Reports are indicating that the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees have agreed to a deal that is sending Michael Pineda and prospect Jose Campos to the Yankees in exchange for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.
The deal, as I sit and stare at the headline, looks like a win for the Yankees but let’s take a deeper look at the players involved in the deal.
Michael Pineda, who posted a 3.74 ERA, 3.42 FIP, and struck out 173 batters in 171 innings in his rookie year will only be 23 next season and brings a mid-90s fastball and out-pitch slider to New York. His change-up is still a work in progress and he only used it 6.3% of the time in 2011.
Pineda misses bats with his stuff but he does give up a lot of fly balls and Safeco and the excellent outfield defense may have aided in his excellent numbers at home. Take a quick look at his splits:
This is just one season’s worth of data but Pineda, being a flyball pitcher, is moving to a ballpark that is much friendlier to the extra base hit and he leaves a better outfield defense behind him in Seattle. Pineda also has split issues against left-handed batters due to lack of a third pitch but, again, it’s only one season’s worth of data and not much to gripe about at the moment.
The Yankees also receive 19-year-old pitching prospect Jose Campos, a top 5 prospect in the Mariners’ system, who has put up impressive numbers in his first two seasons in pro ball thanks to above-average control and command, a 90-93 mph fastball, a slider that is at least average, and a developing third pitch.
The Mariners receive Jesus Montero who has been rumored in almost every deal dreamed up that involves the Yankees. He has a plus hit tool and should have easy 20-25 homerun power with the chance for much more as I have seen some people claim they would not be surprised to see him hit 40 homeruns.
Montero, though, absolutely cannot catch and should only be behind the plate as the emergency third catcher. He could possibly learn some first base but the Mariners already have Justin Smoak and Mike Carp vying for playing time there. Montero is also a poor runner and likely a DH even though he will play all of 2012 at the age of 22.
Hector Noesi also goes to the Mariners and I would love to see him start there. He, like Pineda, gives up a good amount of fly balls and the move to Safeco with that great defense behind him should only help. He has a four pitch repertoire with a 92-95 mph fastball, a mid-80s slider, upper-70s curveball, and change-up that he should use more often to keep hitters off-balance since he lacks a true out-pitch.
At first glance I thought the Yankees got away with robbery here, and in the end they may have, but as I look deeper I see a trade that is much more even than I originally thought.
The Mariners got the young, potential impact bat without having to surrender Felix Hernandez and the Yankees added a young starting pitcher with five years of control and another starting pitching prospect without hurting their 2012 offense.
If the parks play the way they normally do they could be the neutralizers in this deal and make the Mariners look better than I gave them credit for when I first saw this trade announced. It may be too early to declare a winner of this deal and I’m fine with that beacause I really do like it for both teams involved.
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt