Montero, Adams, and McAllister

Dave · July 9, 2010 at 11:15 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Since this deal seems all but official, here’s a rundown on the three guys the M’s are reported to be getting back.

Jesus Montero is 20-years-old, currently a catcher, and one of the best hitting prospects in the minors. Before the season, Baseball America ranked him the fourth best prospect in the game, behind Stephen Strasburg, Jason Heyward, and Mike Stanton. Pretty heady company. He’s struggled a bit in Triple-A, but his numbers for a player his age aren’t bad, and he’s been killing it the last month or so. When BA did their mid-season update, Montero ranked fifth, two spots ahead of Dustin Ackley and six spots ahead of Michael Pineda. He’s a premium prospect, no doubt.

His calling card is his bat. He’s a high contact line drive slugger, far more developed offensively than most players his age. He’s a big guy at 6’4 and stocky, so while he’s not going to fill out and get stronger, more power could come as he learns how to get some loft under his swing. He doesn’t walk a lot, but he’s not a Jose Lopez hack either. He’s aggressive because he’s got good bat control and can make solid contact with pitches across the strike zone. Vladimir Guerrero comparisons are not completely absurd, though are clearly the absolute best case scenario. In terms of just pure offense, Montero probably has the most upside of any prospect in the game. If you were to take one guy not currently in the big leagues as the most likely to league the lead in OPS at some point in his career, you’d take Montero.

He’s not perfect, though. He’s just not much of an athlete, kind of a soft-bodied type who doesn’t move all that well. His footwork isn’t great, and his receiving needs a lot of work. Very few guys his size can stick behind the plate, and the ones who can are much better athletes than Montero is. I’d put the odds of him having a long major league career at catcher at something like five percent. I think he’s a first baseman long term, and the M’s may be best off just making that switch sooner than later. I know its exciting to think about his potential as an offensive catcher, given the M’s woes back there right now, but it’s probably unrealistic to expect him to be able to handle the position. Remember, Miguel Cabrera was a shortstop in the minors, but leaving him there wouldn’t have been the best idea either. Guys play positions early in their career that they can’t handle. It’s part of how they develop. And, therefore, I don’t think we should view Montero as a catcher.

So, to me, that makes him the Mariners first baseman of the future, and a guy who could be ready at some point next year. If they convert him right away, a solid year of work learning how to play first base and get reps over there could allow him to be in the M’s line-up next summer as a 21-year-old, and the bat should play up pretty quickly. As a right-hander, he’s not the ideal clean-up hitter for the M’s, but he’s not strictly a pull power guy and should be able to succeed even with the park.

As for Adams, he’s a performance-better-than-his-tools type, who has hit well for the last few years despite underwhelming physical abilities. He doesn’t have a ton of power or speed, but he has a good approach, makes good contact, and has produced most of the way through the minors. I’d peg him more as a potential utility infielder than an everyday guy, though he could prove me wrong and lay claim to a starting job if he keeps hitting. He’ll have a hard time beating out Dustin Ackley for the second base job long term, though, and third base belongs to Chone Figgins starting next year. But, he could get to the majors before Ackley and have a few months to establish himself as the team’s second baseman, which could then give them options going forward.

McAllister is an interesting guy, and probably a better throw-in than I expected. As a 22-year-old right-hander, he’s had a rough year in Triple-A, but has had better success in the past. He pounds the strike zone with average stuff, and while his GB% is low this year, he’s been more of a sinker specialist in years past. He’s also shown an ability to get LH hitters out, which gives him a chance to stick in the rotation. In some ways, he’s similar to Doug Fister, but with more velocity, less change-up, and a better breaking ball. He’s not a high upside guy, but as we’ve seen, strike-throwers in Safeco with a good defense can be useful pieces. He needs more time to develop, but could be a potential #5 starter down the line, or perhaps a solid middle reliever.

Overall, it’s hard to argue with what the M’s are getting. This package is light years ahead of the one they gave up to get Lee, and gives them a legitimate potential star and a couple of solid young role players. This deal is better than the rumored Hicks/Ramos deal from a few days ago. This deal is better than pretty much any of the rumored deals.

The Mariners did very well here.


