Olney’s Latest: Montero, Cespedes, Indians

Last night's news was highlighted by the Yankees' signing of Hiroki Kuroda and the four-player trade that sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners in exchange for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that it might not be until next week that the trade is announced (as teams wait for completion of physicals), and opines that it may be the Blue Jays who are hurt most by this trade, as their rotation once again looks too thin to compete in the AL East. Here's a look at the highlights from Olney's latest blog (ESPN Insider required)…

  • Both the Yankees and Mariners believe that Montero will be able to stick at catcher, which many in the industry feel is a must in order for the trade to make sense for Seattle.
  • One executive posed the question: "Why is Yoenis Cespedes playing in any Winter ball games?" Olney says Cespedes' first few games have looked rough, as he hasn't played for a long time. With questions about his ability to pick up a breaking ball, he could potentially hurt his value with a poor showing, and doesn't stand to gain much if he plays well.
  • The Indians seem to be in position to land a good first baseman, writes Olney. Casey Kotchman, Carlos Pena, and Derrek Lee all remain unsigned, and if the Nationals sign Prince Fielder, Adam LaRoche will become available as well. Olney points out that all four are regarded as good fielders, which is crucial to Cleveland's groundball staff (Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe, and Fausto Carmona are all extreme groundball pitchers). Olney writes that there were indications earlier this offseason that Lee did not want to play for the Tribe.
  • With the Diamondbacks showing interest in Bartolo Colon, GM Kevin Towers, who spent a year working for the Yankees, will "presumably get an honest read about what [the Yankees] feel Colon could contribute."


79 Responses to Olney’s Latest: Montero, Cespedes, Indians Leave a Reply

  1. My preference for 1b is Pena. Id take Kotchman too. Once we start getting to Laroche and Lee I am a little less excited/happy

    • Cody Bezik 4 years ago

      I prefer Lee.  Right handed bat.  If not him, though, Pena is the best remaining. 

  2. Guest 4 years ago

    pena is going to the yanks

  3. TOR, ATL will take your calls. You don’t need to win every trade.

  4. Why are the Marlins targeting Cespedes? Their OF is set w/ Morrison, Boni, and Stanton, where would he play? I don’t get it. 

    • I don’t think they’re set with Bonificao. For a team with some cash to spend, they could target him at the CF of the future, while allowing Boni to be the 4th OF while also playing IF positions on occasions. That’d give them a lot of flexibility, if they really like Cespedes. 

      • slider32 4 years ago

        I think Cashman has his eye on Cepedes will he is repelling the highest building in India.

  5. rayking 4 years ago

    Don’t agree that Montero has to stick at catcher for the trade to “make sense” for Seattle. They need more offense, who cares where it comes from? Obviously he has more value if he contributes defensively, but a DH or 1B is still an everyday player.

    It’s my understanding that a good everyday player typically provides more WAR than a good starting pitcher, but I could be wrong (for those more Yoda-like in Sabermetrics, feel free to correct me). I think Pineda will be good, not great, but we’ll see.

    • Radiosurgery 4 years ago

      The point is as a DH he is docked 17.5 runs/600 PA, so even if he hits .300/.400/.500 he is worth ~3.5 WAR. Pineda put up 3.4 WAR last year in his rookie season. You’re looking at ~3 WAR difference from full time DH to full time catcher. Usually position players do provide more value but you have to be a monster to put up 5 WAR as a DH, whereas there is an argument out there to be made that Pineda could be a perennial 5 WAR pitcher.

  6. I was a Jack Z supporter but after we traded Pineda and Campos to the Yankees im ready to see him get fired. We got fleeced GJ.

    • That’s an understand reaction, but it looks like SEA got a lot of return and it’s a trade that actually benefits both. Montero looks to be an incredible hitter, and that’s a lot of risk that he is going to be, but I can’t see Jack Z getting fired over it. I’m just glad someone, anyone, took a risk and made a great trade – one that benefits both sides. 

