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:

    this has to be a big stumbling block for the young pineda’s development .

    in addition to the pressure of the big-city media ,
    he now has to face the sawx and the blue jays an extra 3 or 4 times , each ,
    as opposed to the light-hitting A ‘s and the pre-pujols/napoli-less angels .

    hate to give up on a guy i was so happy to roster last year , but ,
    think i’m gonna let someone else draft him this year .

    am sure there will be some league mate/yankee lover who will buying
    into this song , but , for me , just the opposite is true .

  3. 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 .

  4. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Hey chata, thanks for the dedicated reading so early on a saturday.

    It’s impossible to predict how Pineda will handle the bright lights of the big city, but that fastball can curve a lot of things…..i’m not worried about him. I think he’ll be fine, he just brings it.

    I’m with you on letting others draft, but i felt that way before the trade. The trade doesnt change much for me.

    Also, fantastic link!!!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Mike says:

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

  9. Jay says:

    @Racehorse: Your scenario that doesn’t include Hiroki Kuroda would, I guess, be a scenario where Kuroda gets hurt? Hughes is in even more doubt after that signing. But my gut is that they’ll find a way to trade Burnett soon, and have Garcia as the emergency starter/long reliever.

  10. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @The Talented Mr. Dope Man:

    Yeah, the wins will be there, anything from 15-20 seems reasonable to me. I’d rather have the glittering ratios, but it’s not the worst thing in the world.

  11. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    I think Smoak is fine. Carp’s at bats are a little more tenuous. I like both, but i really think Smoak at 1b, Carp in the OF/DH and Montero at DH/C could get them all 550+ ABs. It is les clear now.

    Hughes is very much in doubt, that Yankees rotation seems locked at CC/Pineda/Kuroda/Garcia. Nova seems like the best bet for 5, but Burnett (who I liked before this trade) could be the odd man out. Cashman knows what a sunk cost is.

  12. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Dave L:

    I dont think Montero’s presence has a huge bearing on other members of the Mariners. I certainly wouldnt move Ichiro/Ackley/Smoak up my draft boards. Too many unknowns.

    I think Smoak is in for a mini-bounce back year. His injury zapped him last year.

  13. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Paul Molitov:

    A solid point there and it would give more at bats to Eduardo Nunez. But having Andruw Jones penciled in as DH against lefties seems odd for the Bombers.

    I hear Carlos Pena’s name thrown around a lot.

  14. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Not sure why the Billy Butler clone line is lazy….low power output from the DH spot with a decent average and not too inspiring Runs/RBIs. why exactly was it lazy?

  15. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    I cant imagine they can trade Burnett for much. But, if i were a team with a deep ballpark like the Mariners or Padres, I’d try to get Burnett for cheap with the Yanks throwing in some money.

    That said, it appears you cant have enough pitching, ask the Red Sox, circa 2011

  16. Jay says:

    @Albert Lang: No, trading Burnett is now less about getting something good in return than it is getting rid of him. They could do what the Cubs did with Zambrano and eat the majority of his remaining $33M in order to get a DH or backup corner IF, or just minor leaguers.

    I also don’t think there’s a chance (injuries excluded) that Garcia beats Nova for a rotation spot. I don’t think there’s a question in Girardi’s mind about that.

    Jason at made a good point last night that, while Pena would be a nice fit, he’s likely to be a lot more valuable to another team that would need his very good glove, whereas the Yanks would rarely play him over Teixeira at 1B. Obviously the Yankees could outbid anybody, but after signing Kuroda they’re probably already over their budget, and they actually do stick to a budget lately, albeit a very high one.

    So I’m thinking they either go for a cheaper DH like Damon, or just rotate the starters in and out with Nunez picking up the starts in the infield.

  17. 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?

  18. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Oh yeah, was agreeing with you about Burnett. I just feel like team’s find it hard to accept a sunk cost like that. Big Z wasnt Theo’s mistake so it was easy for him to move him and argue for it. A little different in NY. I also think the Yanks know last year was Burnett at his worst (look at his absurd HR/FB rate) and he could bounce back a better, and thereby net a little more in a trade.

    In terms of Nova v Garcia. At this point, garcia cant really fluctuate between starter and reliever, whereas I think Nova is young and flexible enough to pull that off. But, by talent, Nova should be pencilled in.

