Venezuelan Pride & Joy
It was 1988 that a trade between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners became a subject infamous to New Yorkers as the definition of a bad trade.
Micheal Pineda was impressive last season. During the first half of 2011 it looked as though he had Rookie of the Year nailed down tight.
His numbers combined started to decline in the second half of the season, as his command seemed to be affected by the pressure of the situations that Mariners seem to continually get themselves into.
However, fans could see past the troubles that made Pineda slide from 1st in line for rookie of the year to fifth in votes.
For fans another year of dominate pitching with little in the way of run support seemed nauseating, but few expected that the M’s front office were up to anything but maintaining the status quo with the possible luring of Prince Fielder from free agency.
While diehard fans may lose a few hours of sleep over the loss of Pineda, when they wake up they should realize a move like this shows the commitment of the Mariners to “get better” is more than just political spin.
Sources say that Monero is ready to be dropped into a major league line up immediately, much in the same way that Buhner was when he was traded for Ken Phelps.
At the time that the M’s brought Buhner over he had a batting average of .198 with 3 homers in his 32 games in the pin stripes.
Montero has appeared in only 18 Major League games but has a batting average of .328 including 4 home runs and an appearance in the American League Division Series.
Impressive stuff for 21 year old.
The depth at catcher in the M’s organization is practically nil. Miguel Olivo has been serving as a place holder until the team could find a franchise catcher.
Some speculated that could be John Jaso, whom the M’s picked up earlier in the offseason, but a Monero/Jaso pair makes a lot more sense than a Olivo/Jaso match up.
The success of this trade will directly correspond to the amount of playing time that the young catcher receives.
After all, Michael Pineda only played once every fifth day.
So all I can say is The M’s better play him.
There has been some speculation about a possibility of Monero making a transition to first base in the future, but at 21 there isn’t any rush to try and make that happen.
For now we can just hope that Montero will be the M’s next Rookie of the Year and he will join the immortalized ranks of Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez in the Pacific Northwest.