      • I realize like i sound like im over reacting but i really thought we should have done the Felix for Montero,Betances,Banuelo (Probably butchered the last guys name.) ++. It made much more sense to hold on to Pineda we control him for 5 more seasons Felix is a FA in 3 plus we are paying Felix much more.

        • James Attwood 4 years ago

          If the rumors are true and the Yankees were offering Montero, Betances and Banuelo for King Felix, it seems on paper that the Mariners’ expectations of Felix’s value were too high. They got a nice return for Pineda, but they could have instantly restocked the system AND obtained the power bat by trading Felix during what is already a rebuilding process.

          Only reason to hang on to Felix is if they were in a “win now” mode. Mariners are at least 2 years from competing in that division.

          • muskyfish 4 years ago

            Every single Yankee top-prospect has major questions. If the Yankees thought Montero could stick at catcher, they would not have dealt him. I could probably come up with 15 pitching prospects I like better than Banuelos, and 30 I like better than Betances. I respect the Yankees for focusing more on the farm… but they should trade Dellin and Manny now, while their stock is still extremely high apparently. 

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            This is the madness that boggles my mind. Bans and Bets are rated that high DESPITE their control issues in 2011 because they are SO good. To say YOU can think of 15 better pitching prospects than a guy like Bans who turns all of 21 and will be pitching at AAA next year is a joke. To say you can think of 30 pitching prospects better than Bets is even more laughable and if you feel that way then you might as well disregard any prospect reports you come across from Calis, Sickels, Heyman or anyone else.

          • Radiosurgery 4 years ago

            Felix has said numerous times he loves Seattle and I can see him resigning here. In a vacuum maybe that package is worth Felix, but not when you look at it in the context of the Mariners, in my opinion.

  7. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    We (Yankee fans) are all emotionally attached to Montero and that’s understandable. However, I can’t help but like the intent here that Cashman used and I would much rather see him do this and get a Pineda type whose prime years are hopefully ahead of him. If he matures and turns into a FOR guy then this deal is a win for the Yanks. If Campos matures in the minors that could easily give the Yanks 3 top 50 prospects that are pitchers.

    With Pineda, Nova and Hughes the Yanks will have 3 starting pitchers in the rotation that are 25 or younger on opening day. Also, we would have a stacked AAA staff of Banuelos, Betances, Warren, Phelps and Mitchell. All have had a taste of AAA or pitched the entire year there and all are mlb/near mlb ready and will be 25 or younger at the start of openign day as well. THAT IS A CRAZY STASH OF YOUNG TALENTED PITCHING!!!!!

    I TRULY hope that the players for BOTH sides have exceptional careers. I want Pineda to be a Cy Young caliber guy for the Yanks. I want Campos to become a blue chip prospect and future FOR-MID rotation guy. I want Montero to be a MVP caliber hitter and I hope Noesi, and I love this guy, blossoms into a solid #3 type for the M’s.

    It does nothing but helps the Yanks rep if they continue to churn out prospects that pay dividends for the Yanks or for the team they trade them to as it helps legitimize our farm system.

    So far Melancon, Kennedy, Tabata, Jackson, Clippard and others have been good mlb’ers for their teams.

    • MB923 4 years ago

      In all liklhiood, I don’t see Hughes in the Yankees rotation on Opening Day, perhaps not even at all this season.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Why? Just curious. IMO, most of Hughes problems came from his arm related injury. Once he came back, his stats aren’t great but if you break it down, he was much better. It makes a ton of sense to move AJ and try and let Hughes work his way back. Who makes more sense to hold on to, Hughes or AJ? Can Hughes do any WORSE than AJ if he’s healthy? 

        • GriffeyandSizemore 4 years ago

          I want Hughes to start but it’s most likely going to be Garcia with the Yanks trying to move Aj/Hughes.

