After the Yankees missed on Cliff Lee, there has been a lot of talk about Jesus Montero being used as a major trade chip to haul in another ace. The ONLY way I am in favor of this is if Felix Hernandez somehow is put on the block.
If it is not King Felix, I say hold on to him. Montero is the top Yankee prospect, top five in all of baseball, according to Baseball America and it would be a shame to lose him.
Most scouts say that Montero lacks the defensive skills to be an everyday catcher and Austin Romine would be the better option. Romine, although he is not as talented a hitter, is said to have great defensive skills up to par for the majors.
The possibilities for Montero are to let him stay in the minors as a full time catcher or bring him up this year and let him catch a few days a week and either sit or DH the remaining days, depending on his performance at the plate. Another possibility, the one I am in favor of (although I am not sure how realistic it is), is to put Montero at third in the minors and work on his mechanics.
The first option, keeping him in the minors as a catcher seems like the safest method for the Yankees. This will allow for him to continue progressing and improving. The second method, splitting time between DH and catcher seems like a good idea at first, but it would likely cause too many problems.
First, he probably wouldn’t get into a full routine that he is comfortable with, more so as a catcher. It would be hard for him to progress if he cannot be behind the plate on consecutive days and work on his weaknesses.
Also, this would likely piss Posada off way too much. He is already somewhat unhappy that his days at catcher are over and I’m sure he would be downright livid if he was riding the bench.
My favorite option would be to put him at third. According to some articles, he played third base before signing a contract with the Yankees, so it is possible. If he can successfully move back, it would kill multiple birds with one stone. He wouldn’t be the full-time third baseman until 2012, which by then, Posada will be off the roster.
At that point, either Romine or Martin could be the starting catcher, with the other at backup and A-Rod could be a full-time DH.
Putting Rodriguez at this spot would likely bring him closer to 40 home run seasons, because his ailing hip would get the necessary rest. Then, another problem would solve itself. The Yankees wouldn’t need to look for a new guy at third in the market, instead, they could bring up the stud Montero and have another heavy hitter in the lineup.
Obviously, this is all speculation at this point, but regardless of what spot he is on the field, I pray to Jesus that Jesus is in pinstripes.