7 Reasons Why Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero Trade Will Help the Mariners
First off, no Seattle Mariners fans want to see a young stud pitcher like Michael Pineda go. But you have to be willing to pay the price if you want to acquire a catcher like Jesus Montero, widely considered the best hitting prospect in baseball.
While I do understand that there were more than two players involved, I am going to focus on the two big fish in this deal.
On paper, Mariners fans are flipping out right now. King Felix and Prince Pineda were supposed to make a dynamite duo for at least the next decade, right?
But dig deeper, and you'll soon realize just how much sense this deal really makes.
I will miss Michael Pineda sorely, but when you weigh the pros and cons, it makes more and more sense that the Mariners got the better end of this deal.
Here are seven reasons why.
A Hitting Catcher
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In baseball, there are only a handful of catchers who can hit well. Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Buster Posey, etc. The point is that they are few and far between.
Ever Since Kenji Johjima left, the Mariners have been sorely lacking pop from the catcher's position. They can get that with Montero.
Montero is one of those rare prospects that is almost guaranteed to become a great hitter. He is one of the safest prospects in baseball.
Montero might not start right away, but keep in mind he just turned 22, and in the long run he will fit nicely in the middle of the Mariners lineup.
Less Pressure for Montero
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When Montero was in New York, he had more pressure on his shoulders than any 21-year-old should have.
Besides the fact that he was playing in the Big Apple, he was also backing up huge stars like Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada. When they weren't playing, everybody was expecting him to deliver.
Now that he is in the Emerald City, he can play with more confidence. Seattle is more of a relaxed environment, which is perfect for Montero.
I believe the best chance for Montero to succeed is in a place where he is comfortable, and Seattle is a great place for young players to play.
More Pressure for Pineda
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This isn't really a reason why it was "smart" for the Mariners to trade Pineda, but from a fan's perspective, I hope Pineda turns into a goat in New York.
Seattle has been ripped off in countless trades over the years; it'd be nice to see the Yankees get screwed over while we acquire a franchise catcher.
Michael Pineda's ERA was nowhere near as good on the road as it was at home. This can be attributed to the fact that he played in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.
From a guilty pleasure perspective, I hope we make the Yankees look silly with this trade. Kind of like what we did when we acquired Jay Buhner.
Stacked at Pitcher
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The Mariners are severely lacking hitting in the farm system, but they are stacked with pitching.
There are a ton of young pitching prospects just itching for a shot at the major league level. It sucks that we lost Pineda, but another young guy will step in and still do very well.
The Mariners' young pitchers also have the benefit of playing in such a pitcher-friendly ballpark.
While the new pitcher coming into the rotation may not be at Pineda's level, I am very confident that whoever it is will do a good job.
A Fair Chance to Develop
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In New York, Montero had the privilege of working with Jorge Posada. But that didn't mean that he was still going to get a lot of playing time.
Montero is now in a unique situation where he can learn from a veteran like Miguel Olivo and still get decent playing time—a perfect balance.
Montero isn't quite a polished catcher yet, but the veteran Olivo could do wonders for this kid's catching ability. It's a win-win situation.
Young Core of Hitters
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With the arrival of Jesus Montero, the Mariners now have an exciting young core of players, including Dusitn Ackley, Jason Vargas, Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez and now Montero.
The puzzle pieces are falling into place.
Now all this lineup needs is some time to gel and develop. This has the making of a very powerful lineup down the road.
I know I've always been against signing Prince Fielder, but heck, if we could convince him to DH, I would change my mind after this signing.
A New Buzz
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I know making this move hasn't made Seattle perennial contenders immediately, but Seattle chose the right time to make it.
The Mariners haven't exactly done anything exciting this offseason—well scratch that, they've literally done nothing of significance this offseason except for the empty Prince Fielder rumors.
As a Mariners fan, you have to wonder what GM Jack Zduriencik really is thinking. Does he expect this team to compete? Why should I be excited about the 2012 Mariners?
While it isn't exactly the same as signing Fielder, the GM did inject some energy back into the Seattle fanbase.
The Mariners now feature a young core of players such as Ackley, Gutierrez, Hernandez, Vargas, Smoak, Montero, etc. Combined with the good old veterans like Ichiro and Brendan Ryan, there is still a sliver of hope for this 2012 campaign.