M’s Trade Pineda/Campos to Yankees for Jesus Montero (C-ish) and Hector Noesi (RHP)
Ah, that vertiginous feeling that accompanies a big move…
MLB’s reporting that the M’s are close to a deal sending two high-impact pitchers to New York in exchange for Jesus Montero (the guy they almost got in the Cliff Lee deal) and reliever Hector Noesi. Montero was once seen as a can’t-miss hitter with poor defense at the catcher position. After a slow start, he recovered in AAA last year and made his MLB debut in September.
Many observers think he’s a lock to end up at DH/1B, which wasn’t so much of a problem when people thought he was a legitimately elite hitter, but after a few years of very good-but-not-great performance, I worry that the only way this deal makes sense is if the M’s think he can catch.
Now, to be sure, the C position is something the M’s desperately need to upgrade, and they’ve lived without defense there since Kenji Johjima left. I really don’t care about his CS% next year as long as he can give the team a league-average wOBA. But he wouldn’t have the back-up plan of 1B; not when the M’s need Justin Smoak and Mike Carp in the line-up to have a chance at being not-awful.
The loss of Jose Campos stings as well. Yes, he just pitched in short-season ball, but the upside is impossible to ignore. Hector Noesi is MLB ready, and could transition back to the rotation if the M’s wanted, but the M’s gave up a lot here. Please be good, Montero.
At this point, both Yankee fans and M’s fans seem a bit disappointed, which probably means it’s a fair swap. The deal makes sense for both teams, and the M’s need hitting at all cost, and maybe Hiltzen’s ready to fill that spot today. But it stings to lose so much talent.