25 Apr 2012
Mark Feinsand just reported on Twitter that Michael Pineda has a labrum tear and will undergo surgery Tuesday. Of all the things that can go wrong with a pitcher, shoulder problems are the worst. Brian Cashman has pronounced Pineda as out for 2012.
I am sure this will send people into a tizzy about how stupid it was to trade for Pineda in the first place and how you never trade a hitter for a pitcher. Let’s tackle that last part first.
Yes, I totally agree you never trade a hitter for a pitcher unless you don’t have a place to play the hitter. Until proven otherwise, Montero is not a big league catcher. Maybe he turns into one, but until he does don’t rush to judgement because the Yankees did not have a place to play Montero if they didn’t think he can catch on a regular basis. Some will argue that they could have made him an everyday DH, but that spot is taken by a player rotation and will become A-Rod’s permanent spot in the next few years. Montero’s value wasn’t going to go higher this season, in fact you could argue it is lower right now, so they had to act when they did.
So that brings us back to how stupid it was to trade for Pineda. I have a hard time believing that the people who think that today thought that back in January. Back then, most intelligent baseball people thought the Yankees were getting a future ace. He represented a very talented young player who was under team control for the next five years and had a very solid season of pitching at the big league level under his belt. And please, don’t tell me you think the Mariners knew he was hurt or the Yankees doctors missed something. Pitchers get hurt, it’s the nature of the business.
It would be interesting to hear the complaints today if Montero was still a Yankee. Since he is hitting .254/.270/.373, I imagine we would hear cries of overrated and bust attached to him. We’ll never know for sure. But, we need to wait a few years before we can truly declare a winner or a loser in this trade. Noesi has an ERA over 9 while Campos has a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings at A ball. In five years maybe we refer to this as the Montero for Campos trade, who knows?
What we do know is that for 2012 the Yankees made a gamble and lost. Personally, I don’t think it will be the lack of Montero’s bat that keeps them from winning this year, rather it will be a lack of pitching. That’s what the Pineda trade was supposed to address in the first place.