Pineda in Pinstripes; was it worth it?
In what appeared to be a mess of a rotation for the Yankees with both Burnett and Hughes struggling mightily last season, an arm was more than needed. Wasting no time the Yankees went out and added a young stud and known commodity on Friday night.
In an apparent blockbuster deal sure to leave some Yankees fans scratching their head, the Yankees ship coveted prospect Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners for two right handed pitchers, Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. The Yankees also signed Hiroki Kuroda to solidify the staff. After a scorching April, Pineda was brought back to reality , winning just one game after the All-Star break with an ERA over 5, but showed enough promise to be considered a stud with a better lineup protecting him.
After all the hype surrounding the leagues best catching prospect and the entire buzz amongst Yankee die-hards pertaining to Posada's long term replacement, Jesus Montero only played 18 major league games for the Yankees and left an air of "what could have been". In 61 at bats this year, Montero hit 4 dingers while knocking in 12 RBI with a .328 average. That works out to be 36 home runs and 108 RBI over a full season. Not too shabby.
With Sebathia, Pineda and Kuroda the Yankees could hang with any starting 3 in the AL East and most in the AL period. The only problem is which combination of Burnett, Hughes, Garcia and Nova will finish out the rotation. Nova is coming off an amazing season in which he won 17 games with a respectable 3.70 ERA, including a 9-3 win against Detroit in the playoffs. Nova should and most likely will be next years four starter for the Yankees. Now the fifth spot is where things get tricky. Burnett is owed an astonishing 16.5 million next year and you just can’t pay a guy that much money to pitch out of the bullpen considering Mariano, the greatest closer in MLB history, is only making 14.9 million next season.
Phil Hughes would add more youth to the rotation and has showed promise in both the bullpen and as a starter at times. Couple that with the fact that Freddy Garcia is coming off of a comeback season, winning 12 games with a 3.68 ERA and 96 strikeouts, and the Yankees have a seemingly good problem. That is unless they start the wrong guy, but if history is any indicator, they most likely won't.
In true rags to riches fashion, Michael Pineda goes from a Seattle team with one of the most anemic offenses in baseball to a Yankee team that was second in runs last season, only trailing fellow AL East rival Boston. I guess we'll never know what it would have looked like to see Jesus Montero live up to his potential in pinstripes and become a Yankee great, but they needed a great arm, not a great bat.
By: Nicholas Circharo
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