Photo credit: Sports Illustrated
In an effort to stockpile cheap, young, talented pitching for the future – mostly due to the goal of reaching a payroll of $189 million by 2014 – the Yankees decided to trade their top offensive prospect in Jesus Montero for top pitching prospect Michael Pineda in 2011. Before the phenom pitcher could even appear in a regular season game with the Yankees, many fans jumped the gun in anointing the Mariners as the winners of the deal.
Pineda suffered a serious shoulder injury and went under the knife, while Montero appeared in 135 games for Seattle last season – posting a .260 average with 15 homers, 20 doubles and 63 RBIs – respectable numbers for a rookie. The only way Montero could go from there was up, it seemed like. Now, he’s being sent down to Triple-A Tacoma after hitting .208/.264/.327 with three homers and nine RBIs.
The verdict is still out on the trade.
The Yankees never saw Montero as a catcher; instead, they projected him to be a career d...