The Blue Jays have claimed Jesus Montero off waivers from the Mariners, according to a Toronto press release. To create roster space, catcher A.J. Jimenez has been designated for assignment.
The move ends Montero’s four-year tenure with the Mariners, a stint that undoubtedly created frustration for both the player and the team. Montero was acquired in a trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees, a rare case of two blue chip prospects being swapped in the same deal. The M’s were counting on Montero to become a fixture in their lineup, but instead he hit .247/.285/.383 with 24 homers in 796 PA as a Mariner.
Montero’s checkered time in Seattle included several trips to the minors, injuries, defensive issues that turned him from a catcher into a first baseman/DH, weight problems, a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis PED scandal and a bizarre altercation with a minor league coach in 2014 that saw him banned for the last month of the season.
Despite all of this baggage, Montero was still putting up big numbers at the Triple-A level and is just 26 years old. For a player who was considered a consensus top-five prospect in the sport just five years ago, Toronto may feel it’s worth a low-risk signing to see if a change of scenery unlocks Montero’s potential.
Montero is out of options, which complicates things for the Jays since they don’t have an obvious roster spot for him. Edwin Encarnacion is the everyday DH with Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak splitting the first base duties, so as MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes, the Blue Jays may have to try and sneak Montero through waivers again if they intend to keep him.
Jimenez has a reputation as a good defensive catcher and he has hit .272/.314/.381 over 1923 minor league PA. Once considered a possible catcher of the future for the Jays, Jimenez was ranked as the 14th-best prospect in the club’s system by Baseball America prior to the 2014 season before slipping to 23rd in 2015 to out of the top 30 entirely this year. His lack of progress at the plate was a factor in his slide down the rankings and he also has a significant injury history, including Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for much of 2012. Like Montero, Jimenez was also out of options.
The Jays seem to really like Mariners reclamation projects.
Smoak. Montero. Who else?
Saunders is the only other one I can immediately think of… Traded for Lowe too but because he was pitching lights out..
I can’t believe I miss Saunders. That one was a big obvious name.
also have Happ
Can’t wait for this guy to hit 36 HR, drive in 102 and hit .237 because.. ya know,, Blue Jays.
G.M. Ima Scapegoat
Thought the same thing when they signed Dominic brown.
This is why I partially love the SkyDome. It has no real biases. The dimensions are symmetrical and the OF wall is of uniform height.
Any hard-hit line drive has a legitimate chance of going for a HR.
And since all the dimensions are slightly on the shorter end (as compared to let’s say Dodgers’ Stadium), it ends up being classified as a hitters’ park.
It’s a GREAT place to nurture hitters, and it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that guys like JB and EE found success there.
So instead of joining the Yankees where he would be with the guy he was traded for, he joins Justin Smoak who was traded instead of him in a Cliff Lee deal. Is that right?
No. He was traded to the Mariners in the Lee deal
No, he’s absolutely right. When the Mariners were fielding offers for Cliff Lee, Texas offered Smoak and the Yanks offered Montero. The M’s went with the offer from Texas. They later got Montero from the Yanks in exchange for Pineda. So when he said that Justin Smoak was traded instead of him (Montero), I assume that’s what he’s referring to.
Wrong. Monte to was traded for Pineda. He was not in the Lee deal.
Actually he is right. He’s saying Smoak was traded for Cliff Lee instead of Montero cuz the Mariners chose the Rangers’ deal of Smoak over Yankees deal of Montero
Perhaps a hope-filled alternative to Bautista/Encarnacion going forward?
I, at first, thought this a strange pick up for the Jay’s until I remembered Encarnacion may not be ready by opening day and he can fill in until he is. If he hits well, you find a spot for him. If he doesn’t then it’s only cost the Jay’s 20K plus pro rated salary and it’s back to the waiver wire. He’s still out of options so he has to be on the 25 man roster somewhere.
Can he still catch on a backup/part time basis? (real question)
He can – in the same sense as, anyone can – he’ll just be awful. Absolutely awful.
I was hoping that my Sox would pick this guy up. He has so much potential, could really blossom into a superstar.
