Somewhere around the time it began to become clear that Jesus Montero probably wouldn’t have much of a career as a catcher, a lot of people picked up the notion that Montero would still have value as a first baseman/designated hitter because of his offensive production. And in a vacuum this is certainly true, especially if Montero developed rapidly into a good-to-great hitter during his team control years. But then people began saying that Montero would mitigate the decline of the Yankees aging lineup, particularly Alex Rodriguez who, in case you’d forgotten, is still under contract with the Yankees for six more seasons. This is a pretty good summation of the premise.
I understand that having Pineda in the rotation probably makes the 2012 Yankees a better team than they would have been with Montero as the DH. But in 2013? And 2014?
Arod and Teixeira are already fractions of what they once were and they will be declining in the lineup for years to come. The Yankees have one big hitter in his prime, Cano, who is fierce but not flawless. You don’t have to squint too hard to see a Yankee team desperate for hitting.
There’s truth in this, to be sure, but what’s done is done. A-Rod and Tex are signed 6 and 5 years, respectively, and with A-Rod’s age and health issues it’s basically a given that he’ll have to become a primary DH sometime in the near future. So obviously, if Montero is ultimately a 1B/DH player, there isn’t room for him in the lineup if Teixeira and A-Rod are already slotted into those spots in the long term.
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