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I’ve Got No Expectations

 MLB: Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians

Man, sour times for Jesus Montero. From the Seattle Times:

After each season, players meet with training and medical staff to set up their offseason. Each player is given a target weight they are expected to come in at for the following season. According to sources, Montero has never once met that target weight since joining the Mariners. This year he came in 40 pounds over the weight the Mariners wanted him to come in at.

It’s led to frustration within the organization. General manager Jack Zduriencik was particularly critical of Montero and his future.

“We are disappointed in how he came in physically,” Zduriencik said bluntly.

That disinterest in conditioning in the offseason didn’t do much change the minds of people who have been skeptical of Montero’s work ethic. It certainly didn’t inspire Zduriencik, who was clearly unhappy with the situation.

“It’s up to him,” Zduriencik said. ” I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero. Any expectations I had are gone.”

[Photo Credit: USATSI]

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1 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 24, 2014 11:26 am

Ichiro for Montero, straight up...LET'S DO THIS!

2 monkeypants   ~  Feb 24, 2014 11:31 am

I loved Montero as a prospect, and still hate the Big Trade that sent him to Seattle. But man, has his star fallen.

3 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 24, 2014 11:47 am

[1] Why? At least Ichiro wants to play...

4 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Feb 24, 2014 11:53 am

An Ichiro is STILL a better hitter.

5 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 24, 2014 11:55 am

Sometimes I think that the worst thing that ever happened to Montero was the Yankees trading him.

Last summer, BP's Jason Parks talked about how the often rumored Jurickson Profar for Oscar Taveras trade overlooked a critical component. Both of those young men had known only one organization for their entire professional careers, which started when they were 16 (maybe younger), and both were attached to those organizations, mentally and emotionally (besides contractually). It might really mess them up, he said, if the only team they had ever known - the team that had initially told them, we want you over all these other guys, the team for whom they had been projected stars for, for a few years now - suddenly decided that they didn't want them anymore.

Even though it might make perfect business sense, it might be very logical in terms of assets and needs, such a trade did not take the attachment aspect into account, and what it might do the players. And both organizations knew this, while most fans of the teams did not.

Thus, Parks thought it was highly unlikely that the trade would happen, even if the Cardinals were desperate for a young stud shortstop and really didn't need a young stud OF, and vice versa for the Rangers.

Since then, I've often wondered if Seattle failed to recognize the possibility for something bad happening when the Yanks traded them Montero. The trade might have really shaken the kid - hell, it really shook me, and I'm just a fan - and I wonder if this accounts for his problems since.

I don't think the same issue was possible with Pineda, because he wasn't as touted a prospect as Montero; he spent 2 years at home, playing in the Dominican Summer League, before he came to the States at 19; and he spent an entire season in the majors, likely with veterans telling him you never know what will happen, especially with this crazy team.

Montero, in contrast, played in the US immediately after signing; was one of the most touted prospects in all of baseball for 3 years before he was traded (and it was legit, not just because he was in the Yankees system, though I bet that added to the attention); and then, with Jorge Posada about to retire, the Yanks call him up that September and he totally crushes the ball. He probably imagined that he was definitely in the majors wearing pinstripes the next year, being an integral part of the team, etc etc etc.

Instead, out of nowhere, he gets traded to Seattle.

It might be a lost cause, but now I wonder if the Yanks could get him back on the cheap and if it would matter or help at all. What a sad story.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 24, 2014 11:57 am

5) Interesting. There is still time for him to grow up. Hate to see him become another Ruben Rivera.

7 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 24, 2014 12:29 pm

[5] But what of all the questions about his conditioning and work ethic before he was traded that seem to be proliferating the discussion lately? Was that just sour grapes or "gamesmanship" from people who wanted to keep him up until recently or was there really something to that? I admit I would be intrigued if the Yanks got him back on the cheap (fat chance, no pun intended) with the mindset of the off-chance that a return to familiar settings would rejuvenate his young career, but then why would any organization that takes on a young prospect growing in a different organization under those circumstances not go out of their way to make the young man feel as welcome as possible in his new setting?

I say this because given their track record, I doubt the Mariners have the capacity to see that far, but I wouldn't think that an organization like the Cardinals or even the Rangers would make such an oversight.

And let's not forget his suspension for PEDs. Was that immaturity or lax security? Frankly, I think the Yanks are as scared of having another Melky as a Reuben Rivera.

8 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 24, 2014 12:44 pm

I think between the conditioning, the poor defense, and the BioGenesis thing I think it's clear now why they were so hot to get rid of him. I understand it's a long way down from getting Cliff Lee in return to getting Michael Pineda, but who knows?

Maybe the thought was "We better get what we can get for him now, because the more we play him...the more he's going to get exposed and the worse his value on the open market is going to get."

9 Chris   ~  Feb 24, 2014 5:17 pm

Sounds like Montero is done to me. At his age, you have to try pretty hard to put on 40 pounds in a single offseason. You either have no self-control or you do not give a fuck.

So if we get any meaningful contribution from Pineda this year, we probably won this one.

10 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Feb 25, 2014 6:54 pm

Man, forty pounds.

It is sad.

11 Greg G   ~  Feb 27, 2014 6:08 pm

Remember this one from the Onion?

I think you can look at this 2 ways. 1) The organization that nurtured hin traded him. 2) He had a real chance to play in Seattle and with a lot less pressure.

How young players stay hungry (forgive the pun) is different for every player.

I hope Montero can turn it around, but more clubs like the Yanks are using the DH to rest veteran players and give them a day out of the field. Montero's all bat and no glove doesn't help him.

As a young player just being a DH must be tough. You have a few bad at bats and I am sure it weighs on you. How often do players in a funk make a nice play in the field and it carries over to when they bat next. Just a thought...

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