Originally written on Clubhouse GM  |  Last updated 1/16/12
As soon as I heard about the major trade last Friday evening with the Mariners sending Michael Pineda and Jose Campos to the Yankees in exchange for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi my first concern was; how does this affect their fantasy values heading into 2012?  Being a Montero owner in my keeper league, the first thought that came to mind was the huge different in home parks.  I then started thinking about lineups, team success, etc.  I did a little research and read a couple expert opinions on ‘who won the trade’.  Unfortunately, as I originally thought, it was pretty clear that both players lose a little value with the deal.   When I woke up the next morning I had my coffee, made my daughter some breakfast and then remembered ‘hey, Jeremy has Pineda, he must be a little disappointed in the trade as well.’  So I sent him a text message, and the Great Debate began: Furtah- Well that trade sucks for both of us.  Some upside for each, but overall not good. Manning-  Sucks for you not me.  Seattle zaps Monteros power and Pineda easily gets more wins. Furtah – Um, best pitchers park to best hitters park. He may get more wins, but ERA and Whip take a big hit.  He’s a fly ball pitcher.  Manning- I wholeheartedly disagree.  Great pitchers like Pineda will pitch great regardless.  Pineda goes from #20 SP to #13 SP.  Montero isn’t even keep-able now. Furtah- You’re either joking, or not smart.  Moving to Yankee stadium is not good for a pitcher.  I agree its not good for Montero either, but  

keep reading for the rest of our discussion and my take on the trade
 he’s still a top 10 Catcher. Manning – I wouldn’t tough Montero now, he wont even hint at 20 HRs.  Pinedas value increases. Facts.   Furtah- Pineda’s away ERA is a run and a half higher and Whip was worse away too.  His K’s stay the same and probably more wins, but hard to say his ERA and Whip don’t go up. He also has a high fly ball %, those stay in Safeco and go out in Yankee stadium.  Montero goes to pitchers park, but he’ll have full PT and bat in better lineup spot.  I’m not saying Id rather have Montero (I wouldn’t), I’m just pointing out that both guys value goes down.  Plus, I love how you say Facts. Then  use none in your argument. Manning – I disagree with you Furtah – What do you disagree with? His home road splits last year? His fly ball percentage? The ball park dimensions? Manning – Well I didn’t have a chance to go to fangraphs yet like you. Furtah – I didn’t go to fangraphs I’ve just been doing this long enough to know that pitchers do better at Safeco then Yankee stadium. Manning - CC did fine, Nova. Colon, etc. and Pineda is better. And I’m sure you had all those slits in your head...pfff fangraphs... Furtah – CC in Safeco would be as good as Felix, Nova is a good #2-3 Fantasy pitcher.  Pineda is better and I’d love to have him, just saying I’d rather have him at Safeco. Manning – I’d rather have him on the Yankees Furtah – I guess... if you only start him in away games. Keep in mind, we are not arguing  err, discussing who is the better fantasy player and we aren’t judging which major league team ‘won’ this trade.  I was simply trying to point out that I feel the fantasy value for both players take a hit and here’s why (disclaimer, I did use baseball-reference and fangraphs to obtain some of these stats J);
Pineda Pineda’s Home/Road Splits  – in 2011 Pineda had a 2.92 ERA, 1.01 Whip, and .182 BAA in his home starts and 4.40 ERA, 1.17 Whip and a .234 BAA in his away starts.  Pineda’s Fly Ball %’s – in 2011 Pineda had a 45% fly ball rate.  The league average is around 38% and 45% is in the 10th percentile (90% of pitchers have a lower FB rate).  In contrast Pineda had a lower HR/FB rate then the average (his 9% vs. league average 10.6%).  If he continues to allow FB at a high rate and moves to a hitters ballpark, it would make sense that he’d allow more HR, thus negatively affecting his ERA and Whip. Pineda is young and there is a chance that he will adjust.  He’s also a great strikeout pitcher which I love.  So, I would have no reservations taking him on draft day, but you can’t convince me that moving to Yankee stadium is good for his fantasy value (imagine him correcting these things and staying at Safeco field!).  A couple more wins (the hardest stat to predict for starting pitchers) does not outweigh the higher ERA and Whip. 
Montero Jesus Montero has been at the top of most prospect rankings for the past couple of years.  Experts agree that he’s not a defensive wiz, but there is no denying his bat is special.  Though still very young many believe he has been ready for shot at the majors for over a year now, but he’s been somewhat blocked by the Yankees major league talent.  Last year he got a chance late in the season and gave everyone a glimpse of what he’s capable of.  In just 61 At bats in 2011 he hit 4 HRs and batted .328.  While nobody expects him to belt 40 HRs or bat .328 in his first big league season, his fangraphs projection (prior to the trade) stands at ~ 500abs, 70R – 24HR – 75RBI - .285AVG.  In going to Seattle he’ll also have a better shot at playing catcher full time (or at least enough to gain eligibility for fantasy purposes) as he’ll have to battle with M Olivo and J Jaso instead of R Martin and F Cervelli.  That is important because the line above is just average from a DH (your utility spot), but it’s very good from your C slot.  But this is supposed to be an article about why BOTH guys lose fantasy value.  As good a prospect as he is, Montero’s value takes a hit as well.  While he may bat in a more hitter friendly spot in the lineup in Seattle, the guys around him just aren’t as good as the lineup he was set to bat in with the Yankees.  Also, I may be wrong, but with R Martins injury history and Cervelli’s lack of offense behind the plate I think Montero would have caught enough games to become eligible.  Finally, because of ballpark he’ll play half his games in, his power numbers are sure to suffer some (see park factors below).  I think he can still put up decent numbers with a good average, but his peak in HRs may be 24 now rather than his projection.  
Park Factors – There are a lot of other stats you can use to analyze this trade and its effects on fantasy value.  To me park factors are probably the most convincing.  In 2011 Safeco field ranked 26th in terms of runs scored and Yankee stadium was 6th.  For HRs hit Safeco was 13th and Yankee Stadium 4th.  In 2010 Safeco was 29th overall in runs scored and HRs hit and Yankees Stadium was 2nd and 3rd respectively.  The numbers may vary from year to year, but more runs are scored and HRs hit at Yankee Stadium.  You’ll have a hard time convincing me that this trade is a positive for either player in terms of 2012 fantasy value.  For Jeremy’s take on the Pineda & Montero trade and how it affects their fantasy value click here; http://www.clubhousegm.com/2012/01/analyzing-trade.html This is why I love fantasy baseball all year long!
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