As the world found out on Friday night, the Seattle Mariners have traded prized young pitcher Michael Pineda along with top prospect Jose Campos to the Yankees for prized young hitter Jesus Montero and big league pitcher Hector Noesi.
People in Seattle are already writing this off as yet another terrible trade involving one of their future stars. But they shouldn't.
This is exactly what the Mariners needed. Here are three reasons Seattle fans should love this trade:
1. Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker
Three young pitchers with immense talent. We could see Paxton and maybe even Hultzen at some point this season, and by all accounts they will both be very effective Major League pitchers when they get here. Taijuan Walker may have the most talent of the bunch, but at just 19 years of age, it will most likely be two more seasons before we see him take the field in a Mariners uniform. Bottom line is, the Mariners have enough young arms, and as we all saw last season, not nearly enough talented bats.
I know no fan likes to hear this, but barring a miracle, no team except the Angels or the Rangers will win the AL West this season. With Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson joining the Angels, they should, on paper, be the best team in the division. Apparently this Pujols guy is fairly decent.
At the same time, the Rangers, who have made it to the World Series two straight seasons, seem to have improved their team as well and should make another late-season push.
With the roster the Mariners currently have, there is just no feasible way to think that they have a chance to win this division. In two years, however, when Montero and the rest of the young M's hitters are coming into their own, and the young pitchers I referred to earlier are ready, this team should be prepared to make the jump to the postseason.
3. Hitters don't get hurt (as often)
One of the biggest things that worried me when I saw young Mr. Pineda pitch last season was how hard I saw him throw the ball just about every time. His injury history in the minors only added to my worry. It seemed that at any moment he could go down with a Stephen Strasburg-like arm issue.This is just speculation, but so often young hard-throwing pitchers go down with season ending injuries.
I'm not saying that Montero will never get injured; there is no way to know that. It is easier to expect that he will have more durability though, especially if he plays a lot at designated hitter in his first couple of seasons.
Bonus: Hector Noesi
Noesi is a young pitcher who already has a season of Major League experience under his belt and is expected to be a back-of-the-rotation starter with the Mariners. He is someone whom Yankees GM Brian Cashman really liked in New York and should continue to develop. In the Campos-for-Noesi portion of the deal, it seems that the Mariners have won.
This is a very good trade for the Mariners. It is also a pretty good trade for the Yankees. Both sides seem to have won, but we won't really know until we see how both of these players pan out. For now though, the Mariners front office went out and made a move that proved they aren't just sitting on their hands. They made a move that proved they are not afraid to disappoint some fans for the long-term improvement of the organization.
Of all the tough-luck trades the Mariners have made in the past five years, lets hope that the one that happened on Friday the 13th was the luckiest of all.