"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Jesus Has Left the Building (When the Sh** Goes Down, You Better Be Ready)

Dag, I leave the Internet for a few hours, and the Yanks spring into action. Word has it that they’ve shipped out The Jesus and Hector Noesi to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and another young pitcher named Jose Campos. In another move, they will sign Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year contract pending a physical.

Didn’t figure the Yanks would stay on the low forever. They move Montero for another promising young talent in Pineda. I’m not expert but seems like a win-win sort of deal. As much as I would have liked to see Montero, I’m thrilled that the Yanks are getting a gifted young starter in Pineda. And I know they’ve coveted Kuroda since last season.

Wonder if they’d go nutzo and make a play for Prince to DH. Doubt it, but hey, let’s have some fun. And what about the starting staff? Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett? What’ll happen? After a quiet winter, put another log on the fire and let’s have at it.

[Photo Credit: Super Ninteno Sega Genesis]


1 The Hawk   ~  Jan 13, 2012 8:59 pm

I guess it's good. They need a pitcher more than a hitter. Still feels like losing family somehow.

2 The Hawk   ~  Jan 13, 2012 8:59 pm

Oh and if this brought Prince I'd be all for it. Can you imagine that guy in Yankee Stadium for half a season?

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:02 pm

This is what prospects are for.

4 Yankee Mama   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:06 pm

[3] Exactly. Which is why Cash doesn't want to lose draft picks. They become potential commodities.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:07 pm

Scanning Twitter I see this:

Sweeny Murti: Was told SEA wanted Nova instead of Noesi but Yanks wouldn't give. SEA eventually agreed on Noesi.

Ken Arneson: I've seen Pineda play, but not Montero. So I'm inclined from my biased POV to feel the Yankees won this deal. Pineda is very impressive.

Marc Carig: Rival exec loves the Yankees moves. Thinks this puts Phil Hughes in the crosshairs.

Also from Marc: Noesi should be ready to slide right into the M's rotation. Yankees did well to turn him into a trade piece.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:09 pm

They've got a potential ace in Pineda. Sure, it's a bummer to lose The Jesus but it's not like they traded him for Ken Phelps.

Rotation: CC, Pineda, Kuroda, Nova, AJ/Freddy, and perhaps Hughsie to the pen? Either way, there's a competition on and that's a starting staff that looks better now than it did three months ago.

7 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:15 pm

AJ for Adam Dunn straight up, like that idea from last thread.
I'm coming around on this swap now, though if Jesus hits 30 in Safeco, think what he'd do in NYS ..

8 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:19 pm


You mean I've spent all these months acclimating myself to the idea of a catcher who can't catch and now it's a mute point?

Jesus, baseball.

9 cult of basebaal   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:19 pm

[7] How many years does the Big Donkey have left though?



Part of me really wants Cashman to go nuts and offer Fielder a 2/50 deal or something ... I keep imagining him mashing "frickin lazer beams" off the various decks in NYS ...

10 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:23 pm

9) Here, Here.

11 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:23 pm

Now we know for certain that the Yanks never believed in Montero as a catcher. For a young slugging prospect, I guess they got a fair return. For a young slugging catcher, they didn't get enough.

Montero won me over permanently with his easy power to right center. I wanted to see that develop in Yankee Stadium and have him be my kids' first favorite player. As much as Pineda might help now and later, I'm a hitter at heart.

12 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:28 pm

Jesus we hardly knew ye. The godless empire calculates. He won't hurt the Yankees banished to Siberia(ttle).

Pineda is a stud, and the familial competition between him and Nova should be fun to watch. Will Kuroda be as effective in the AL?

AJ the odd man out?

13 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:29 pm

From Sweeny: One agent told me tonight, "This is why Brian Cashman is the best in the business." Waited out the asking prices this winter.

14 The Hawk   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:31 pm

[3] Sometimes. Sometimes they're for other things, like playing on the Yankees. Things like that.

15 Yankee Mama   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:40 pm

Cashman sure has skills. Nobody saw this coming.

16 phil_bonanno   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:42 pm

I'm very ok with this, though Pinedas fly ball tendencies are a worry.
Rotation went from a weakness to a strength in one hour.
Good Michael Corleone day for Ca$h

17 Matt Blankman   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:54 pm

I think these two will both thrive, but we needed the pitcher more than the bat. Best of luck Jesus, welcome Michael!

18 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 9:58 pm

16) Nice call on Michael Corleone.

17) Here, here.

I am not surprised by the deal. Figured Cashman was going to do something big this winter or this spring or this summer. And you never know, he could have more tricks up his sleeve.

19 RIYank   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:07 pm

Well, I am disappointed.
Not because I have any strong view about which team got the better of the deal, but because I've been looking forward to rooting for Jesus.
But I'm not complaining. Just a little deflated.

