Tag Archives: Montero

Waiting for reality.

As always with the Winter Meetings, there are rumors and then there is reality. I love the hot stove league and the chess-like maneuverings. Who goes where, rumors of trades, etc.

But for the purpose of the blog, I don’t have the time to report on every rumor, and there are many of them out there. What I will do is try to focus on the reality and report and comment on what actually happened or went down. But here is a brief rundown, some of which are rumors and hasn’t happened yet (if it will at all).

That said, the Yanks did turn down a Gardner for Brandon Phillips swap. Yes, the Yanks need a 2B after Cano’s departure, and Phillips (.261-18-103 for the Reds in 2013) would have fit the bill. However Phillips is owed $50MM over 4 years, and has a no-trade clause. He also wanted to renegotiate his deal as part of a possible trade. Checking out various info on Twitter, Gardner (who obviously doesn’t have Phillips’ power) had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.2 to Phillips’ 1.7. Also, Gardner had an OPS+ of 108, Phillips a 92.

With some recent acquisitions (Cano, Hart, Morrison), one-time Yankee prospect Jesus Montero is available. His stock has dropped (PED suspension, poor defense).

The Astros could be interested in Joba. So are the Tigers. Ex-Yank Raul Ibanez is talking with the Angels.

The Yanks could have interest in Joaquin Benoit. Also Johan Santana, but Santana would have to be on a minor-league, “Let’s see what you have left” deal.

Omar Infante wants 4 years at $8MM+. This could be a deal-breaker when it comes to the Yanks getting him. As with Beltran, KC could be the Yanks’ main competition here.

The Yanks picked up an A-ball pitcher from the Pirates in return for Chris Stewart.

A-Rod, others suspended

Some dozen players were suspended for 50 games, basically the rest of this season, while Alex Rodriguez got 211 games— the rest of this season and all of 2014— for links to PEDS.

One player receiving 50 games was Yankees C Francisco Cervelli, who because of a broken hand and other ailments has played in just 17 games this year. He did have a surprising 3 HR in those 17 games. Maybe now we know why.

Others included Fernando Martinez at AAA S/WB, just picked up by the Yanks for minor league depth a few weeks ago, ex-Yankee prospect Jesus Montero, now with Seattle, Nelson Cruz of Texas, Everth Cabrera of SD (who just killed the Yanks this weekend), Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, Bastardo of the Phils and Valdespin from the Mets.

Ryan Braun ‘fessed up a couple of weeks ago and got a 65-game ban.

Players like Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera were already nabbed and won’t face double jeopardy.

All these players accepted their suspensions except for A-Rod. A-Rod is appealing his suspension and will be allowed to play while he’s appealing.

Frankly, I don’t like that at all. Unfortunately, that’s the way it works. One huge distraction. I kind of want the Yanks to win, but Alex to go 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts. I feel dirty having him on the field right now.

If I were an opposing pitcher, I sure as hell would look to deck Alex.

A-Rod apparently got 211 games for obstructing the investigation, looking to destroy evidence, repeated violations of the PED policy and allegedly recruiting others into Biogenesis.

Frankly (again), I’m tired of A-Rod. $275 MM talent. 10 cent head. At this point, I wish he’d just go away.

Suspensions coming Monday.

Alex Rodriguez, and about a dozen others, including Francisco Cervelli and Ex-Yank Jesus Montero, are to be suspended on Monday according to reports.

While the others besides A-Rod will get the rest of this season, A-Rod will get the rest of this season and all of 2014, costing him $34mm.

He then can try to come back for 2015 to recoup $61MM he has coming from 2015-2017. But then he would be 39 1/2, coming off two major hip operations and be out of the majors for two full seasons.

This will hurt Alex not only in the pocketbook but with numbers he hopes to reach.He is 14 HR shy of passing Willie Mays. He is 99 hits from 3000 and 50 RBI from 2000.

Kiss the HOF goodbye.

It’s been said that his baseball knowledge, and obvious physical talents are immense. It’s too bad he has a 10 cent head when it comes to life decisions.

The minors today.

The big club was off today.

