Two years after their trade with the Mariners, the Yankees may finally emerge as the winners in their trade for Michael Pineda, David Waldstein of the New York Times writes. Jesus Montero's stock has fallen sharply in Seattle thanks to his poor hitting and conditioning, and now Pineda, who missed the entire 2012 season with shoulder trouble, has a chance to win a job in the Yankees' rotation. Pineda, who pitched sparingly in the minors last year, says he's finally healthy. "I want to be on the Yankees right away," he says. "I don’t want to go to Triple-A. But I don’t have control over the situation." Here are more notes from around baseball.
- Jon Lester is heading into his last year before free agency, and it seems likely that he and the Red Sox will agree to terms on an extension before that happens. In a podcast, Tim Britton and Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal try to determine what a Lester extension might look like, and they arrive somewhere in the neighborhood of five years and $110MM guaranteed, perhaps with an option of some kind. The Red Sox likely will not want to guarantee more than five years for Lester, they suggest, and his recent workload (he threw 248 innings last year, including the postseason) could be a factor. Lester is already locked into a $13MM salary for 2014, so a five-year, $110MM extension would effectively add four years and $97MM.
- It's unclear how many innings the Rangers will get from their starting pitchers, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. Derek Holland is injured, Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison have back issues, Alexi Ogando hasn't proven he's durable, and Martin Perez is only 22. The Rangers could try to compensate by getting more innings out of their relievers. They could also try to make up for Holland's absence by signing Joe Saunders, who recently worked out for them. Tommy Hanson, Colby Lewis, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Michael Kirkman could also be candidates to start.
- Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Beede now looks like a clear top-five draft pick, ESPN's Keith Law writes (Insider-only). Law notes that on Friday night, Beede demonstrated good stuff and solid command, with 92-95 MPH velocity and a strong changeup. Law writes that teams should consider taking Beede beginning with the No. 3 overall pick, with only NC State's Carlos Rodon and high school arm Tyler Kolek obviously representing better picks at this point.
- A.J. Burnett, who made his 2014 spring debut on Sunday, helps clarify the Phillies' rotation, Matt Gelb of the Inquirer writes. As Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News noted earlier today, the back of the Phillies' rotation is uncertain — Cole Hamels, Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin are all dealing with injuries, and it's not clear what they have in Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. Burnett gives the Phillies a reliable option to add to Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick.
I wonder if the Mariners would be willing to trade Jesus Montero back to the Yankees for Austin Romine.
Didn’t Montero come to camp 40lbs overweight?
Exactly. He is clearly unhappy and unmotivated in Seattle. Romine is most likely not going to beat out Cervelli for the backup C job this season and Murphy looks like he has more upside. Montero still has offensive upside. The Yankees could work him out, get him to lose the weight, and bring his game back to the point where he could be a backup C, 1B, and part-time DH this season and beyond. They might even be able to teach him to play a little 3B in a pinch. He is still young with a lot of potential, but I don’t think that he will come close to realizing it in Seattle.
East Coast Bias
40 lbs?! How did he manage to put on that much weight in one winter? Jeez…
I don’t think he necessarily gained 40 pounds. Players have a target weight they have for when they arrive into camp so who knows maybe he was already 20-30 over that target and gained more weight
Athletes tend to eat a lot. The amount of calories they burn during the season is much more than us, and then they go from hours a day of exercise to nothing.
If you wait til mid-season you can probably claim him off waivers.
Maybe, but if I could trade for him now and not have to give up more than Romine, I would like to do that. If I could send them another prospect like Zoilo Almonte and get John Buck as well, I would do that too.
If you wait til mid-season you can probably claim him off waivers.
And yet, everyone says the Rangers are the team to beat in the West, even though the A’s have infinitely more depth at every position. Prince & Choo aren’t going to save this team, they needed to make a splash with FA pitchers and didn’t. Big mistake. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if A’s ran away with the division again.
They stood pat last offseason when they needed to replace offense. And this offseason they stood pat when they needed to replenish pitching depth. Clarifies the belief that I’ve had for a long time, that Jon Daniels is more of a player development GM than a go-getter.
There are limits to how much the Rangers are willing to spend and who they will sign. They aren’t going to go out and sign a bunch of mediocre pitchers just to add depth. Also, keep in mind that they expected Harrison to be in better health and didn’t expect Holland to go falling down the stairs. They will fill out their rotation and they have a much more powerful off offense now than Oakland. Nobody says the Rangers are expected to run away with the division, that’s just A’s fans’ paranoia. People don’t need to worry about the Rangers–they’ll compete just fine.
And yet they signed Choo and acquired Prince Fielder. I never suggested they should go out and sign a bunch of mediocre pitchers just to add depth. They should’ve gone out and signed at least some league average pitchers just to add depth. If the Rangers are not willing to add pitchers just to add depth, then there’s a big problem. If the Rangers were really banking on Harrison being healthy, that alone was a bad strategy. The Rangers should’ve added more pitching depth, and they didn’t.
