
Pineda is good now. He also has room to grow. He could improve his command. He could develop his changeup. With a strong changeup, Pineda would be something else. He'd probably be an ace. But here's the thing: an important principle to keep in mind is that pitchers usually don't follow the same development path as hitters. They don't break in and then improve until a peak. Pitchers frequently break in and stay where they are or slowly get worse.
The Yankees blog Pinstripe Alley is sad to see Montero -- and his tendency to mash the baseball -- leave New York, but understands why the Yankees pulled the trigger on the move.
I never supported trading Jesus Montero, and I am still certainly going to miss Montero. My first reaction to Montero being involved in the trade is that I always felt he would be the next Jorge Posada for the Yankees, and now that he is gone, I do not know what to think.
The young star that electrified Yankee Stadium daily in September, the player that was deemed "bored" in the minors, and "not good enough" to play catcher, the player that the Yankees defended more than any player on the Yankees, that player is now gone.
Taking away any personal feelings, this deal screams fair for both sides. Jesus Montero was always projected to be the cleanup hitter for the Yankees for the next decade in my mind. The Yankees lineup seemed pretty set, and Montero was always part of it.
Now he is not, but the rotation picture is that much clearer.
Sports Illustrated's Cliff Corcoran believes that with Friday's one move, the Yankees made themselves clear favorites in the AL East.
If you blinked, you missed it, but in a quick flurry of action after a largely inactive offseason, the Yankees landed right-handers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on Friday night, vastly improving their rotation and instantly becoming heavy favorites to repeat as American League East champions. The four-player trade that netted Pineda, arguably the best rookie starter in baseball last season, was enough of a bombshell given that the Yankees sent Jesus Montero, one of the game's top hitting prospects, to the Mariners in the deal, which also netted them the Mariners fifth-best prospect, teenage righty Jose Campos.