AAA: SWB lost 8-5. I will be heading there on June 8th for a game. Brett Marshall 8 R in 4 IP. 2 RBI for 1B Josh Bell (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/belljo01.shtml) who was signed as a free agent by the Yanks five days ago. Brennan Boesch 3 h, rbi. 2 h for Thomas Neal, double, rbi (did I mention he should be up and DFA Francisco? Oh yeah, a lot. Listening Cashman?)

AA: Trenton lost 9-4. Nik Turley 2 R in 3 IP, but 3 H, 5 walks to go with his 5 K. 2B Jose Pirela solo HR. C J.R. Murphy 2 hits. (.295) DH Slade Heathcott 2 RBI.

High A: Tampa lost 12-4. Bryan Mitchell 10 R, 5 ER in 4 2/3. CF Mason Williams 3 hits. C Gary Sanchez 2 Hits, rbi. 3 hits RF Jose Toussen. 2 H LF Ben Gamel.

Low A: 12-7 win for Charleston. Jose Campos 4 R, 2 ER in 4 IP. CF Jake Cave (.315) 3 H, 4 RBI. DH Kelvin De Leon 3 H, solo HR. LF Taylor Dugas 2 h, rbi.

Meanwhile ex-Yankee Jesus Montero was sent down to AAA by Seattle.

More names

Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero’s names came up in that Biogenesis PED situation down in Miami. You hope they are clean, but where there’s smoke, well, you know….

Meanwhile Ryan Braun’s name came up too and you really have to wonder. After all, the 2011 NL MVP & 2012 runnerup basically avoided a 50-game suspension due to a technicality. This now certainly won’t sway those who still think he’s guilty but instead reinforce their belief.

You wonder how deep this investigation gets, how sordid it is and who all is involved.

A-Rod surgery Ok, but Yanks lose out on Morse

A-Rod’s surgery went ok, but a big bat the Yanks could have used—Michael Morse—went to Seattle.

Morse had no place in Washington after their recent moves. Morse could DH (which the Yanks are looking for) as well as play 1B and corner OF vs. lefties (which is also a Yanks’ need—a righty bat in the OF vs. lefties and a backup for Teix).

Morse hit .291-18-62 last year, OPS+ 112 and he went .303-31-95, OPS+ 147 in 2011 for the Nats.

Instead he goes to Seattle in a 3-team deal, the A’s and Nats also involved.

Morse is a free agent after 2013. So you had to watch what you gave up. The M’s now have added Jason Bay (hoping for a comeback), Kendrys Morales and Jason Bay to go with the developing Montero as they look to improve their offense. Apparently Justin Smoak (who they got for Cliff Lee) is out of their plans (as he should be after posting a .217-19-51 OPS+ 87 mark last year). … and to think that Seattle took Smoak instead of a package deal for Montero (who they got for Pineda a year later) for Lee. They might still have Pineda today. Of course, the Yanks don’t expect Pineda until mid-summer and hope he’s the same after his shoulder surgery. It’s funny how the dominoes fell.

Speaking of surgery, A-Rod had his hip surgery today and all reports are that it went as expected. If everything goes well, he may rejoin the Yanks shortly after the All-Star break.

Game 107. Ibanez, Stewart help lead Yanks, 6-2.

Raul Ibanez had a HR and drove in 3 runs, and backup C Chris Stewart had 2 hits, walked, stole a base, and scored 3 runs as the Yanks beat Seattle 6-2 today.

It was a day of “fives” for starter Freddy Garcia, who pitched five innings, evened his record at 5-5, and lowered his ERA to 5.00.

5 IP, 2 R, 5 h, 4 walks and 2 K for Freddy.

Garcia gave up a run in the first on a single by Jesus Montero, but Montero, trying to score on a single later in the inning,  was thrown out at home by Swisher for the last out of the inning. The Yanks got the run right back when Granderson singled, Jeter forced him and Cano singled. Jeter went to third and Cano went to second on the throw. Teixeira then tapped one toward second, and because of the shift and the second baseman playing in short right field, he was able to beat it out for a hit while Jeter scored.

The Yanks went ahead in the third on a double by Stewart, who then scored on an error made when Granderson batted.

In the fourth, Stewart singled, stole second and scored on hit #3227 by Jeter to make it 3-1. (He got 3228 later).