It’s easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight. Going into the offseason, the Rangers needed offense, not pitching. They acquired offense. When the Rangers acquired Fielder and signed Choo, they had Darvish/Holland/Harrison/Perez and a plethora of 5th spot candidates. There was no need for pitching until Holland got hurt. Harrison only slept on a bad mattress, as confirmed by MRI and doctors.
You seem to confuse depth, which the Rangers have, with quality rotation pieces. No one signs a #2 pitcher to fill a #5 spot; if the price doesn’t fit the budget, there’s not a deal to be made.
I have yet to understand why anyone would sit and worry about what the Rangers have and have not done this off-season. They are in a transitional period coming off the last run of fairly decent playoff success. Sure, they stumbled a long the way. However, its a far cry from what they have done for so many years. They are nearing a major TV deal, and revenue like the organization has never seen before. Things are working themselves into place.
I argue against relying on hindsight all the time. You don’t need to remind me of it. But this not hindsight. I’ve been saying this all offseason. The Rangers needed offense, yes. And they got it. But they focused too much on it. They don’t have that much rotation depth. And they didn’t have that much before Holland’s injury either.
What you are arguing (at least what it sounds like to me) is that the Rangers should have signed 1 or 2 #3/#4 starters before knowing of any of their injuries. That sounds like you think (if that’s what you meant) their rotation of Darvish/Holland/Harrison/Perez wasn’t a good enough 1-4 to begin with even without health concerns.
Fielder was someone they wanted before he signed in Detroit. Nolan Ryan stood in the way of that move. Choo, I can question that addition, at least from a financial stand point. The pitching situation is rough, but I can’t ever recall a year in which a Rangers fan was completely fascinated with the starting rotation. Predicting what the front office will do is difficult anyway, but I am sure they figure something out. But I am also wondering whom has claimed the Rangers will run away with the division? They will win more than they lose and I am willing to bet they win more than Houston and Seattle. The rest remains to be seen. And really, no self respecting Rangers fan will ever worry. We have seen enough bad baseball to be happy with the good ball that is in store.
Whom would you have recommended they sign, regards to SP?
Agreed with you there…just wish pundits would respect Oakland, who have Milone & Pomeranz at AAA right now, two guys who would currently be 3-4 in Texas’s rotation. There’s simply no way Texas has the depth to be taken seriously as contenders.
But hey, Prince will hit 50 bombs, that will be fun to watch. Unfortunately, its a team game, and any teams worst players, the 20-35 guys on the depth chart, are who decides who makes the playoffs.
Pete, you know pundits will never respect Oakland. I can speak from a Rangers fan standpoint, I have nothing but respect for Oakland. Those guys jumped up and bit the Rangers in the ass big time a couple years ago. So, I will always have a level of respect for their game. In fact, I find Oakland a very exciting team to watch and I love watching those late night games in Oakland with that rowdy bunch of fans. Its cool to see.
And we all know Oakland has always had talented SP, that is no secret. Enjoy it. Most Ranger fans have never seen elite pitching staffs, so this is nothing new. The Rangers are not relying on Prince Fielder to hit 50 Hrs to make them the best. They have a terrific lineup with a few young guys they hope can perform. The fact they even hung in for so long last year was amazing in its own right. Look at what type of rotation they spit out most of last year, and the best pitcher they had was worn down the last month of the year. This was without a very solid offense. The Rangers will manage.
Don’t think Beede is getting past the Cubs at four.
If he keeps pitching the way that he is right now, I’m not sure he gets past the White Sox at 3. The Sox have been much more successful in developing pitchers than hitters in recent years and they are looking for someone that they can bring through the minors quickly. Beede fits the bill.
I agree and let the fights in Chicago begin…
Honestly though, both the Sox and the Cubs are in great shape when it comes to this draft. There is a TON of talent at the top and having to decide which one to take out of Turner, Kolek, Hoffman, Beede, and Jackson is a good problem to have.
Montero is an example of a what’s wrong with pinning your hopes on over hyped minor league prospects. As recent as 2011 Baseball America had him rated as the #6 prospect in baseball. He was #3 in 2010. Cashman actually compared him to Piazza and Miguel Cabrera in January 2012.
It happens to every organization. And it will continue to happen. It’s part of the game. Just because one hyped prospect tanks, doesn’t mean that valuing top prospects is the wrong approach. I think it’s time to stop kidding ourselves as well. Jesus Montero is probably just another bottom of the order hitting catcher. Despite being overhyped, that in itself is a success as a prospect. Catchers are a whole different realm when it comes to prospects. Just a league average hitting C is a successful prospect.
except he’s no longer a catcher, before his suspension last year the M’s admitted he can’t hack it behind the plate and had him playing 1B exclusively in the minors. So at this point he’s now a “bottom of the order first baseman” which in and of itself makes him a massive failure as a prospect. The fact that he’s a career .258/.303/.396, .302 wOBA, 93 wRC+ hitter in 732 PAs means he’s a below league average offensive, poor fielding, poor base running, out of shape, first baseman, and he’ll be lucky to crack the starting lineup of the Mariners at all this season.