20 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:17 pm

19) Yes, he seemed easy to pull for. But I'll still want him to do well even if it won't be in pinstripes. And I like that Cashman is so bully on pitching. He knew that they caught lightening in a bottle last year with that staff. Pineda is still young, and gives up homers, and wasn't great in the second half last year, but he throws cheese and, well, I'm now excited to see him in the mix.

21 Matt Blankman   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:20 pm

[20] What he said. I will definitely be rooting for Jesus to thrive in Seattle. I just hope Pineda develops so well that none of us will mind one bit.

22 William Juliano   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:25 pm

If Montero CAN catch, I think the Yankees will regret this trade. If he is really a DH/1B, it could swing in their favor. I don't think there is any question Montero will hit. Might seem like an exaggeration, but haven't been as impressed by a young hitter since seeing Manny in his rookie season.

23 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:28 pm

[19] Same. We fixed a big problem by dealing away a luxury though, so it won't hurt as much. It would be nice to have a Manny-without-being-Manny in the lineup protecting our own sluggers, but they score a lot of runs as it is without him. Have to believe Cash knows what he's doing.

24 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:28 pm

I understand Jon's disappointment, because as a hitter himself, he was eager to watch The Jesus get a full season in with the Yanks. Of course there is uncertainty on both sides, but no matter how it works out, I like the idea that Cashman made a move he wanted to make. He didn't give up this package and two other guys for Gio Gonzalez. Maybe the deal backfires. Maybe Montero turns into a great pro and Pineda is a flop. That's a possibility. But at this moment, it seems to be a sound chance to take.

25 Matt Blankman   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:28 pm

[22] Valid points. The kid sure does look like he can rake, right? However, it was 60-odd ABs. I think both of these kids can play.

26 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:32 pm

25) Yeah, I am just a layman in terms of evaluating ball players but didn't feel I saw enough of Montero to know much about him other than I liked what I saw. Which isn't to knock William's take, just that i didn't feel that strongly. I could be wrong, of course.

The other thing I like about this, in theory, is that they get a good young starter, a pitching prospect with big upside according to what I've read, plus, they keep Betances and Banualos, and allow those two dudes to mature another year.

27 Matt Blankman   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:35 pm

[26] Yup. Do we now think Romine is the catcher of the future?

28 William Juliano   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:42 pm

[25] [26] It's all subjective, but something about Montero screamed out to me. I am also a little worried about the Yankees' offense, so hopefully Cash has a couple more moves left.

[27] I am guessing Gary Sanchez is the new heir apparent.

29 Ara Just Fair   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:42 pm

Not happy. Jesus is a stud. I guess they can sign him as free agent down the road but ....blah. Lame.

30 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:44 pm

[17] Haven't people been bigger on Gary Sanchez?

31 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 13, 2012 10:46 pm

[28] I'm just gonna let you be my proxy tonight, William. Too many folks here tonight to hear an echo...

32 Ara Just Fair   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:04 pm

I guess the only question left is,"was Cashman wearing a white goalie mask while he was on the phone?"

33 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:06 pm

Yeah not feeling this yet. Was looking forward to the progression of Jesus.

He's going to catch and HIT.

Short term, alright. We've got another starter, and that's nothing to bitch about.

34 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:09 pm

[19] I could just cut'n'paste your comment. Exactly.
Disappointed. Good word. Deflated. Perfect description.
But I gotta say... whether you like this deal or not...

35 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:15 pm

33) Really, he's going to catch? You really think so? If he does, and he hits, then he could be special.

And Pineda isn't just another starter. The guy is a talent.

36 Ara Just Fair   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:16 pm

Upon further inspection, the rotation has improved. [19] Ditto.
I will selfishly miss shouting Praise Jesus after his home runs. At least until 2018 or whenever the hell he becomes a free agent.

37 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:27 pm

35) yeah I do think he's a serviceable catcher, from what little I saw.

No knock on Pineda, but I think if you're going to trade Montero to Seattle, you get Felix.

But that sounds like I'm bitching about Pineda, and I'm not. I haven't seen enough of him, and enough of him in the cold hearted East to be excited enough about him to temper the disappointment of losing Montero.

Kuroda"s a nice pick up, but I still believe in Hughes. The rotation is now AJ proof if Cashman will abide.

38 cult of basebaal   ~  Jan 13, 2012 11:44 pm

Yeah, I think Montero's gonna have a nice run at 1st and DH.

Frankly, so do the Yankees, which is why they made this trade.

39 Jon Weisman   ~  Jan 14, 2012 12:00 am

You won't find anyone in Los Angeles who didn't like Kuroda. We'll miss him.

40 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 4:44 am

I'm sure it's a good deal an all, but whatever. I know it makes no rational sense, but I was really pulling for Montero to stay with the Yankees. Can't this organization develop one homegrown star player?