Montero drove in another run in the fifth to cut it to 3-2.

Ibanez hit a solo HR in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-2. It was Raul’s 15th HR of the season.

Ibanez then drove in two more runs in the bottom of the sixth with a bases-loaded single to make it 6-2.

Boone Logan pitched two perfect innings.

2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. ERA 3.62.

David Robertson pitched the eighth. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. ERA 2.02.

Even though it was not a save situation, Soriano pitched the ninth to get some work in. He pitched a 1-2-3.

1 IP,  0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. ERA 1.88.

The Yanks go to 63-44. They now head to Detroit for four games, and my friends, members of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club, will be there (I won’t be… work, $$$, etc.).

 

Off day happenings. A lot of Boston from here in.

News from Twitter and various sources.

Talk about never emptying your suitcase! In the past 5 weeks or so, Chris Schwinden has been released, picked up, DFA’d, … he’s been with the Mets, Blue Jays, Indians, Yankees and now back to the Mets.

No word yet on who pitches in what game on Saturday. Kuroda tomorrow night, Hughes/Garcia Saturday in a day/night DH, and Nova on Sunday.

It’s unbearably hot in the Northeast. Where I am, in the Lehigh Valley of PA, there are heat warnings through Saturday, and it could be extended into Sunday.

Still bitching about the trade that sent Montero and Noesi to Seattle and landed the Yanks Campos (minor league DL after a good start) and Pineda (nothing at all this year, shoulder surgery)?

Well, Noesi was sent to the minors today by Seattle. 2-11, 5.77. Meanwhile, Montero has just 1 RBI in his last 99 at bats.

The second half of the Yankees season begins tomorrow in Boston, and 17 of their second half games are against the Red Sox. That’s 21%, or slightly better than once every five games.

Baseball is strange. As Buster Olney points out, the A’s are four games better than the Phils, and who’d have thunk that the Phils right now would be the second-best team in PA behind the FIRST PLACE PIRATES? (and they are 9 1/2 games WORSE than Pittsburgh to boot!)

Plans can go awry

With the Pineda trade giving the major league Yankees nothing for 2012 (and who knows for how much longer), some places and people are bashing Brian Cashman. Which I think is unfair. As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

I hated giving up Montero. But I saw what Cashman was trying to do in the deal. Use Montero—whose bat may be great but whose defense may necessitate him being used primarily at DH—for a young, hard-throwing possible future ace. The DH spot needs to be freed up for the aging Jeter and A-Rod. We’ve seen Girardi use both as DHs against lefties, thus resting them while getting Nunez some playing time. Montero’s development wouldn’t be enhanced by being a part-time DH, and if you are going to have A-rod or Jeter DH against the lefty pitchers, then all you need is a lefty DH (like Ibanez) against the righties. Which Montero is not. In theory, the trade made sense.

Let’s look past what Montero (.281, 2 HR, OPS+ 94) and Noesi (1-2, 9.49) are doing for Seattle so far. One is so-so so far (although young, just 22, with the ability to improve), the other awful. Pineda has given (and will, for quite some time) the Yankees absolutely nothing, while Jose Campos is still just 19 and at Low A. Campos is doing well (3-0, 1.23) but is years away—if he makes it at all. Maybe, if say Campos is the 2017 Rookie of the Year, the trade will be looked at differently and people may be praising Cashman. But with the win-now mentality of the Yankees and many of their fans, patience in Yankees Universe is rare.

But the need to win now can cause overreactions. We saw plenty of that from the Boss with various win-now moves that he made. Buhner for Phelps, for instance.

We have to remember that there is a future, and that future—without Jeter, Pettitte, A-Rod and Rivera—will be here sooner than one may like. The trade for Pineda was a trade made for that future. The hope was for a good, young rotation that would be inexpensive and help to keep the Yankees payroll under the luxury tax limit.

Cashman can only rely on scouting reports and get a healthy young player with potential. It’s not like he traded for a proven bum. This wasn’t say, trading Montero for Sidney Ponson or something like that. This was about dealing for a youngster with considerable upside.