Stop impersonating him please. It’s quite immature and it’s very annoying.
Joke’s over, dude. Don’t hang on too long.
I like it. Trolling a troll? Good entertainment.
I would assume you have to try to sneak Montero through the wire a day or 2 after all other rosters are set and tight. I cannot see a way they carry him on the 40 man roster, let alone on the 25 since he is out of options. I guess it’s easy to see that they hope they can work with him and turn him into EE or JB for the 2017 season or beyond. Why you claim him instead of letting him go unclaimed and then signing him to a minor lg deal where you don’t have to take a chance to lose him the same you got him shows that Toronto has some big plans for him. Which is very ambitious in my eyes. Go for it Toronto, but I cannot see this being a coo for them as the Mariners have given him every chance they could to succeed and it has never panned out.
Seattle is the worst place to develop young hitters. I think there’s a growing pattern here.
New front office so I wouldn’t call it a growing problem…might have been solved.
I can only imagine what would of happened if Ackley, Hultzen, Zunino, Montero and Smoak all panned out
Man that’s pretty brutal. All of those guys were top 20 prospects at least at one point in their careers. And not one of them is a full-time major league starter right now.
How can you say Zunino has yet to pan out? The guy spent a year in the minors (all three levels) and is being sent down because they’re trying to actually let him develop. He’s still young enough and talented enough to pan out.
But it hasn’t happened yet
Where’s he playing? The Jays are loaded with offensive talent, so much so that Darrell Ceciliani (who’s raking in FL) won’t even make the roster. They don’t need a catcher due to Thole and Martin, they have Colabello, Smoak and EE for first– there’s no room for him. I guess they prefer him to Casey Kotchman to start at first in Buffalo (if they can slip him through again)
Rangers to put Jimenez on the MLB version of Craigslist for teams that need a catcher.
I think that is the plan. but if it fails, I’m going to be seriously annoyed.
There is no roster spot for Montero. He isn’t making the team over Encarnacion, Colabello or Smoak. If they wanted first base depth, they already have Casey Kotchmann in camp & he’s had a good spring. Montero hasn’t been able to hit big league pitcher. He’ll be on waivers again in a few days. He may clear & head to Buffalo because he hasn’t done a whole lot in recent years
Not sure if this accurate, but here goes:
Edwin hasn’t appeared in a major-league spring game owing to injury. If the Jays put him on the DL, that frees up a spot on the active roster — though someone will have to be optioned off the 40-man. When Edwin returns to MLB, shortly after the start of the season, the team can send Montero to AAA (he might not have to go through waivers since he was put on the 25-man to replace someone put on the DL)..
If anyone can find the rules about this, please let me know,
Here’s the rules:
If he starts the season on the active roster he is fine. EE comes back, he has to clear waivers because he is out of options. That would be ideal for the Blue Jays if they are trying to sneak him through the waiver wire. (See the LA Dodgers on how they always use opportune times like just after the season starts to clear guys through waivers). He has to go through waivers under any circumstance because as a player out of options, you must stay on the active roster or be exposed to the rest of the lg, clear waivers, and then you can accept the reassignment. So, the only way he can be sent to the minors without being exposed is if he gets the mystery injury and is put on the DL in order for the Blue Jays to hold his rights, send him down, and let him work on some things with a promise. Otherwise, if they are going to attain his rights legally, they must expose him to all other teams and hope he makes it through without being claimed. and… a couple days after the season starts is absolutely the best time for this to happen. Why? Because when teams set their 25 man roster to open the season, there simply won’t be room for most teams to make another roster adjustment when they are busy trying to get their 40 man roster settled claiming other guys that don’t need to be placed on the 25 man roster as well as trying to keep the guys they themselves out-righted off their 40 man in hopes that they can keep them in the system without them getting claimed as well.
Still has to clear waivers. because he is out of options. I’d rather keep Kotchmann than Montero because of his fielding. Kotchmann is a better fielder & a better hitter. Montero has more power, but Kotchmann will hit for a higher average and not strike out as much. Toronto doesn’t really need more power. Than have tons of it. Keeping a more well-rounded player isn’t going to hinder the Jays from scoring enough runs