Yesterday around 7:45 Eastern Time, Twitter got a little extra crazy. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted that the Mariners were close to acquiring an “impact” bat. Rumors swirled, Adam Jones jokes were passed among Orioles fans (that’s all we have), but eventually the world focused on the New York Yankees because that’s where the universe usually focuses.

As a straight-up trade, it seemed a little odd that the Mariners were taking on a DH (Jesus Montero) for a top starting pitcher prospect (Michael Pineda). Of course, a few seconds later we heard that the Mariners were adding Jose Campos to the deal and the Yankees were adding Hector Noesi.

Oddly, on its face, this deal hurts the fantasy value of both signature players.

There is no denying how good Pineda was last year, during his age 22 season. He had a 3.74 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 3.53 xFIP and 9.11 K/9 rate. He had a little help from his home ballpark and a .258 BABIP, but Pineda looked like a solid option going into 2012.

In fact, he was a sure bet to strikeout 180 batters, with upside depending on the amount of innings the Mariners let him pitch. In the new reality, Pineda’s security blanket, his home ballpark, has completely disappeared and that’s a tad worrisome.

Pineda had a 4.40 ERA and 1.17 WHIP away, but a 2.92 ERA and 1.01 WHIP at home. That said, he actually had a better K:BB rate away (3.37) than at home (2.93). So there’s a chance those splits are just small sample size white noise.

Really, the only concern with Pineda moving cross country is that he had a 44.8% FB rate last year and just a 9.0% FB/HR rate. If he keeps giving up that many fly balls in Yankee Stadium a few more are going to leave the park. Still, the increase in ERA could be easily offset (from a fantasy standpoint) by the increase in wins. As it stands, Pineda looks like a sure bet to win 15 games, with the aforementioned 180Ks. I’ll pencil him in for a 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, but there is risk given the media circus. He’s a darn good get.

As for Jesus Montero, well, this isn’t a good thing. He leaves a productive insulated lineup and a smoking hot ballpark for a poor lineup and a ugly ballpark. The only silver lining is the Mariners are more likely to use Montero as a catcher, so he might retain/reclaim that eligibility for fantasy purposes.

It could take some adjustment for Montero, but he has real power and skills. This deal probably zaps a few HRs from his final ledger. So his range is more like 17-22 HRs, whereas, before it was 22-27. He’s still capable of hitting .280. Unfortunately, this move has turned Montero into a Billy Butler clone.

While there are other “minor” parts in the deal, both Noesi and Campos have real talent.

I was trying to find a way to make Noesi a sleeper this year, and thanks to Brian Cashman (who I love/hate), I now have a way. Aside from 24 innings at AAA, Noesi has had great command (posting walk rates routinely in 1.00s per nine in the minors). In addition, he has struck guys out at a decent clip. If he can find his way into the Mariners rotation, he could post a sub-4.00 ERA with a reasonable amount of Ks (say 6.8 per nine innings). He might end up just a reliever this season, however he has become a true sleeper.

As for Jose Campos: according to Kevin Goldstein, the 19-year-old Venezuelan has power stuff and huge upside. He hasn’t pitched outside of A Ball, but he has dominated at every stop so far. He posted a 6.54 K:BB rate last year in 81.1 IPs at A, for instance. File him away for dynasty leagues or any league where you can keep minor leaguers without burning a roster spot.

The last outstanding issue: who will be the Yankees DH? Did Scott Boras somehow orchestrate this trade? Does Jorge Posada feel bad about his proposed retirement? Will Prince follow in his father’s footsteps to Yankee land?

  1. Paul Molitov says:

    I’m pretty sure with all of the geriatric all-stars that the Yankees have accumulated, there won’t be any shortage of hands raised when the skip asks for volunteers to to DH.

  2. chata says:

    wait .

    has the kiwi given the green light , signifying the official
    start of the “jinx” season ?

    if so ,
    pineda might be a lock for 25 wins and the cy young .

  3. Dave L says:

    Don’t forget Dustin Ackley, who stands to benefit either in runs or RBI depending how the lineup shakes out. Ideally Ackley will bat 3rd with Montero batting 4th, which would give him a lot of pitches to hit and chances to score. Should be a mild boost to his numbers.

    I’d say the same for Justin Smoak, but he STINKS.

  4. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:


    I’m a pineda owner in a few keeper leagues… this is great news. Like you said, his ERA will definitely jump a few points, but heck Ivan Nova won 16 games for them last year. I think Pineda has the stuff to come close to a 20 game winner.

  5. Racehorse says:

    As someone who has Carp and Smoak on a dynasty roster, this deal doesn’t exactly do wonders for me. All it says to me is Montero’s arrival in Seattle could (probably will) cut into Carp & Smoak’s total at bats this season DH’ing and occasionally playing 1B.

    And, I have Phil Hughes on the same dynasty roster. I can see a scenario where the Yankees rotation is Sabathia, Burnett, Pineda, Nova, Garcia, making Hughes the odd man out on opening day.

    For 2012, I was counting on Carp & Smoak getting 500+ AB’s, plus Hughes rebounding as a frontline starter. Now all that is in doubt.

  6. Mike says:

    “billy butler clone”, c’mon man that’s just lazy.

  7. Racehorse says:

    @ Jay

    Yup, I forgot Kuroda (coffee hasn’t kicked in!)

    @ Albert Lang

    In deep mixed leagues with holds, can you see Hughes as a useful bullpen guy?

  8. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    Something that just dawned on me, this move means a lot more at bats for Andruw Jones. He’s become a really good AL-Only type now.