But Cashman can only swing the deal. He isn’t the player. Cashman isn’t the person who came into camp twenty pounds overweight. He isn’t the person who takes the mound or plays a position. Eventually, it’s the player who has to produce.

Has Cashman made mistakes? Sure. (Igawa) Who hasn’t?

But he had the right idea. Players do get hurt. Would Cashman receive the same criticism for the deal if, say, Pineda had injured himself in a car accident and been lost for the year by that method? People may have criticized him for a bad deal, but there isn’t anything Cashman could have done had that scenario occurred.

There was nothing to indicate that this injury would occur when Cashman made the deal.

Just as there was nothing to indicate that the AAA rotation, which was thought to be a strength just two months ago, would be as bad as it is right now.

Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos were, and are, two of the top prospects in the Yankees system. One, or both, would have been desired in any major trade. They, along with Pineda, were considered cornerstones for the future rotation. Instead, Pineda will be out a long time, while the currently DL’d Banuelos (0-1, 10.13) and the active Betances (0-2, 8.83) have been extreme disappointments thus far. Even B-level prospect Adam Warren as a 6.10 ERA.

The goal and intent (to have a surplus of good young pitching) of Cashman’s was noble.

In the end, the players themselves have to accept responsibility and perform.

Cashman says he’d do the deal 10 times out of 10 with the information he had at the time. I don’t blame him.

After all, he isn’t Nostradamus.

Young pitching?

Ok. So the Yanks gave up Montero for Pineda. They also gave up Noesi for Campos. What does this mean?

First, the catchers. Apparently the Yanks built up Montero (22) knowing he never could catch. They also recognize that with A-Rod and Jeter aging, that they couldn’t have a 22 yr. old DH. Alex and Jete both need to DH… and often.

Montero. 61 AB. .328-4-12. OPS+ 159.

So… they still have at catcher:

Russell Martin. Just 29 in Feb. Yanks Starter in 2011; .237-18-65 in 2011. OPS+ 92.

Francisco Cervelli. 26 in March. .266-4-22 as a backup in 2011. OPS+ 89.

Notice the ages.

Austin Romine remains.  The 23 yr. old probably starts the year at AAA. He had a brief (3 for 19) stay with the Yanks in 2011. In 89 games, mostly AA in 2011, .286-6-47.

Now for after Romine…. Gary Sanchez. 19. Low A in 2011. .256-17-52. 82 games.

20 year old J.R. Murphy spent 2011 at low A and High A. .287-7-46, 86 games.

Meaning that if the Yanks felt that Montero could not catch, he was gone.

You can see the depth that the Yanks had in C in the minors, esp. if they believed that all were better defensively than Montero. In return for Montero, they got not one, but TWO pitching studs in Pineda and Campos.

So pitching-wise, what did Cashman bring us?

Ok . Kuroda, 37 next month, is a stop-gap. 13-16, 3.07 in 2011.

Pineda. 23 next week. 9-10, 3.74 for Seattle in 2011.
Campos. 5-5, 2.32 at age 19, low A, 81 1/3 IP, 85 K, 13 walks.

So who is left?

Betances. 24 in March. 2.2 IP Yanks 2011. Minors 2011 4-9, 3.70. 142 K/126.1 IP.

Banuelos. 21 in March. 6-7, 3.75 in minors 2011. 125 K in 129 2/3 IP.

Dave Phelps. 25. 7-7, 2.99. Minors.

Adam Warren 24. 6-8, 3.60.

D. J. Mitchell. 24. 13-9, 3.18 in AAA 2011.

Phil Hughes 25. 5-5, 5.79. Majors.

Joba. 26. 2-0, 2.83 before arm injury in 2011.

D-Rob. 27 in April. 4-0, 1.08 in MLB last year.

Noesi dealt. Wade brought back. 28. 6-1, 2.04 in 2011.

Lastly, Nova. 16-4 with the big club in 2011. 3.70 ERA.
He was 25 yesterday
.

There is young talent here, be it in relief (Hughes/Joba/D-Rob or a prospect.) Much as I hate losing Montero, you can see there are catching prospects. (Bat not as good, but better D, handling of pitchers?)

Give Ca$h some credit. He is stocking up on some top-quality arms.