Michael Pineda's Return Gives New York Yankees Chance to Win Tough Trade

By Gabe Isaacson
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When New York Yankees SP Michael Pineda went down with an anterior labral tear in his shoulder, all eyes shifted to Seattle Mariners C Jesus Montero.

After these two were swapped, their careers were immediately linked. As the Yankees believed that their young power bat was replaceable, they moved Montero for the Pineda. While the Mariners play in an extreme pitcher’s environment, they believed that Montero’s value in run creation would be more valuable, as they had many positive factors for run prevention.

As Pineda missed the entire 2012 season, Montero had an advantage to take a lead in the career battle. Hoiwever, Montero’s .260/.298/.386 line with extremely poor defense — based on both the metrics and scouts’ assessments — did not excite.

Early in the 2013 season, as the Mariners are flush with 1B/DH type bats, there is rampant speculation that Montero may not be a viable catcher. Just as his value takes a huge knock moving out from behind the dish, Jon Heyman recently tweeted that Pineda has recently been clocked at 93-95 mph.

The initial evaluation of this trade was simple: if Montero’s bat remained behind the plate, the Mariners would win the trade. If Pineda’s arm would hold up and he sustained his early career success, the Yankees would win the trade. Neither happened. Did both sides lose the trade?

Both teams now have to try to recoup value. The Mariners are hoping that, if they remove the wear and tear of catching, Montero can once again show his elite power. The Yankees are hoping that, if his rehab continues to go well, Pineda can once again show the plus stuff and command that he once displayed.

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