Saturday, January 14, 2012

Reflection on Jesus/Pineda trade

I would like to begin this post with a reflection on Michael Pineda.  I became aware of Pineda three years ago when Baseball America heralded him as the Mariners sixth best prospect.  Since then he has taken the league by storm, winning a spot in the opening day rotation in 2011 and solidifying his spot in the Mariners rotation for years to come.  Let me take you back to last years all star game, when Pineda pitched a perfect inning, striking out both Scott Rolen and Richie Weeks.  At this point in time, Michael Pineda was the clear cut favorite for rookie of the year.

Now lets jump to yesterday, January 13th.  I sit at the computer refreshing my Mariners news hoping for some new, exciting report on Prince Fielder.  I see the headline "Mariners are moving closer to a trade for a young impact hitter" and like any good Mariner fan, I got very excited.  Then came in the reports that closer Brandon League would not be involved in the trade, an idea that troubled me greatly.  How would we get an impact bat if League wasn't involved?  As far as I knew Ackley, Felix and Pineda were all untouchable so I was very unimpressed with these rumors.  Then I saw it, Pineda traded for Jesus Montero.  My initial reaction was the same as every other Mariners fan, I was crushed. Our prized rookie sensation Pineda was gone, and in return we had some over-hyped Yankees prospect.

I have known about Jesus Montero for quite some time.  I knew he was good, but tried to ignore how good because he was a... Yankee.  But almost immediately after I got through the mental picture of seeing Pineda in pinstripes, I decided I love this trade.  

Here is why;  I strongly believe Pineda has reached his ceiling, his ceiling is high, but he has already reached it.  The reason he didn't win rookie of the year was simply because major league hitters figured him out.  Yes, he'll be better if he develops his changeup, but I don't see that happening.  Jose Campos is a good prospect, one I'm sour about losing, but prospects usually don't work out.  We have the best trio of starting pitcher prospects in the MLB, our rotation will be fine.

The Mariners also obtained Hector Noesi in the trade and the more I learn about Hector the more I like him.  His fastball is in the mid nineties and I believe he will be a solid starter in the bottom of our rotation.  Jesus Montero is going to be a beast and he can have an Edgar Martinez like career.  He has tremendous power, power the opposite way, power that even Safeco Field can't contain.  I don't know if he can catch and at this point I don't care, we need hitting, we need it desperately and Jesus Montero can HIT! 

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