Pineda wearing Pinstrips and Montero wearing Mariner blue

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For those of you who follow me on Twitter, it became infinitely clear that I was angry with the idea of trading Pineda. If the Mariners were so hot for Montero, why didn’t they trade him for veteran Cliff Lee two years ago? Instead they give up a young, All Star caliber pitcher in Michael Pineda.  It looked like another classical Mariner management screw-up. Now that I have had some time to think about it, I have come to the realization that my gut reaction was an overreaction. I’ll explain why after the jump. 

For those of you who have followed the Mariners, you have watched them trade away a lot of young talent for “proven veterans”. Only they get burned every single time (the Asdrubel Cabrera and Shin-Shoo Choo trades for example).  The constant inability of Mariners management to get satisfactory returns from trading away their young prospects is agitating to the fan base. This troubling history is the main reason for the negative reaction you saw, on multiple social media outlets, to the Mariners trading Rookie All Star Pitcher Michael Pineda.
Michael Pineda is a fire baller. His strength is his lack of fear when facing down a hitter. His lack of fear was clear from the get go, against the Texas Rangers at the Ball Park in Arlington. The powerful Rangers offense only managed three runs off of the Rookie in his Major League debut. Pineda continued to mow hitters down, completing the first half of the season with an 8-6 record and a 3.03 Earned Run Average (ERA). That was good enough for him to earn a spot on the American League All-Star Team Pitching staff. As he faced teams for the third and fourth times his numbers worsened. He went 1-4 with an ERA of 5.12. The Yankees got a young fire baller.
And the Mariners got “the best power hitting prospect inbaseball”. The New York Yankees have been shopping Jesus Montero around for a couple of years. They offered him to the Mariners for veteran pitcher Cliff Lee, and almost had a deal in place. However, that deal fell apart and the Mariners traded Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers (the M’s got Justin Smoak, more on that later). Montero’s name has popped up in multiple trade rumors during the last couple of seasons (including rumors surrounding Mariners super star Felix Hernandez). The Yankees finally managed to trade him and they got their much need pitcher in return. And the Mariners got a much needed bat. 
To put it sucintly, the Mariners offense in 2011 was atrocious. They needed any help they could get and it looks like they did. With the Mariners trading Pineda for Montero, they now have a young and talented core of hitters (Ackley, Smoak and Montero) to complement their pitching (Hernadez, Vargas and possibly Hultzen). The Mariners now have a very talented young group of players, and an All Star in Felix Hernandez to develop and build into a winning team.

Categories: MLB