Ichiro

Change Of Persepctive

A year or so ago everyone in Yankeeland was screaming about the trade of Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero. Pineda was headed for shoulder surgery and Montero was a big league catcher. Now Montero has been demoted to the minors while Pineda is apparently throwing 95-mph in extended spring training.

I said it before and I will say it again, you can’t judge this trade until years have gone by. I think the fairest thing to say about it is that Montero simply didn’t fit the 2012 or 2013 Yankees. Sure, his bat looked like a huge asset, but where was that bat going to play? You can read this post about Montero’s demotion, I think it makes it very clear that he is not a viable big league catcher. The Yankees obviously were never going to come right out and say that, but they did tip their hand back in September of 2011 when they had Austin Romine fly across the country at the last minute so they could avoid putting Montero behind the plate. So, I think the Yankees did a smart thing and cashed in on Montero when his value was at its peak. They got a very good pitcher, who got hurt, and a very good prospect, who also got hurt. Both are on the way back and we may yet see a day when people say the Yankees “won” this trade. One thing is for sure, if Montero had been in pinstripes the past 14 months and posted the same .252/.293/.377 line he has with Seattle, plenty of fans would have screamed about how overrated he was. GM’s really do have a thankless job.

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I think it was a very good sign that Curtis Granderson looked like Curtis Granderson again last night. There are too many nights when the Yankees simply have too many dead spots in the lineup. Ichiro has doing nothing. Gardner is about what we expected him to be (maybe a little low in the OBP category). Wells was amazing in April, but has cooled considerably in May. So has Travis Hafner. The Yankees need Granderson just like they need Teixeira. The subs did some amazing things over the first quarter of the season, but it is time for the stars to earn their paychecks.

Why Not?

There seems to be a segment of Yankeesland angry over the signing of Brennan Boesch. I understand he had a terrible year last year and he is left-handed, but the anger is misplaced. It’s a small investment of $1.5-million and the Yankees can send him to the minors. And its important to remember that he is only 27 so there is a decent chance he rebounds from the .240/.286/.372 he hit last season.

Maybe the anger is more about the fact that the Yankees need to take a flier on a guy like Boesch. What the injuries to Granderson and Teixeira have exposed is how thin the Yankees are depth-wise. At this point it seems very likely that the Yankees will open the season with three guys they signed to minor league deals and two of them will be guys they signed in the past week. Unless another move is made, you have to think that Juan Rivera will open up at first with Ben Francisco and Boesch splitting time in right. It’s not exactly an optimal situation but there is not much else the Yankees can do.

So, Boesch may not be anything to get overly excited about, but at least the Yankees are gambling on a guy who isn’t over 30. The Yankees have taken a flier on a guy who could help right now and also provides some insurance if Travis Hafner breaks down. In addition, he is not eligible for free agency until 2016, so he provides a possible low-cost option for next year as well. Is an outfield of Boesch, Gardner and Ichiro something to drool over? Of course not, but it’s the probably the best the Yankees can do right now.