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          What we know… 

          CC is your ace. Pineda is now our legit number 2. Kuroda is 3 and Nova is 4. That 5th rotation spot can go to Hughes, Garcia, or AJ. 

          I think AJ has the most upside when he’s right, but it also makes sense to see what Hughes has since he will be with the team longer than AJ. Also, AJ is getting paid 16m, so maybe that’s your deciding factor right there. Garcia is definitely the long man out of the pen, and that’s fine, as I don’t have any loyalty to him anyway. 

          Hughes still has an option remaining, does’t he? Maybe he gets work in the minors until AJ struggles or an unforeseen injury happens?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i’d switch kuroda and pineda

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Why is that?

          • i think kuroda will be #2 simply because he has way more experience than pineda. yeah pineda has better stuff, way better, but i still think girardi would prefer an experienced #2

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i expect pineda to continue to dominate bad lineups and struggle against good ones next year

            2013 may be a different story, but going into a series today i’d have more confidence in kuroda. he’s less dazzling but less volatile

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Why is that?

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. they’re both in the rotation, whether they pitch on wednesday or thursday is meaningless. it’s just fun for us fans to debate. it can go either way, to me, gotta see how they both adjust to the AL East before crowning any of them. 

          • slider32 4 years ago

            I agree, CC-1, Pineda-2, Kuroda-3, Nova-4, Hughes-5. Pineda’s K/9-9.11 is high, bb/9-2.87 is good, and was +38 in inn/ h  171/133, which is excellent. This could put Pineda in the catagory of Ricky Romero or better.

        • MB923 4 years ago

          Unless AJ is gone, they aren’t paying him $16 mil to be a relief pitcher. I won’t say Garcia would be better than Hughes in 2012, but he was better in 2011 so I also can’t see them choosing Hughes over Garcia.

          Maybe I will take back when I said “All season”, but to at least start the year, I think Hughes is in the bullpen.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            I can absolutely see them taking Hughes over Garcia if Hughes looks good in spring training. I expect Hughes to come in fit, focused and hungry this spring as he knows this is a major year for him going forward.

      • If it were me, I’d eat my money on AJ Burnett, who is clearly not worth his salary. Hughes was pretty good after he overcame his injury problems.

        I think that Hughes or Garcia will be in the bullpen; I doubt that Pineda will be in the SWB rotation.

  8. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    We (Yankee fans) are all emotionally attached to Montero and that’s understandable. However, I can’t help but like the intent here that Cashman used and I would much rather see him do this and get a Pineda type whose prime years are hopefully ahead of him. If he matures and turns into a FOR guy then this deal is a win for the Yanks. If Campos matures in the minors that could easily give the Yanks 3 top 50 prospects that are pitchers.

    With Pineda, Nova and Hughes the Yanks will have 3 starting pitchers in the rotation that are 25 or younger on opening day. Also, we would have a stacked AAA staff of Banuelos, Betances, Warren, Phelps and Mitchell. All have had a taste of AAA or pitched the entire year there and all are mlb/near mlb ready and will be 25 or younger at the start of openign day as well. THAT IS A CRAZY STASH OF YOUNG TALENTED PITCHING!!!!!

    I TRULY hope that the players for BOTH sides have exceptional careers. I want Pineda to be a Cy Young caliber guy for the Yanks. I want Campos to become a blue chip prospect and future FOR-MID rotation guy. I want Montero to be a MVP caliber hitter and I hope Noesi, and I love this guy, blossoms into a solid #3 type for the M’s.

    It does nothing but helps the Yanks rep if they continue to churn out prospects that pay dividends for the Yanks or for the team they trade them to as it helps legitimize our farm system.

    So far Melancon, Kennedy, Tabata, Jackson, Clippard and others have been good mlb’ers for their teams.

  9. Both the Yankees and Mariners believe that Montero will be able to stick at catcher, which many in the industry feel is a must in order for the trade to make sense for Seattle.