38 Responses to “Montero, Adams, and McAllister”

  1. inspiration100 on July 9th, 2010 11:29 am

    Good writeup, thanks!

  2. dnc on July 9th, 2010 11:32 am

    Awesome stuff, thanks Dave

  3. mymrbig on July 9th, 2010 11:35 am

    The addition of these 3 has to bump the Mariners into one of the better farm systems in the majors. They now have 3 guys that are consensus top 25 prospects, plus increasing depth behind the top 3.

    Time to see what they can get packaging Branyan and a bullpen arm together! Go Jack, Go!

  4. ivan on July 9th, 2010 11:36 am

    At 20 years old, with probably half a season of AAA ahead of him, with some pretty good instructional help in this organization, and with Montero’s self-professed love of catching and well-documented work ethic, I’d advocate giving him at least half the chance to succeed as a catcher as Rob Johnson has gotten.

  5. MrGenre on July 9th, 2010 11:37 am

    With Adams at AAA, how much does this up our chances of tossing Lopez to another club before the break?

  6. spankystout on July 9th, 2010 11:37 am

    Thank you Dave. Who would of thought the most interesting thing the M’s will do all year is trade their best player. Oh well, its replenishig the depleted farm system.

  7. maqman on July 9th, 2010 11:43 am

    A good get but a big give. Lee will be the first Yankee I will root for since Roger Maris.

  8. Bender on July 9th, 2010 11:44 am

    What do you make of the rumors that another team may jump in and try to to this deal? Who could top this deal, and what would that look like?

  9. GLS on July 9th, 2010 11:44 am

    Montero obviously is a huge talent. It would be nice if they could find a spot for him other than 1B. I like to think that’s where we’ll eventually insert a big left-handed bat. Huge haul for the M’s though.

  10. Chris_From_Bothell on July 9th, 2010 11:46 am

    This package is light years ahead of the one they gave up to get Lee

    It does take a tiny bit of the sting out of it to think of it that way.

    I’m repeating to myself that we’ve traded Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez for Montero, Adams, and McAllister, and will pretend that the half season of Cliff Lee as a Mariner was some kind of beautiful fever dream.

    I assume this means Mike Carp get shipped somewhere this summer for a bag of balls? He’ll get no regular playing time if the Ms do with Montero as you suggest, and there’s no room for him with Branyan / Kotchman even if he were worth a longer look anymore.

  11. earinc on July 9th, 2010 11:49 am

    Somewhere, Ruben Amaro is sobbing to himself.

  12. Klatz on July 9th, 2010 11:50 am

    Any chance that Montero could transition to third? Not that the Ms have any comparable prospects at first but it should be easier to find a good first baseman.

  13. smb on July 9th, 2010 11:51 am

    I wonder if the Yanks saw Montero as a future catcher or if they were more rational about his apparent abilities…Cervelli hasn’t been a disaster and is still young, Tex is at first, so maybe a case of nowhere to put him? I have one Yankee fan friend and he is PISSED! Why they’d trade Montero+ when they could have just signed Lee as a FA by outbidding everyone, and possibly after winning the Series without him…I guess I’ll never know. Knowing Yankees fans are really pissed off is the icing on the cake for me! Okay, maybe the spoonful of sugar, but you get the point.

  14. Carson on July 9th, 2010 11:51 am

    With Adams at AAA, how much does this up our chances of tossing Lopez to another club before the break?

    Someone still has to want Lopez. Even the dinged up Phillies may not want anything to do with him. He just looks awful and lost right now.

  15. Carson on July 9th, 2010 11:53 am

    Oh, and I LOVE this trade. I was getting a little depressed with how the season has played out, but Jack has earned himself another standing ovation in my opinion.

    One last thought – as Dave said on Twitter, the new servers rock. Now slowdown on the site, and Mt. Derek is erupting. Both very awesome things.

  16. GarForever on July 9th, 2010 11:57 am

    Well, kudos to Jack Z for making lemonade out of the basket full of lemons that this year has been. I’m sure it’s not what he had in mind when he got Lee, but looking at this essentially as an Aumont-Gillies-Ramirez for Montero-Adams-McAllister trade, with the added bonus of watching one of the best pitchers in the game for 2-1/2 months, this is about as much of a “win” as the M’s could have hoped for out of this debacle of a season.

