M’s Trade Pineda/Campos to Yankees for Jesus Montero (C-ish) and Hector Noesi (RHP)

marc w · January 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


34 Responses to “M’s Trade Pineda/Campos to Yankees for Jesus Montero (C-ish) and Hector Noesi (RHP)”

  1. Chipanese on January 13th, 2012 5:25 pm

    From JAC “1 east coast source tells me nova may be in the deal, and that this doesn’t necessarily mean the mariners are out on prince fielder.”

  2. Snuffy on January 13th, 2012 5:27 pm

    Campos is a fine prospect but he’s well away from ready. Noesi should take Pineda’s spot NOW. Noesi projects as a very good mid-rotation starter. Pineda is terrific but he looks like an injury risk to me. Montero can flat out hit. If he can play catcher (probably not) that makes him a huge pickup for Seattle. If not, he projects as a middle of the order bat in a lineup desperate for power as a DH or 1b.

  3. smb on January 13th, 2012 5:29 pm

    My Yanks fan friend IS pissed…that makes me feel immediately better…but there is NO part of facing Pineda every year that I like. And the pressure on Montero to hit will be intense. This is a scary situation…now I feel like this only makes sense IF it facilitates the Fielder signing, which I was lukewarm on to begin with. Looks like we’ve got many eggs in our basket now, better not drop it or we be screwed.

  4. asuray on January 13th, 2012 5:31 pm

    “And the pressure on Montero to hit will be intense.”

    Imagine the pressure on Pineda.

  5. asuray on January 13th, 2012 5:33 pm

    “now I feel like this only makes sense IF it facilitates the Fielder signing”

    I don’t understand how trading for an elite 1B/DH prospect when we already have two middle-plus 1B/DH prospects will facilitate signing a 1B/DH to a huge long-term contract.

  6. smb on January 13th, 2012 5:35 pm

    True, but he’s proven he can do it already, at least…and one great game and they will love him like a Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwich. I’m stepping back off the ledge, but I need someone to give me something encouraging here.

  7. just a fan on January 13th, 2012 5:35 pm

    Obviously we’re not getting Fielder now. Screw him though, I like this idea better. We need a RH with power, and allegedly Jesus has elite power that can translate to anywhere.

    We can get any LH hitter to fit into Safeco, and he will be all the more with the Power of Jesus behind him.

  8. Ichiroll on January 13th, 2012 5:39 pm

    I saw on prospectinsider that Nova might be included in the deal too, it would make sense with the Yanks signing Kuroda

  9. Westside guy on January 13th, 2012 5:40 pm

    Could mean JZ isn’t a Carp believer.

  10. Zeke on January 13th, 2012 5:41 pm

    I think this a wonderful trade. Sure, Pineda was a great story last year and I am sure he will be a fine young pitcher. But he is no Felix. So to get back a hitting prospect that once rated as high as Carlos Santana is a great deal, IMO. And we get a decent, MLB close pitcher back. And we have Walker and Hultzen on the way. I think this is a great trade, but not as great as getting Cliff Lee for three minor pieces. And now that the Fielder thing is off the table (hopefully) we can use some of that money to get a solid pitcher. (Or not, if Nova is included)

  11. Westside guy on January 13th, 2012 5:43 pm

    Or one of these 1B options is going to be flipped somewhere.

  12. BLYKMYK44 on January 13th, 2012 5:44 pm

    Reaction to the trade from the casual Ms fans seems overwhelmingly negative. Can you imagine if they had made the trade he had proposed during the season?

  13. kazuc on January 13th, 2012 5:45 pm

    I guess I missed the pages in Moneyball where you win big by flipping top of the rotation pitchers for 1B/DH’s…

  14. KiWiNiNjA on January 13th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Hmmm, not sure how I feel about Campos in the trade.

    But he is a long way off so…

    I like the idea of Pineda for Montero. Can’t wait to see what the final trade is.

  15. PBS on January 13th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Prospect hyping NY media 1,
    Mariners scouting dept. 0

  16. Bwilliam on January 13th, 2012 5:48 pm

    I love the idea of trading Pineda. Young pitchers get hurt.

    My problem is I don’t think Jesus Montero is that good. A RH power hitter in Safeco Field with no poistion. Doesn’t seem like a great fit.

    I hope there’s more to the trade then what’s being reported.

  17. ck on January 13th, 2012 5:49 pm

    Opening Day, Montero will be the best right-handed bat in the M’s line-up. If Montero can learn / improve his catching ability to MLB average in a year or two, this is a very good deal for the M’s. In just a few months of coaching, he may attain the low defensive bar set by Rob Johnson and M. Olivo. Interesting days ahead, as this is probably not the last move…

  18. Zeke on January 13th, 2012 5:55 pm

    What I do like is that the NYY blogs are lighting up with the same sentiment. They also feel they got fooled. I agree, ck, Montero will be the best hitter on the team bar Ichiro, If he catches 80 games this year that’s a bonus.
    I would post some of the sentiments on the NYY blogs, but I doubt our moderators would allow that kind of language.

