It's official: Jesus Montero is a Mariner, and Michael Pineida a Yankee.
The trade of two top young players was finalized today, giving the Mariners offense a much needed boost with the addition of Montero, but at a steep cost. Pineida, in his first full season in the majors in 2011, flashed signs of being a dominant pitcher and made the all-star team.
“With this trade we feel we have acquired a premium offensive talent that has the potential to hit in the middle of our lineup and grow with our other young players,” said Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik in a press release.
"... It was very difficult to part ways with Michael (Pineda) as we are extremely proud of what he has been able to accomplish in our organization. He is a special young man and we wish him the best of luck with the Yankees."
Also included with Montero is pitcher Hector Noesi, a soon-to-be 25-year-old right-handed pitcher. Noesi, who's birthday is Thursday, appeared in 30 games for the Yankees last year, posting a 2-2 record and a 4.47 ERA. The Mariners surrendered 19-year-old pitcher Jose Campos in the deal.
Montero, 22, has been ranked by Baseball America as the Yankees top prospect in each of the last three years (2010-12) and the third-best prospect in all of baseball (top catcher) entering the 2011 season. He was also tabbed by the publication as the Yankees “Best Hitter for Average” and “Best Power Hitter”. He was recently selected as the top catching prospect by MLB.com.
Noesi split the 2011 season between the Yankees and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he was 1-1, 3.28 ERA with 17 strikeouts in six games, five starts. He was rated by Baseball America as the Yankees seventh-best prospect heading into the 2011 season as was also tabbed by the publication as having the “Best Control” in their system.