    Well trading for a catcher, who can’t catch makes no sense to me.
    Trying to place a square peg in a round hole makes even less sense.
    The only thing that will come out of this is that the Yankees won’t be rumored to be looking to trade Montero anymore!
    Can’t wait to see what the M’s do with Olivio if Montero is going to be the main catcher. Plus how is Montero at calling a game. That’s a big deal too!

    I am sure Eric Wedge is doing “Cart Wheels” now that he has a “Young” Impact Hitter not… I am sure this made his off season. Jack Z for GM of the Year!

    • If the Yankees think he can stick at catcher then how come they were so quick to call up Austin Romine to play catcher when Russell Martin got hurt?

      • sonofsnake 4 years ago

        He was 21 years old.  Where the Yankees were comfortable playing him at the major league level last season may not accurately represent their projection for his career.

    • harmony55 4 years ago

      Miguel Olivo, whose contract expires after this season, could be a good mentor for Jesus Montero (although I suspect Montero will start the season at Triple A to give the M’s control through the 2018 season).

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        That would be a horrible thing to do. They need to start him ASAP. 

      • PennMariner 4 years ago

        This will not happen. Also, Miguel Olivo is not a good mentor for anybody. Unless you want Montero’s receiving skills to dilapidate even further, or if you want him to never take a walk. As it is right now, Montero would probably be a better mentor for Olivo.

        I’ll be extremely surprised if Olivo isn’t traded after the Montero trade is finalized.

  10. levendis 4 years ago

    “Both the Yankees and Mariners believe
    that Montero will be able to stick at catcher, which many in the
    industry feel is a must in order for the trade to make sense for
    Seattle.

    The Yankees dont believe that at all, if they did I honestly believe hed still be a Yankee right now, and they wouldnt be discussing a 22 year old rookie to be their everyday DH.

    He doesnt have to stick at catcher in order for the deal to make sense. They can plug him at 1B or DH. Also those possitions would probably benefit his hitting, weve seen big catchers wear down over the years, and cause it to affect theyre hitting. Yes there have been exceptions (Piazza and Posada), but you see guys like Mauer, and I wonder how dynamic wieters bat could be without the daily strain of working behind the plate everyday

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I disagree with you. I don’t think they ever ruled him out as, at least a part-time C. But with Martin what was the need to thrust him into the position? Martin had a very good year. Besides, even he was the C, it was a position of strength to acquire a need and in Pineda we have 5 years control of a guy who looks like he belongs in a mlb rotation.

      • levendis 4 years ago

        Dont get my wrong, i love the trade, its great for both teams. Pineda has the stuff to be a front line starter, he kind of reminds me of CC when he came up with Cleveland. I agree, there was no need now, but there will be soon. He had no position with the Yankees. If he could catch behind the plate they would let it ride for Martin for a year and then slot him at C for 2013. The DH spot is going to be Arods in a year or two, and Tex is anchoring at 1st. This leaves him with no position. Martin is not going to be our catcher of the future, hes a nice player, i like him, but if Montero could start there he would of gotten the boot. Montero to me, is lower risk than Pineda, but Pineda has a higher reward. It will be interesting to see how things will work out.

      • levendis 4 years ago

        I know we have strength at the C, but your talking about a guy that possibly could of been are #3 guy for years to come. Montero and Cano would of been a scary 3/4 in the middle of our lineup for several years.

        • if we’re talking about expectations, projections and potential, I would definitely prefer a cy young in pineda than an mvp in montero. 

          • levendis 4 years ago

            i agree, but i feel not only does pineda have the higher reward, he comes along with a higher risk than Montero

    • I think the reason they’re saying that is because their thinking is based on position offensive expectations, meaning, if Montero is put at C and lives up to his offensive expectations they’ll be getting premium hitting from a position that doesn’t normally have premium hitters. But if they move him to 1B where you can find someone with power (look at the 1B free agents still available, even if not opting for Smoak), they wouldn’t be taking full advantage of Pineda’s value.

