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.