  17. FelixFanChris420 on July 9th, 2010 11:58 am

    Great write up as always, Mr. Cameron.

    Totally stoked about this package.

    Any chance Montero is the opening day 1B or dH in 2011?

  18. The Ancient Mariner on July 9th, 2010 11:59 am

    Why are the Yanks making the deal? One, Romine has replaced Montero as the catcher of the future, leaving them no real place to put Montero; and two, they were looking down the barrel of Lee going to a playoff opponent. Facing Lee 2-3 times in a short series against the Twins, Rangers or Rays would have significantly reduced the Yanks’ chances of going to the World Series.

  19. Paul B on July 9th, 2010 12:00 pm

    Someone still has to want Lopez. Even the dinged up Phillies may not want anything to do with him. He just looks awful and lost right now.

    If the M’s waived him now, I’m not even sure anyone would claim him

  20. heychuck01 on July 9th, 2010 12:02 pm

    friend and he is PISSED! Why they’d trade Montero+ when they could have just signed Lee as a FA by outbidding everyone, and possibly after winning the Series without him…I guess I’ll never know

    Well… The Yankees can’t “just sign him” next year. They would also give up a first round pick. If they sign him next year (from themselves) there is no compensation.

    So there is that. You can argue the trade all you want, but there is some upside to trading for him now for the Yankees.

  21. The Ancient Mariner on July 9th, 2010 12:02 pm

    Also, it would be interesting to do a player-for-player comparison between the Lee deals. It seems to me that Montero trumps Aumont by a fair bit, and Adams seems at least even with Gillies; I don’t think McAllister has Ramirez’ ceiling, but he’s closer and a safer bet.

  22. GLS on July 9th, 2010 12:11 pm

    I agree that the Yankees can’t just assume he’ll sign with them in the offseason. Boston or the Mets could obviously jump in and possibly some other teams as well.

  23. Shanfan on July 9th, 2010 12:13 pm

    For what it’s worth, here are some former Mariner-Yankee trades that I can think of:

    Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner

    Lee Guetterman , Wade Taylor, and Clay Parker for Henry Cotto and Steve Trout

    Shane Rawley for Bill Caudill, Bobby Brown and Gene Nelson

    Jim Blueberg and cash for Mike Blowers

    Ruppert Jones and Jim Lewis for Jerry Narron, Juan Beniquez, Rick Anderson and Jim Beattie

    Steve Balboni for Dana Ridenour

    Tino Martinez, Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock

    Jeff Nelson (again) for Armando Benitez

    Anybody else remember any others? I wonder how we’ll look back on this one in a few years – if this deal actually gets done the way it’s proposed. We are talking about the Z here afterall.

  24. edclayton on July 9th, 2010 12:26 pm

    If the M’s waived him now, I’m not even sure anyone would claim him

    Lopez saw six pitches in four at bats last night. He makes Yuni Betancourt look patient by comparison.

  25. MrZDevotee on July 9th, 2010 12:40 pm

    The off-the-charts optimism for me is that the deal ISN’T done yet. But has been officially offered to us. So this is our worst case scenario at this point (“worst” being that an offer from another team has to beat it, and probably today only).

    And a week ago, if you threw those three names out there I’d call it “best case scenario”.

    I think we should send a thank you card to Minnesota… As soon as they threw in (or even had talks with us about) Hicks, ballclubs that wanted Lee knew it was gonna take a good offer.

    I actually posted when we were contemplating the Twins deal that I hoped the Yankee’s ownership ego came into play and they decided to up the ante (although, honestly, this makes the Yankees just a SICK SICK team… the best team in baseball just added the BEST PITCHER in the AL this year).

    I’m tipping my cap to everyone involved… Especially Jack Z, for flipping 3 minor league prospects for half a year of beautiful pitching and a Top 10 minor league prospect, plus two other guys.

    Very quietly, the Mariners now have 3 of the Top 10 prospects in baseball.

  26. EricL on July 9th, 2010 12:48 pm

    I’m not going to get anything done this afternoon:

    7/9 12:43: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets, “#Mariners backing off #Yankees offer, Post has learned. Does not look like #Yankees are in it.”