Well his position isn’t really the point. It’s about not giving up on building with prospects just because one highly regarded prospects tanks. But regarding his position, the Mariners changed Montero’s position, not Montero. That’s the organization’s fault. Montero could still be a C and could be working to improve his skills in ST right now.
I wouldn’t call Kendrick a reliable option either.
I think every Yankees fan myself included are hoping Pineda can be contributor to the starting rotation. We won’t know for sure though until he starts to face real competition. All the updates so far have been very positive it just needs to continue.
I’d be buying low on Jesus Montero. It’s gotta be hard to get 60 minutes of play a day outside when it’s always raining in Seattle. Bad weather leads to bad feelings leads to bad eating.
It rains more in NY. Seattle is just gray 80% of the year. And Montero got fat back home in Venezuela.
According to the ACSM American Fitness Index, Seattle is the 8th fittest urban center in America. NYC is 24th … oh yeah, and Minneapolis / St. Paul is number 1. Such great weather there.
Why would a five year extension for Lester have to erase his 2014 salary?
Just a weird way to say it, a 5 year extension could easily begin in 2015
Where did you read that? The article states his 2014 salary is already locked in…
In Charlie’s post above.
Last thing he says about Lester.
Don’t see a post by a “charlie”.
“The Red Sox likely will not want to guarantee more than five years for Lester, they suggest, and his recent workload (he threw 248 innings last year, including the postseason) could be a factor. Lester is already locked into a $13MM salary for 2014, so a five-year, $110MM extension would effectively add four years and $97MM.”
Gotcha, never read the name of the authors and must’ve missed the “add four years 97 M part, that’s my bad then. Yeah that’s an odd way to word that then, good catch Jeffy.
I don’t think anyone could claim to be the winner of this trade. Pineda hasn’t contributed AT ALL!!
Better than -0.8 fWAR and -0.3 bWAR Montero has given Seattle, it may not be the win they wanted but getting what they got out of Montero and then dropping him right before he bottomed out has to be considered some kind of win.
Those are petty small-victories that shouldn’t be claimed though, is my point. I know the numbers as well.
I think with both players (Montero and Pineda) under their teams control for a few more years the final chapter in this trade has yet to be written. The 2014 season should be a defining year for both these players.
If the Yankees get anything out of Pineda as the #5 starter then it will be well worth the 2 years of wait. Yankees have a ton of options for that 5th starter slot, Pineda, Phelps, Warren, Nuno. So one of them has to be half decent when all is said and done. If one guy can’t take charge, then he will be booted for another. Not like they are asking any of those guys to be top of the rotation guys.
I think fans both pro and anti Yankee fans are to quick write Pineda off. Pineda is young and I honestly feel this last year plus he has been committed to doing everything he can to return to his pre-injury self. Will he be able to? That’s what we will find out over the course on the next 30, 60 and 90 days. Personally even if I wasn’t a Yankee fan and Pineda wasn’t a Yankee you hate to see a young athlete with so much potential and promise not succeed because of an injury.
Happens a lot.. Yankees just get more pub..
How is Pineda going to be a starter for the Yanks this year after only throwing 40 innings last year, I would look for him to take a starting spot next year realistically!
Even if he can’t pitch a full season the Yankees have other options in Warren, Phelps, and Nuno
If Pineda pitches 15 games this years, Yankees win the trade. If he pitches the full season, we all laugh at Montero.
Do journalists get any kind of kickback from the agent when they help drive up the price for a player? Just wondering.
“Lester is already locked into a $13MM salary for 2014, so a five-year, $110MM extension would effectively add four years and $97MM.”
The 13mil for this season is in the books, so its really just a 97mil extension. No way Lester signs for so little (4yr/97mil extension), hometown discount or not. Reminds me of Ellsbury 5yr/100mil offer last offseason, and the offer will yield the same result if it isn’t increased.
Jesus Montero just never came off as a “can’t miss” prospect to me. Looking over his minor league numbers, he always seemed to have plate discipline issues and his 2010-11 stats show that a bit. People hype these prospects up so much that it places unreal expectations on them. It seems like any prospect with a bit of promise will be overblown by the media when they play in a big market. Also, I think Tyler Beede will be the best pitcher in the draft coming up. I’ve always liked his stuff a bit more than Rodon, but both have great upside.
Lots of people used to talk about Boston’s “hype machine”. Whats the deal with NYY? Montero, Chamberlain, Hughes, Kennedy, Bichette. Lots of hype, not much result. Nova the only one that looks like the real deal.
That’s why the Yankees will never be able to trade for a superstar like Tulowitzki.