      I feel like this is the case because GM Brian Cashman first compared Montero to Mike Piazza – another C that provided incredible offensive production at a position not normally expecting to get that production.

    • NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

      The Yankees said he could stick as a catcher that doesn’t mean they think he’ll be a solid defensive catcher. They also might have traded him anyways since they have another top catching prospect in Gary Sanchez. It was a win-win situation for the Yankees.

  11. Coollet 4 years ago

    From a Blue Jays fan: “Damn”

    • Rangersfan32 4 years ago

      I was actually surprised that Pineda wasn’t traded to the Blue Jays. I always thought they’d be a good match, and they Jays have some catching prospects who can actually hit and play the position defensively. But I guess a career DH is worth a young #2 like Pineda.

  12. I’m a bit surprised that Casey Kotchman is unsigned, especially since he had a big rebound year last year after two subpar seasons.

    As for Carlos Pena, he’s too much feast or famine; he did have 101 walks last year, but having not hit above .247 since 2007 for a season gives me pause. His 2010 season has to be among the worst that year for those qualifying for the batting title.

    • Obviously Pena’s average and strikeouts are a concern. But CLE wont be expecting him to be their best hitter. I think hitting behind guys like Kipnis Cabrera Choo and Santana will ease Pena into the season. Just need a little pop in his bat.

  13. I seriously doubt that Montero will be able to stick at catcher.

  14. I seriously doubt that Montero will be able to stick at catcher.

  15. Am I the only mariner fan who actually likes this trade? Am I the only mariner fan who doesn’t Whine for Jack to be fired over improving our offense, who everyone else whined about all offseason?

    Please. We are worse then any other fan in baseball when it comes to this senseless complaining…we have had winning records  more times then many teams over the last 15-20 seasons, yet people act like we have been rebuilding since the end of time.

    • muskyfish 4 years ago

      The second paragraph is for you and your fellow Mariner fans to debate…. but as someone who has watched a lot of Mariners baseball over the last few years, I can say that I hate this trade for you guys. 

      I respect that Jack Z has confidence in his staff to continue to find pitching, and kudos to them for being ballsy. But I can look at this trade from a half dozen different Seattle viewpoints, and they all come out lousy. Bottom line, the Mariners offense still sucks. Everyone knows you typically have to give up a strength to improve a weakness, but to me, this was a waffling move that was made (in part) to keep up in the headlines of the AL West. The Mariners gave up a large part of what could potentially make them special in the upcoming years, for the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving that horrid offense. Now they have to improve two things, instead of just one. 

    • tdot32 4 years ago

      i agree. pineda has a lot of potential, but so does montero. if im the yankees, i’m worried about pineda’s splits and his second half production, and even if all montero does is DH, he’s still producing in an area that the mariners need improvement in.

    • I’m a Mariners fan, and I absolutely love the trade. It’s good to see us finally do something about our “offense” both now and for the future.

  16. doctor8ball 4 years ago

    A hard day to be a Mariners fan… also Blue Jays fan… Seems the Jays have been diverting all of their energies to beefing up their PR. First the Jays made noises about being in the hunt for Darvish, but did not want their bid revealed… wonder why?… They had a chance to pick up Aoki on the cheap… didn’t.. and yes, the pitching is sad… and no one out there in both the trade and FA markets are going to change that… Right now the Jays would be very lucky to get third in the AL East… Maybe they’ll try an old JP Richardi trick and try and sell (the local fans)  the concept that Toronto ownership has no money, and that Toronto represents a small market… both of which are furthest from the truth. Jays ownership has unlimited financial resource, and the city (which also represents Canadian “national” exposure) is the fourth largest metopolitan area in North America.

    • tdot32 4 years ago

      we only have to deal with kuroda for one year, and pineda will have to establish himself in a hitter’s park, which is a valid concern for him. I’ll be more happy if i see some of the younger players on the jays showing signs of progression. signing free agents is overrated, just like stockpiling prospects is, but building a team with the right players takes more time and is ultimately more effective.