  9. Mike says:

    Hughes to nl is tommy Hanson

  10. The Wolfpack says:

    I own both in a dynasty, big money league and demand this trade be rescinded.

  11. Andrew Holland says:

    Pineda throws gas. He looked unhittable during parts of last year. My sense is he can only get better as he matures and learns how to pitch. He can be anchor for that Yanks rotation for years. I am a Red Sox fan but think New York definitely found themselves a young stud – when they had a surplus of young catchers in the system and Russell Martin did a decent job last year.

  12. DS says:

    So picking one out of the following as a keeper (4-year keeper limit, H2H)…
    Jesus Montero
    Dustin Ackley
    Jemile Weeks
    Freddie Freeman
    Brandon Belt
    Mike Minor
    Brandon Beachy

    … what’s the play there?

  13. DS says:

    @Albert Lang

    Thanks, it’s a 4 Tier keeper system based on round drafted. Can keep 1 player from each tier. Kept players move down a tier each year until put back in player pool. Looking at Felix or Hamels at 1, McCutchen at 2, 3 is a rough spot right now with Hellickson or Rasmus as choices or try to trade for another tier 3. 4th options you saw above.

    No faith in Freeman taking another step forward or Minor being the stud everyone thought he was going to be out of the gate?

  14. Tony says:

    wow, jumping in late on the conversation, but any the hoo, I got a text from a buddy last night, he said Pineda to the Yanks for jesus montero and all I can think in this situation is the yankees, behind the scenes have to be shoveling money to their trade partners?

    Seriously does anyone else think this? Why on gods green earth would you have felix hernandez and Michael Pineda, who just put together a very impressive rookie year and deal him for a HYPED catcher prospect???? SERIOUSLY! how many effing “cant miss” prospects MISS!!!!! Such a joke of a trade. Good for the yankees, you totally swindled the Mariners, you made one of the worst teams in baseball look like one one of the worst teams in baseball, and for that i say, WELL DONE.

    It’s just sad, I hope Pineda does well, but now that he’s a yankee ughhh, i hate it, how do teams get these deals.

    If I’m a GM and i can get a proven player (pence, CC in the clev trade, etc etc) Im doing it all daylong and twice on MUESDAY!

    damn its good to be a gangsta….


  15. Griff says:

    Any thoughts on how this affects Montero in keeper leagues? Will he have catcher eligibility for a number of years? Will he be able to put up any counting stats in Seattle’s lineup?

  16. Robinson Checo says:

    Keeper question:

    Pineda or Ian Kennedy? Would the Yanks rather have Kennedy back, or is Pineda better?

  17. Pat says:

    What are your thoughts on Kuroda for next year? I can keep 5 and think he’s on the outside of my top 5… Who ya got? Shields- 9, Pence- 12, Andrus- 18, Stubbs- 12, McCann- 16, JWeeks- 10, Papi- 5, Kuroda- 3, Hanrahan- 3

  18. Wake Up says:

    Woah, I usually am late to the party but this is ridiculous. I feel like I’m rolling in the keg after everyone’s already passed out. But, that’s cool cuz I’m still thirsty and I haven’t beaten myself in a game of beer pong in ages. This trade makes perfect sense to me.(Just imagine a better transition there).
    The M’s desperately needed a bat. Install cleanup hitter and the next Edgar Martinez…(Alright maybe not, not even Jesus can hit like Edgar(but he does play a better firstbase)).
    The Yanks got the arm they needed and losing a DH-only hitter is not as difficult to replace. It might be a different story if he was gonna catch and replace Jorge, but he wasn’t going to catch in NY.
    Since the M’s needed an immediate replacement for the loss of an arm, Noesi pitches in the bigs this year. Campos restocks the farm for NY, which, if you visit in July, you can pick your own blueberries. Good times.
    Pineda will probably stuggle a little out of the gates and end up with a ERA around 4ish. I’d rather have Kennedy on my team this year but the Yanks are better off with Pineda long-term. Alright, time for a q

  19. Wake Up says:

    …quick nap for me…..I gotta wake up and finish 2/3 of a keg by myself tomorrow/later today.

    PS does the fact that I hit submit comment about 20 seconds too soon, give it away that I’m still drinking?

  20. Schmohawks Bob says:

    A catcher who can’t catch is a DH. A pitcher who has to move from Seattle to Yankee Stadium and facing AL East lineups most of the year is less valuable from a fantasy perspective. A lose, lose from my perspective.

  21. TheNewGuy says:

    If you’re still checking this thread Albert, wonder if you could help me out. Looking for a 2nd opinion (won’t tell you what Grey said!), on how many years to give Bruce. I think it’s between 1 yr at $25 or 2 yrs at $28. Which do you like best.

    Is there any chance Bruce could develop more in the future into say a 2nd round player? If there is id be willing to take the small hit next year, to get the potential reward the year after with a 2 yr deal. Or is he what he is (if so the more I think about it the more I think 1 yr)? Thanks.

  22. John says:

    Keeper league conundrum… In my league we are able to keep up to 6 players and they have different values based on a formula of where they were drafted + highly sophisticated ESPN 2012 Player Rater.

    I can’t seem to narrow down to 6. Please help.

    Here is my problem with players and round drafted or picked up, which counts as a last round pick:
    Miggy Cabrera 1st
    Evan Longoria 2nd
    Justin Upton 3rd
    Mike Stanton 6th
    Starlin Castro 8th
    Desmond Jennings Pick up
    Alex Gordon 22nd
    Matt Moore Pick Up
    David Price 11th
    Gio Gonzalez 19th
    Brandon Beachy 21st


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