  27. scott19 on July 9th, 2010 12:48 pm

    I wonder how we’ll look back on this one in a few years

    No doubt better than that horrible Tino-Davis trade…which is still the one I loathe the most as an M’s fan.

  28. msfanmike on July 9th, 2010 12:50 pm

    The off-the-charts optimism for me is that the deal ISN’T done yet. But has been officially offered to us. So this is our worst case scenario at this point (“worst” being that an offer from another team has to beat it, and probably today only).

    An excellent point … and one that I share with you. You never know though, the i “dotting” and t “crossing” and physical health history checking may be the time-consuming factor at this point.

    My preference is to believe that Nolan Ryan is huffing and puffing and blowing fastballs by the heads of his ownership (or ownership to be) team … and demanding the Rangers ante be upped -in order to top the Yankees alleged, current offer. The Rangers are a legitimate WS winning threat with Lee – and the big Texan knows it. He knows what their chances of doing it without Lee are too.

    Wishful thinking and ignorance can be a wonderful thing. I think I will roll with my own for a while.

  29. EricL on July 9th, 2010 12:50 pm

    Follow up info, also from Joel Sherman: To repeat the #Yankees aren’t getting Cliff Lee, #Mariners concerned about David Adams ankle plus apparently another team has jumped in hard

  30. msfanmike on July 9th, 2010 12:52 pm

    plus apparently another team has jumped in hard

    This is great news. Jack has everyone where he wants them.

    No idea if any of the news is true, but it certainly sounds great. My own blissful ignorance is improving by the minute. Yay for me!

  31. The Ancient Mariner on July 9th, 2010 12:55 pm

    I just want this over with . . .

  32. Utis on July 9th, 2010 12:57 pm

    Nice job Mr. Z. Well done! This package is comparable to what we got for RJ or Freddy Garcia or what Cleveland got for CC from Milwakee.

    On other fronts, things look dismal. We are staring at 100+ losses for the second time in three years. Attendance is sure to drop for the second half of this year and into next year. Barring an unlikely dip into the FA market, it is hard to project this team as contenders (or even a .500 team) within the next 2 to 3 years at which time it will be time to deal Felix.

  33. MsofEnchantment on July 9th, 2010 12:58 pm

    My guess, Rangers sending a haul back in return for Lee and cash. They see this as their big break and the year to make a run. My guess is Smoak is involved.

  34. msfanmike on July 9th, 2010 12:58 pm

    I just want this over with . . .

    Your handle suggests that you are old enough to have remembered the Randy Johnson “episode” from ’98 – and how he was acting like little miss pissy pants at the time … whereas Cliff Lee has been nothing but an extraordinary professional.

    The coverage is more in-depth now, but I think this particuarl situation is much better than the former RJ pissy pants trade experience from a dozen years ago … although I believe I have done nothing to actually convince you to change your bottom line sentiment.

  35. timandren on July 9th, 2010 1:26 pm

    Montero most likely won’t stay at catcher and would require time to transition to first base. He is right handed and we all know how Adrian Beltre responded to the cavernous Safeco dimensions.

    Justin Smoak has been scouted to be a switch-hitting, premium bat AND glove and would be ready to step in right away.

    Dave projects him to be a potential gold glover.

  36. MrZDevotee on July 9th, 2010 1:27 pm

    My REAL dream at this point is that someone else DOES come in hard… So not only do the Yankees not get Lee… But the OTHER deal doesn’t get done tonight…

    And Lee pitches against the Yanks tonight and beats them.

    Then things would feel okay in the world, and the Lee trade would have a nice little appetizer to it.

    A double whammy dished on the Yankees. (Not that I WANT the Mets involved, but that would be a hilarious twist…) And THEN, the Yankees come back at us tomorrow, so pissed, they just flat out give up the house to get Lee…

  37. MrZDevotee on July 9th, 2010 1:32 pm

    Dallas Morning News has just posted the blog headline…


    The quote in their post is:

    “According to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, via twitter, the Rangers are “one of a few teams jumping in big” on the Cliff Lee front. Heyman calls it a “big snag in Yankee/Lee trade talk.”

  38. Rck74 on July 9th, 2010 1:44 pm

    Dave. Montero is not stocky. He’s tall and will fill out more. I saw him play in Scranton twice last month.

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