  19. jeffs98119 on January 13th, 2012 5:57 pm

    I love this trade. Montero has the potential to be Mike Piazza–a great hitting catcher with acceptable defense. If the M’s sign Fielder, they can trade away Carp for pitching while his stock is high. If they don’t sign Fielder, maybe they’ll use that money to go after Oswalt. This makes the line-up a lot better while the addition of Noesi means not making the rotation that much worse.

  20. spankystout on January 13th, 2012 6:01 pm

    Well Montero’s 2011 ML BABIP was .400 so lets temper our excitment a bit. He has however posted .200 or higher ISO’s since A+ ball, so that is at least encouraging. I would have thought Pineda and Campos would have fetched more than this. But I know nothing about Noesi.

  21. kazuc on January 13th, 2012 6:02 pm

    I don’t really care what the NY fans think of this trade. The Yankees are coming from the position of “why do we need to trade prospects, when we can just buy a guy as good?” The Mariners, on the other hand, just dumped their most marketable commodity for a guy who had an OPS of .815 in AAA last year, and may not have a defensive position. Now, granted, Montero does have a ton of upside. But he also isn’t known for his sterling attitude, so let’s see how he reacts to a parade of flyballs to the the wall that would have been HRs at most parks but SAFECO. I don’t think there’s any question that Pineda is the more accomplished prospect at this point in his career, and it’s arguable that Montero has more longterm upside. But more than that, I think you have to compare what the Ms got to what they could have gotten, and if you compare what SD got for Latos to what Seattle got for Pineda, I think it’s clear the Mariners did extremely poorly.

  22. Nebikard on January 13th, 2012 6:05 pm

    I just don’t know what to say about this trade. All i know about Montero is that he is apparently a great, right handed power guy. We need power, that’s for sure. But giving up Pineda and Campos looks like the Yankees got the better end of the bargain here. I guess when it comes down to it though, Carp can play LF. Jaso can Catch and Montero can DH.

  23. dchappelle on January 13th, 2012 6:06 pm

    Montero did hit 3 out to right. He’ll definitely have to keep his opposite field swing going.


  24. Ibuprofen on January 13th, 2012 6:10 pm

    I’d like this trade A LOT more if we didn’t give up Campos. But I do still like it. Kind of. I’m definitely excited to see Montero though.

  25. feldy05 on January 13th, 2012 6:11 pm

    The end of the Miguel Olivo era? I HOPE SO. We now have 3 catchers on the roster, 2 of which were acquired this off-season. Looks like Miggy’s got to go!

  26. akampfer on January 13th, 2012 6:11 pm

    OMG, they didn’t!

    Well, two things, first, I’m surprised the Yanks would want to deal with them again after the Lee deal. Second, I guess this tells us where the stand in Fielder sweepstakes. I’m going to hold my opinion on this. The M’s keep dealing for more pitchers where they should have tried for more hitting. I’m not so sure this is a good thing, but I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

  27. Iconoclast1985 on January 13th, 2012 6:13 pm

    dream line-up:

    OR some combination of and that would be some some thing. especially with a right-handed bat then a left-handed combo with power(think Boston With Manny/Ortiz) a team would have to pick their poison and with the veteran second in this dream the “rookie” would be challenged meaning better pitches to hit.

  28. Iconoclast1985 on January 13th, 2012 6:18 pm

    no doubt it stings but we need bats and we have pitching so… this makes sense but it still hurts; but if you think about it we get both the player we wanted last year in the Cliff Lee deal. Smoack and Company for Lee & then now Montero & Company for Pineda. Hurts but to think of it that way it helps.

  29. The_Waco_Kid on January 13th, 2012 6:22 pm

    …super nervous about this. Should we expect a Carp trade soon, too? Carp can play LF, but this seems more like the prelude to more bats. Just adding Montero (at high cost) is not going to solve our hitting problems, and he blocks other prospects. If it turns Montero’s just a DH and his hitting’s a bit disapointing, this is an awful move.

  30. Madison Mariner on January 13th, 2012 6:25 pm

    “dream line-up:


    Uhhh…I think that’s more of a nightmare lineup if Peguero is your everyday LF. They still have Mike Carp/Casper Wells for left field. Also, personally, I don’t think Montero is the “catcher of the future”, but more likely the “DH of the future”–but I’m still OK with the trade, really.

    Good luck in New York, Micheal “Whatever Your Nickname Was” Pineda. 😉

  31. currcoug on January 13th, 2012 6:30 pm

    Well, at least we won’t be agonizing over the question of who turned out better…as we now have Smoak and Montero.

  32. Iconoclast1985 on January 13th, 2012 6:54 pm

    Meh, I was going off the top of my head more or less and i went with a high risk/High reward guy in the 8 spot. As for Montero I would give up defense for offense at catcher any day, as long as he’s an acceptable catcher I don’t care; ’cause we need bats!

  33. TheImmortalAzcue on January 14th, 2012 8:39 am

    “…they’ve lived without defense there since Kenji Johjima left.”

    Not that Johjima was any great shakes either..

  34. Nebikard on January 14th, 2012 9:19 am

    I wouldn’t say that this is the end of the Olivo era. This is the beginning of the “Montero at DH” era. During his entire time with the Mariners, I sincerely doubt that Montero will play more than 30-50 games behind the plate.

    If his bat is as good as everyone says it is, he might look to be like another Edgar Martinez at the DH spot. To me, that’s exciting.

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