41 Jose Sarduy   ~  Jan 14, 2012 5:31 am

The Yanks weren't high on Jesus catching abilities.

Maybe I'm wrong but I get the feeling Joe Girardi would prefer the DH spot open to rotate A-Rod and a few other players.

Although, if they can get a Carlos Pena or Fielder, that would be a big plus!

Jose Sarduy

42 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 14, 2012 7:15 am

40) What would you call Robbie Cano?

43 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:17 am

[42] Well, ok, then they have developed one in the last ten years. Also, wasn't Robbie sort of an accident? As I recall, and I could be wrong, he was not expected to be a star.

44 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:19 am

[41] If they traded the best hitting prospect the organization has had since...a really long time...so that the DH spot can be used as a revolving door rest home, that would be very silly reasoning.

45 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:19 am

Mr. Robinson "Not-Derek-or-Mo" Cano, dontcha know! >;)

46 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:22 am

In addition to my irrational disappointment (I really wanted to see Montero as the next homegrown star), my fear is that Pineda simply doesn't pan out. It is much easier to predict future success of a MiL hitter than pitcher, and the Yankees recent track record with evaluating and developing young pitchers has been, um, not so good.

47 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:25 am

[42] [43] I guess that's why I enjoy watching Gardner so much, even though he is infuriating at times. I like the *idea* that he's a player who worked his way up through the ranks, someone whom I had read about for a few years. It was fun for me to see them "give that kid down on the farm a shot."

48 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:48 am

I'm with monkeypants - awfully sad that Jesus is gone, wondering if Pineda makes us forget him.

I can't lie, I cursed loudly when I read about it this morning, but I just felt so invested in the kid.

49 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:49 am

If I recall, MP, guys the Yanks usually expect to be stars have for the most part turned into anything but, while also being pleasantly surprised by the ones that do. Not to say this automatically applies to Montero because EVERYONE and their mommas expect him to be a star, but there was a lot of criticism of Jeter before he came up (no one in their right minds anticipated the career he's had) or that Rivera would be the God of All Relievers (he was supposed to be a starter), while in the meantime Hughes has had flashes of greatness at best, Joba's been a slow-motion disaster unfolding and the last guy who was supposed to be a bonafide superstar when he was signed busted his arm in an off-field incident while was still in Single A. So stardom is not exactly given to those who are expected to be stars and with the Yanks it usually turns out to be opposite (when it comes to our farm, at least).

50 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:54 am

[49] There was lots of criticism of Jeter? His defense was suspect (lots of errors), but he was also MiL Player of the Year twice consecutively. I lived in Columbus, OH when he was there at AAA, and everyone I talked figured he would be a star, though obviously no one can predict a HoF career.

51 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:54 am

re: the Montero trade, I share your irrational disappointment/trepidation, monkeypants, but I wouldn't classify Cano as an accident. You're correct that he exceeded expectations, but consider this: Cano hit a very rough patch after showing great promise in the bigs. There were calls to trade him, and Cashman received quite a few offers for him. I don't recall specific deals, but I do remember Cashman refusing to include him in trades.

The Yankees stuck with him, and worked on his swing, and his fielding. Cano had a ton of raw talent, but the Yankees developed him. They worked hard to bring out his best, and it's paying off for us in huge ways. Cano is by far my favorite current Yankee.

52 rbj   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:54 am

[0] Yeah. Turned all internet connections off at 8:30 last night, woke up to the story in the newspaper this a.m. How very 20th Century. Not sure how I feel about the deal, prospects are a crap shoot on both sides.

53 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:57 am

[49] Nick Johnson is the one who broke my heart. I read about from when the first signed him, and got to watch him in AAA. I was absolutely convinced he was going to be really good, and it really looked like he was developing as advertised. Then the team traded him, which pissed me off. And then he basically shattered into many small pieces, which bummed me out even more.

54 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 8:59 am

[51] Interesting stuff. It's funny, though, I just don't remember reading much about Robbie when he was in MiL, maybe because the focus was on Soriano. I am pretty certain that I saw him in AAA, but again, I don't recall thinking or hearing much about him one way or another. Drew Henson, on the other hand...

55 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:02 am

[54] Check that, as Frank Messer used to say---I missed Cano in MiL. He showed up in Columbus the year after I moved away, so that probably explains why he was not so visible on my horizon.

56 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:13 am

Again, I was all about Montero being The Man in Waiting and I still don't like trading a position player who can mash for pitching under any circumstances. But Pineda is not a nobody with potential, he made a very big impression last season around the majors and in that is one step ahead of Montero in development. Plus we also get another starter in A-ball who has the potential to be another Pineda in the making, provided he doesn't get stuck in development hell or loses his abilities in the Kryptonite Continuum between Scranton and the Bronx. So having paid a significant price in the manner we've come to expect of a Cashman deal, I'm quite anxious to see what manner of destruction this man will rain on the opposition for us (especially with a battery mate who can actually help him.)