    • tdot32 4 years ago

      we only have to deal with kuroda for one year, and pineda will have to establish himself in a hitter’s park, which is a valid concern for him. I’ll be more happy if i see some of the younger players on the jays showing signs of progression. signing free agents is overrated, just like stockpiling prospects is, but building a team with the right players takes more time and is ultimately more effective.

  17. Any preference? 

  18. slider32 4 years ago

    AA and Cherrington have missed the boat, you snooze, you lose!

  19. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    Pretty sure all the pitchers worthy of unloading prospects for have already been traded.

  20. Agreed, but I think there are still quality pitchers available where you’re not having to unload your prospects. Albeit, you’ll probably have to give up more know that the trade market has taken shape and prices have been set by competitors. But, if you don’t do anything, that’s what happens. I will say though that Jurrjens and Garza are not the right fits for them.

  21. kurtits 4 years ago

    I’d love to go to a game with you. Where you sittin on the home opener?

  22. Anthopolous an overhyped GM?? pleasee… im a yankees fan but i think that AA is a top 5 gm. if the jays were to be in another division, say, the nl west, they would without a doubt win the division. a young-skilled core playing right and continuing to grow.

  23. slider32 4 years ago

    You snooze, you lose. CC, 5 years of control, Pineda 6 years of control, Nova, 5 years of control, Hughes, Joba, Robertson. The Yanks staff is young, cheap except for CC an ace, talented, and under control.

  24. sports33 4 years ago

    You really think most Jays fans thought JP Ricciardi was a good GM?

  25. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    There’s a reason I excluded mentioning him :p

  26. Rangersfan32 4 years ago

    Garza would be worth unloading prospects if the trade market was in any way realistic right now.

  27. The Mariners had four of their top five (at least) best prospects as top starting pitching prospects ready to come to big leagues within few years. Hultzen, Paxton and Walker give them the sort of depth where that’s okay, and I’m sure Hultzen or Paxton will start the season with the Ms. We needed a bat. I don’t think they got full return value, but I doubt we would have gotten much more. 

  28. harmony55 4 years ago

    The Mariners wisely traded high on Michael Pineda, who only 11 months ago was a lower-ranked prospect than Jesus Montero despite being 10 months older than Montero.

    Assuming neither player sees another day in the minors, the Mariners traded from its organizational depth in pitching to acquire six years of a top hitting prospect for five years of an older pitcher.

    In the long run, the trade could well benefit both teams, as a good trade should.

  29. tdot32 4 years ago

    if i’m the mariners, i’m looking to support felix with some hitters so they can win more games. mariners have a stacked farm, especially in pitching, and i think montero is the perfect fit for the mariners because he likes to go the other way, and he’s young. the trade was perfect for both teams

  30. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Big difference between Beltre and Montero. Beltre is a dead pull, swinging from his socks kind of hitter whereas Montero has a shorter, quicker swing and is more than happy to hit the ball the opposite field. 

  31. Radiosurgery 4 years ago

    This is a pitchers league? Do you care to provide some evidence of that? Comparing Adrian Beltre to Montero misses the mark by a mile. Elite RH power has the ability to succeed in Safeco; look at Richie Sexon before he fell off a cliff. 

  32. right… pineda, gonzalez, latos and garza are the only good pitchers on the trade market. there will never be another talented starter made available. red sox and jays and everyone else should just give up cause the yankees got pineda. 

  33. Natsfan89 4 years ago

    You can say that about a lot of team.

  34. not every team as young as the jays could compete in the al east. 

  35. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    You say older pitcher as if Pineda is 28 years old and headed towards FA. The 1 year age difference is an odd reason to like or dislike the trade. Both teams got good players though and I hope each team is extremely happy at the end of 2012 with the players they acquired.

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