Putting aside whatever one’s feelings on trading Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda might have been, the logic of the trade was a pretty obvious need-for-need swap between the Yankees and Mariners. The Mariners have quite a bit of pitching in their organization, but have next to nothing in the way of promising hitters. The Yankees were looking for an upgrade to their pitching staff in the short term, and were rather thin on high ceiling pitching in the system, especially if you think Dellin Betances‘ future most likely lies in the bullpen. So far, the rationale for both sides is pretty obvious, but that breaks down entirely from the Mariners’ perspective, in my opinion, once we get to the other two pitchers included in the deal.
I liked Hector Noesi more than most, it seemed, but the fact remains that he was a relatively low ceiling, though probably MLB ready, pitching prospect. In addition, with the acquisition of Pineda the Yankees wouldn’t have an obvious need for Noesi in 2012, and he would have become the 7th pitcher on the depth chart (before the signing of Hiroki Kuroda and the trade of A.J. Burnett). Considering that te Mariners aren’t likely to contend for the American League playoffs even in the best case scenario in 2012, and I still don’t really understand why they were willing to throw in a young pitcher with the potential to develop into an ace like Campos fora middle of the rotation prospect like Noesi.
Of course, Montero is ready for the big leagues himself, and the Mariners really do need all the offensive help they can get. Plus, there’s a reasonably decent chance that the 19 year old Campos never throws a single pitch in the big leagues, no matter how shiny he is as a prospect right now. But, on the whole, I initially thought the Mariners made a really strange trade, and the benefit of hindsight hasn’t really changed that any. The Mariners over-paid for the package they got and, if things go right (which, to be fair, they rarely do with young pitchers), the Yankees may have landed two ace pitchers for Montero.