After remaining quiet most of the off-season, the New York Yankees finally emerged from hibernation to make a big time move. According to Jon Heyman of CBS,
the Yankees have reportedly acquired right-handed starting pitcher Michael Pineda
from the Seattle Mariners for catching prospect Jesus Montero
. The deal also has the Mariners acquiring starting pitcher Hector Noesi
, with prospect Jose Campos
heading back to the Yankees. The deal is pending physicals.
Pineda, 22, posted a 9-10 record with a 3.74 ERA last season. In hist first big league month of pitching, he went 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA. Pineda also struck out just over one batter per inning pitched last season and limited his free passes as well. Overall, he put together a solid rookie season for a struggling Seattle team. Pineda is a power pitcher with terrific fastball and a good slider, but lacks a good third pitch required for all starting pitchers. According to FanGraphs.com
, Pineda thew his change-up just 6.3% of the time in 2011.
Montero, 22, played in just 18 games for the Yankees last season, posting a .328/.406/.590 triple-slash line in 69 plate appearances, earning him a spot on New york's postseason roster. Ranked the No. 1 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America, he hit .289/.351/.493 with a .843 OPS between two seasons (2010-2011) for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. His defensive ability has been questioned, making him a liability, so he could see time as a catcher, first baseman, and designated hitter.
Noesi, 24, appeared in 30 games for the Yankees in 2011. He was 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA and 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He figures to be in the back end of the rotation for the Mariners as a fifth starter or long reliever.
At first glance, the trade doesn't seem like a "landslide win" for either side, as both teams are acquiring good, young talent. The Yankees bolster their weak rotation and become immediate favorites to win the American League East. For the Mariners, they simply needed offense. Seattle ranked dead last in the majors with just over three runs per game in 2011.
From a fantasy standpoint, owners should see a slight boost in Pineda's value. He's a power arm moving from a team that struggles to score any runs. He doesn't have issues striking hitters out, so fantasy owners will see the biggest boost in the "wins" department. However, moving from Safeco Field to homer happy Yankee Stadium comes with risk. The short porch in right field is a little concerning, but Pineda should still be a fine draft day target. As far as Montero, he too will see a boost in value among fantasy owners. As mentioned, the Mariners struggled offensively last season and Montero figures to see a lot of playing time whether it be as a DH or a catcher in 2012 and moving forward.