He’s a start
As we all heard last night, the Mariners finally ended their offseason silence (I don’t think stockpiling so-so pitchers is making noise) and made a trade. A big trade. A trade that has sent waves through the Mariner and Yankee fan bases.
There are arguments for and against the deal, but people aren’t really seeing how, or why, this deal happened. Let me educate those people before I get into my main points.
For once in their existence, the Mariners have a depth at the pitcher position that they have never seen before. They currently have 2 studs waiting in Tacoma in James Paxton and Taijuan Walker as well as Danny Hultzen who they drafted in last year’s MLB Draft.
Unfortunately for Mariners fans, it was Pineda who was loved instantly in Seattle.
What Mariner fans don’t realize, though, is who they’re getting back in the process.
First of all, with the addition of Noesi, you have another young major league pitcher who can legitimately compete for a starting spot. But most importantly in this deal, is what Montero offers the Mariners.
These are the 5 top things that Jesus Montero brings to the Mariners.
5. A reason to come to Seattle
With the trade for Montero, it means the Mariners have a young, talent-laden lineup now flashing some power. This should be a good draw for potential future free agents to come to Seattle, a city where it’s been said that big ticket players don’t want anything to do with.
With this youthful lineup, this team will be getting better each season.
Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?
4. Potential to make Mariners hitters better
Typically, when you have a power hitter in the lineup, you see a pattern. The batter before your power hitter sees a lot better selection of pitches, because the opponent does not want to see the power hitter.
The batter behind the power hitter benefits as well. If they pitch around the power hitter, walking him, it gives the next batter in the lineup better pitches as well as the opportunity to either advance or knock in the power hitter now sitting on base.
Welcome to the small ball mentality, folks.
Montero is 22 years old and shows no sign of wear for someone who technically plays catcher. This is a good sign for the Mariners, should they keep him with a new, long contract, as he can continue to produce for the Mariners for a LONG time.
It also means that he is just realizing his potential, making him even more dangerous. With many years in him until he reaches the peak of his career, the potential growth in Montero is unmeasurable.
Versatility has been the key in Seattle in recent years. Many of the players on the Mariners roster can, and have, played multiple positions.
Montero adds to that depth.
His technical position is catcher, but he has played a lot of game at Designated Hitter as well. This means that with the current platoon of Miguel Olivo and John Jaso (and Adam Moore?) that Montero could be used primarily as a DH if the Mariners decide they want that.
That is, if they can’t land a full-time DH. Maybe by the name of Prince Fielder?
1. A bat
This is the most exciting part of Montero. He fits the Mariners biggest need…runs. The guy is built like a power hitter and has already shown he’s got the potential to be a beast in the batter’s box.
In 2 seasons on the Yankees AAA team, Montero batted a combined .284 in 232 games with 252 hits, 39 home runs, 142 RBI’s, and 118 runs. He also showed his power hitter potential with 82 walks compared to 189 strikeouts. That can be worked on.
In the end, the Mariners and Yankees both filled their biggest needs: the Mariners needed a hitter and the Yankees needed pitching depth.
Is Michael Pineda big loss? Of course!
But as important as pitching is, it won’t win you games if you can’t score runs…as we all witnessed last season.
Don’t stress Mariner fans, good times are ahead.