Oh yeah, there's still the Cuban Missile out there when he's available, and Jorge Soler if we can stand to wait a little while. Let's wait and see.

57 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:17 am

[54] however, Cano was almost traded several times before he made it to the bigs. He was offered in the deal that brought ARod to the Yanks, but the Rangers took some other scrub. He was offered in a failed bid to get Beltran from the Royals, and he was offered up in the Randy Johnson deal, but the Dbacks passed on him.

As for the level of buzz about him in the Minors, check out this piece from 2003.
Seems his early years in the system were relatively quiet.

Prospect Cano progressing nicely
Shortstop on the rise has solid arm, defensive skills
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com

The Yankees may or may not keep Alfonso Soriano at second base in 2004, but if Robinson Cano progresses at a steady rate, New York may have a decision to make in the next few years.
Cano, who was ranked as one of the top 10 second base prospects in the minor leagues, split time between Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2003. The 21-year-old batted .277 with six home runs and 63 RBIs, scoring 71 runs in 136 games.

Cano is currently playing in the Dominican League for the Estrellas de Oriente. In 16 games, he is batting .135 (5-for-37) with one homer, three RBIs, two doubles and a triple. He has scored three runs, walked three times and struck out six times, posting an on-base percentage of .220.

With Tampa, Cano hit .276 (101-for-366) with five home runs, 50 RBIs and 50 runs scored in 90 games. After being promoted to Trenton, Cano batted .280 (46-for-164) with one homer, 13 RBIs and 21 runs scored in 46 games. In the past two seasons, Cano has hit .312 with runners in scoring position.

Cano has an above-average arm, plays a solid shortstop and has solid defensive skills, finishing the 2003 season with a .972 fielding percentage.

Cano went 5-for-5 on Opening Day for the Tampa Yankees and batted .500 (20-for-40) in the opening month of the season. He was one of five Tampa players to be selected to the Florida State League All-Star Game, and he also represented the Yankees on the World Team at the 2003 All-Star Futures Game in Chicago during MLB's All-Star Weekend.

Cano has a baseball background, as his father, Jose, had a short stint with the Houston Astros in 1989, going 1-1 in six games. Jose was originally signed by the Yankees in March 1980 but never made it to the Bronx.

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

58 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:18 am

57) sorry everybody. i meant to post that as a link. Oy.

59 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:19 am

[56] But Pineda is not a nobody with potential, he made a very big impression last season around the majors

103 ERA+, lots of Ks, few walks, excellent WHIP, but also lots of fly balls and HRs. He's only 23. That means he is still of the age for the Yankees to somehow unlearn all of his pitching ability. On the other hand, Pineda was not bound by the Yankees organizational innings limits rules, so he managed to pitch 170 INN last year. That means 200 INN is a real possibility this year. It will take Phil Hughes until he's 37 to get up to 200 INN.

All this is to say, I am really not confident about the Yankees ability to make good on an investment in a young pitcher, though in this case Pineda may be Yankee-proof.

60 horace_clarke_era   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:21 am

After a quiet (too quiet!) winter, I was a happy man last night. This was a strength for strength and Montero, as many have noted, was utterly blocked if he wasn't going to be a starting C. In this I will absolutely trust several years of Yankee braintrust watching him. It makes no sense to do otherwise.

The fun factor of watching him bat is balanced by the sheer pleasure of a deep, strong rotation, now very possible, even probable. People are saying shoulda got Felix ... it wasn't going to happen or it would have. And the people saying get Fielder now ... are ignoring the economic realities of adding a $20,000,000 plus DH forever.

We can't own everyone! (I know some will say 'Why not??' but really...) Kuroda, by the way, costs us more like $14 million given our cap penalty. The Steins opened the wallet for this, in a year when BoSox are rebuilding.

I agree that Phil is likely to pen now, if Garcia can hang in as #5, and can see Cash eating most of AJ's salary to get a serviceable DH from the NL. In a year one or two of the baby starters may arrive.

This was a very good deal. Ninja country, yes.

61 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:21 am

New thread above.

62 monkeypants   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:22 am

[61] Party pooper. ; )

63 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 14, 2012 9:32 am

[59] Totally agree. Kryptonite Continuum; hopefully Pineda will be past that or at the least untouched by it. And depending on what Jesus and Noesi do or don't do for the M's, King Felix may yet make it over here by the end of the coming season (barring injury).

64 Jose Sarduy   ~  Jan 14, 2012 11:46 am

"43" Obviously, it wasn't the only reason for trading Jesus. Silly

Jose Sarduy

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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