A Necessary Evil

The big Mariners-Yankees trade was officially announced by the teams yesterday afternoon, and there were no surprises.

Michael Pineda and Jose Campos go to the Yankees in exchange for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.

The thought of trading a young, emerging star pitcher like Pineda was certainly hard for a lot of Mariners fans to take. Even here in the Rainiers front office, a lot of employees were not happy to see Pineda go.*

But the Mariners had to do something.

This team has had the worst offense in Major League Baseball for two years running. While Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp provided some late-season hope that the offense might improve, the Mariners still have a long, long way to go to field just an average lineup in the American League.

They needed a hitter desperately, so they traded for one in Montero.

Montero is expected to become a  middle-of-the-order power hitter – exactly what the Mariners need. These types of players don’t come around very often, and the Mariners took the opportunity to grab one with six years of team control before free agency. To do this, they had to move a premium player – and that was Pineda.

The Yankees needed pitching, and the Mariners needed hitting. Each team had a young, emerging star that fit the other club’s need.

Public opinion seems split on the deal.

In one of his blog posts right after the trade was announced, Larry Stone wrote that according to the comments on the Times site, Mariners fans seemed split 50/50 on the deal. Then Stone went and looked at some Yankees sites and saw that their fans were also split 50/50 on the trade. That seems to mean it’s an even trade.

Check back in six years and we’ll see who won the deal. But for now, I see it as a trade that needed to happen.


  • Leading off, it’s the Seattle Times recap of the trade, with quotes from many of the subjects.
  • In the two-hole, John McGrath writes that a former Tacoma Rainiers player helped Jesus Montero with his work ethic.
  • Batting third, Montero was a guest on the Mariners Hot Stove League radio show last night. You can listen to the podcast here – Montero comes on shortly after the 19-minute mark.
  • Cleanup man Jeff Sullivan has a little off-the-cuff trade background.
  • Up fifth is The New York Daily News, which sent a writer to the Dominican Republic to visit with the newest Yankee, our old pal Michael Pineda. This is an excellent story adorned with photos of Pineda’s family and hometown.
  • Hitting sixth, the Mariners made the signing of starting pitcher Kevin Millwood official.
  • Batting seventh, former Rainiers (and Cal Bears) pitcher Brandon Morrow is getting paid. Hey, buddy, how ’bout a loan?
  • In the eighth spot, there are lots of rumors that Prince Fielder may sign today. Larry Stone opinionates that Baltimore could be his landing spot. Of course, The Onion has figured out exactly why this is taking so long.
  • And batting ninth, Ken Griffey Jr.’s son Trey is going to play wide receiver at the University of Arizona.
  • And there are more than nine links. So much for that plan. John Sickels ranked the MLB teams by strength of farm system, and he has the Mariners #4.
  • The Mariners PR Department now has a blog, called The Voice of the Mariners.** You might want to bookmark it – I’ll see if I can figure out how to add it to the blogroll on the right.
  • College baseball starts soon – here is the pre-season Top 25 from Baseball America. Oregon State is the only Pacific Northwest school to make the list.
  • In the just-invented super-duper unlucky 13-hole, baseball historian and amateur movie buff Rob Neyer writes that “Moneyball” received four Academy Award nominations.

That’s it for today – should have a lot of good blog content later this week.

* especially to the Yankees.

** did the Mariners PR Department win a bet with Rick Rizzs to take that name?


One Response to A Necessary Evil

  1. Mike, my take on the trade is the same as yours – it had to be done. I do wonder if we may have overpaid *a little* with Pineda and Campos, but there is no question in my mind that Montero is an (if *slightly* less proven than Pineda is as a pitcher) elite bat. And I don’t know that much about Noesi, other than people who should know seem to like him, so the deal could be better than it seems on first glance.

    I am firmly in Dave Cameron’s camp, that even if the Mariners overpaid some, it has to be viewed in the context of what we had vs. what we needed (and how badly), as well as the market out there for replacing Pineda’s value until one or more of the Paxton-Hultzen-Walker group is ready. I’m not a huge fan of the Millwood or Oliver Perez signings, but also don’t think the other shoe has yet dropped and wouldn’t be all that surprised to see the Mariners in on a more significant pitching signing, like Edwin Jackson or Roy Oswalt. If I had to guess, I’d say Oswalt, but only because the rumor is he’s willing to sign a shorter deal and shouldn’t be THAT expensive.

    If that comes to pass, this trade will have both allowed a significant upgrade for 2012, *and* set the Mariners up for future contention by getting both younger and cheaper, and continuing to amass a core that should mature and peak at roughly the same time.

    So, I like it. As you say, it had to be done.

    Hope all is well with you.

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