SEATTLE (CBS Seattle/AP) – The Mariners and Yankees completed their four-player trade on Monday that sent All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda and 19-year-old pitching prospect Jose Campos to the Yankees in exchange for 22-year-old slugger Jesus Montero and 24-year-old pitcher Hector Noesi.
While Noesi and Campos both have potential to help their new clubs, this trade is all about the exchange of Montero for Pineda. Montero hit .328 with four homers and 12 RBIs in a September call-up with the Yankees last year that earned him a spot on the playoff roster. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said of Montero, “He may very well be the best player I’ve traded,” Cashman said.
Seattle hit just .233 as a team, scored 556 runs — worst in all of baseball — and hit only 109 homers in 2011. Seattle has failed to average four runs per game each of the past three seasons.
Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said, ”We felt we really needed a boost in our offense, and we identified some young players in baseball, but at the end we settled for Jesus. We thought this would be a guy that could come in here and be the type of hitter we’re looking for for years to come.”
As for what the gave up to get Montero, Seattle could part with Pineda because of its depth in the minors. Three of Seattle’s top prospects all project as starting pitchers: right-hander Taijuan Walker, lefty Danny Hultzen — the No. 2 pick in last year’s amateur draft — and lefty James Paxton.
Seattle also signed Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to go with ace Felix Hernandez, lefty Jason Vargas and prospects Charlie Furbush and Blake Beavan. Noesi may very well fall into that mix, too, after appearing in 30 games with New York, including two starts, and going 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA and 45 strikeouts.