    I was thinking of saying that there’s no reason the Yankees need two gold glove first basemen (the team’s best IF defenders would be at first!). Pena does make a perfect platoon partner for Andruw Jones though. Pena has no business hitting against lefties. I tweeted about Damon and would absolutely love that move, Damon had a good solid year last year and doesnt need to hit against lefties.

  19. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Its funny how crowded the Yanks pen has gotten. I’d prefer David Robertson really, there’s also Rafael Soriano. Hughes is a good pitcher, but his path to fantasy relevance includes a lot of ifs at the moment.

    hughes should thrive as a pen guy and the Yanks will win, so holds should be there. He’s a decent upside pick in a holds-type league, as if any starter gets injured, he could slide back into the rotation, thereby increasing his value.

  20. 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.

  21. Mike says:

    Hughes to nl is tommy Hanson

  22. Jay says:

    @Albert Lang: Yeah Jones is a big winner at the moment, and pairing him with Pena would be perfect, but I think that’s only gonna happen if Pena takes a small 1-yr deal in an effort to win a World Series. No clue if that’s on his mind yet, though. But Damon would be a nice consolation prize. I also wouldn’t mind them re-signing Chavez to spell A-Rod and Tex and spend some time at DH.

    We also have to consider the mid-season trade for a DH, too (again, assuming no major injuries). All kinds of viable veteran hitters become available in July…

  23. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Not sure i follow. Do you mean if Hughes goes to the NL he becomes a top flight starter with some risk? That does ring true.

    Or are you implying that both had a lot of promise and didnt live up to it. Also true, but Hanson, if he can stay healthy has a rotation spot

  24. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Jesus, a Pena/Jones DH platoon is better than anything the Orioles have had since Harold Baines….

    I just feel like 1 year $10 million will get it done for Pena and the yankees sneeze $10 million, dont they? You’re right that they have shown some restraint, but it’ll be interesting to see what they do.

  25. Jay says:

    @Albert Lang: Reports earlier in the week were that they were still a few million under their budget and that they wouldn’t go over it. It seems to me that the Kuroda deal is the last 8-figure deal they’ll make, unless Cashman gets clearance from Hal Steinbrenner to go over budget. Which is likely, if they can get the right player. But I don’t know if they’d do that for a platoon DH.

    But yeah, a Pena/Jones platoon would probably put up great numbers when you take out each guy’s weak side. Like .260/.370/.520.

  26. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Jay: Its amazing what one trade does. The Yankees were all but set and now we get to think about their rotation, DH and potential additional free agents.

    I see the Yankees as always willing to spend (spend baby spend), but you’re right that they’ve intimated that there is a budget and they would be at it with the Kuroda signing.

  27. The Wolfpack says:

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

  28. 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.

  29. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @The Wolfpack:

    If you can get a few owners on your side, that might work.

    Oh wait, this isnt the ridiculous NBA.

  30. 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?

  31. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    I’d take Montero if he has catcher eligibility.

    Otherwise it’s a coin flip between weeks and ackley. Kind of depends on other keepers. I’d take Ackley slightly.

  32. 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?

  33. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Well I’d take King Felix, he good. Hamels is no slouch though.

    I’d also roll the dice on Rasmus, but Hellickson is the safe choice.

    Freeman is a fine player but totally replaceable. He’s basically Gaby sanchez. I’m not sure Minor will get consistent starts to be honest (would rather have Beachy).

    With McCutchen, you dont really need steals (i.e., Weeks), so I’d go Ackley or just keep Montero and hope he regains catcher eligibility (it’s not that crazy; it could definitely happen, then he’s a huge value).

  34. 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….


  35. 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?

  36. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    Hey Tony – definitely annoys fans of other teams as it seems like Pineda was worth more. You just have to tip your cap to Cashman though.

    Still Noesi could end up being a very good pitcher, so it’;s not widely in the Yankees favor

  37. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:


    If anything this helps Montero. I cant imagine he has catcher eligibility in many/any leagues. The Yankees were not using him as a catcher and i think the Mariners are more apt to use him.

    With Smoak/Ackley/Ichiro hitting in front of him, the RBIs could be there. Runs wont be though

  38. Tony says:

    @Albert Lang: Yeah I figure Montero’s a great prospect, Noesi COULD be great, but those are all IF’s…. Potential for a guy who’s logged a solid year and shown he’s probably going to be an absolute ace, ughh, terrible move if you ask me, SEA should start playing for the NOW not 2-3 years from now…

  39. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Tony: The most annoying thing is if the Mariners really liked Montero, could have had him for Cliff Lee. Instead they traded as good a pitcher who was far cheaper…it’s just silly. I understand what the Mariners do and I think they need to trade pitching for hitting, but Pineda should have commanded more. I dont think Montero is the next Edgar Martinez.

  40. Robinson Checo says:

    Keeper question:

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

  41. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Robinson Checo: I have Kennedy as my 33rd ranked pitcher. Pineda is 45.

    Obviously, I give Kennedy credit for being solid for a bit longer than Pineda. I see Kennedy capable of a 3.30 ERA, 200 Ks and a 1.15 WHIP.

    I had Pineda, now, at 180Ks with a 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

    There’s a lot more unknown and risk involved with Pineda, so I’d stick with Kennedy.

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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?

  45. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Wake Up:

    I’m with you that this makes sense for the Mariners – they can create pitchers (Fister, Vargas, etc.) and have a lot of SPs in the minors who seem capable. Where the Mariners are getting dinged is that they traded a hot commodity for a DH and they could have had that same DH not too long ago, so it’s a little odd from that standpoint. it makes sense, but you can imagine the Mariners doing better. And, as you laid out, this works pefectly for the yankees. I doubt this will be Jeff Weaver deux.

  46. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Wake Up: Naps and sundays are synonymous. I’ve taken one the last two days (of course i’ve been up early with the pup, but napping is essentially for a health disposition).

    Drinking still? i’m impressed!

  47. Wake Up says:

    @Albert Lang:
    I couldn’t imagine them doing much better without spending a boatload of cash…who would have been better? I realize that most NYY prospects are overrated, but Montero’s bat is legit. .300 hitter with 25-30 HR power is very rare, sans steroids.

  48. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Wake Up: That’s a good question. I feel like the return the Padres got for Latos is better than what the Mariners got. Grandal is a legit catcher.

    The Rangers would have been interest i have to imagine. But yeah, hard to say who they could have gotten, but it seems like Latos got more talent in return

  49. 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.

  50. Albert Lang

    Albert Lang says:

    @Schmohawks Bob:

    Well, for fantasy purposes if he has catcher eligibility, he’s a catcher. It doesnt matter to fantasy that he cant field the position worth a lick.

    Pineda had a very poor chance at wins in Seattle. While he is in a tough ball park and will pitch against stiffer competition now, he will get more wins for the Yankees. So, you lose some ratios but give wins, that’s why his value remains largely static.

  51. Yeah, I Remember When says:

    @Schmohawks Bob:

    yeah, ’cause it’s already a foregone conclusion that Montero’s NOT a catcher. There is still a fair bit of time for that to happen. I know that the M’s have a very young rotation (that just got younger now that Paxon’s pretty much set in the rotation and Hultzen’s not too far behind), but that does not necessarily mean that Montero can’t catch. The fact remains: he’ll be splitting time with Olivo and learning from Jaso (perhaps the smartest person in the Major Leagues) while playing 1/2 the time at DH. If Montero keeps Catcher eligibility, plays 1/2 of his PAs as a Catcher, he’s UBER vaulable. This is a win for Montero owners in the sense that the M’s will be trying him at Catcher and letting him take his lumps. The Yanks would have pulled him during his first 0fer-week slump. Pineda, however, scares me a bit in Yankee stadium, but hi fly ball tendencies are exaggerated. His xFIP was 3.51 at home, 3.55 on the road.

    I see it as a win-win for both teams, with the possibility of it being a trade that both teams look back in 5 years and saying “we did damn well”.

  52. @Yeah, I Remember When:

    Thanks for the comment. If you can find any source that says Montero has the skills to catch, let me know. I also did say that Montero was more likely to gain catcher eligibility with the trade. The Yankees and most of baseball do not believe Montero can catch. Of course, if that bat develops, it mitigate a lot of substandard defense.

    Its just a fact that pineda will be throwing in harder ballparks and his fly balls are going to be worriesome.

    As noted, the trade makes sense for both teams. Some seem to believe the Mariners should have gotten more for a stud pitcher with years of control, especially because they could have gotten Montero for Clilff Lee.

  53. 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.

  54. @TheNewGuy:

    I’m not a huge Bruce fan, i mean i like him, but dont love him. I’d probably do the one year, because even if he exceeds the $28 it wont be by that much that you cant get him back. He’s all power numbers to me. you dont get worth near $30 without being huge in runs/SBs/average as well.

  55. 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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