Saturday, January 14, 2012

Relax There Yankee Fans

Last night the Yankees, who have been so quiet this offseason that you had to wonder if they were actually awake, made two moves that seems to be the equivelant of the wild Sabathia/Teixeria signings back in 2008.

Or at least, everything I have heard and read this morning is putting that much weight into these moves.

First, the Yanks moved top catching rookie Jesus Montero to the Mariners for their 22-year old phenom pitcher Michael Pineda. Yeah there were other players involved also but overall that's the main jist of it.

They like, 40 minutes later they signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year $10 Million dollar contract.

And suddenly, the Yankees biggest weakness (the starting rotation) is a major strength.

Last night, driving home I heard the 1050 ESPN Radio host (Not sure who it was) say "The Yankees now have the best rotation in baseball."

Jason Stark on the ESPN website touted how great these moves where, calling both pitchers "high end". He considers Pineda the Yanks #2 pitcher.

On the boards of the ESPN and MLB websites, a majority of Yankee fans are cheering and pretty much considering the moves as a meaning the Yankees should be considered World Series favorites.

And all of this could be true.

Or then again, it might not.

These moves could certainly be winning moves, but I do think you have to step back a little.

Pineda does have a high ceiling, but please do not say he's the no-doubt future ace of this team. His second half last year and ERA away from home (Safeco) is something to be worked on. It looks like a good trade for both sides at the moment, but it's going to be a while before you can say for sure. Pindea could go 15-7 witrh a 3.57 ERA this year and Montero could hit .264 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI and it'll be "What a steal for the Yanks!" then over the next five years Montero averages 35 HR/115 RBI and Pindea goes 57-53 with a 4.49 ERA and then you'd have to reconsider that thought.

In the end it'll likely be 2014 before you can really even start to evaluate the trade. Could be a great one, could be a disaster, could just be "Not bad". Just don't pencil Pineda in for greatness yet. Remember how good Fausto Carmona was in his rookie year and how he was the next Cleveland Ace? I'm not saying Pineda will be the same, I'm just saying it's not a lock he's a 16-18 game winner over the next seven seasons.

Montero had no where to play with the Yanks. I happen to think he will be an excellent and feared hitter in his career. A David Ortiz/Edgar Martienez type, but this move made sense for the Yanks who need pitching WAY more than hitting right now. I think there is a risk for NY here with this move, but it's a risk that makes sense when you consider they have another highly touted catchering prospect who will likely be ready in 2013 (2014 the latest).

Also, for all the talk of "There's a reason the Yanks kept dangling Monero in trade talks the last two years" you have to wonder... why would the Mariners be so quick to trade a 22 year old young power pitcher who was making no money what-so-ever?

You know, one thing I am getting a kick out of... for the last TWO YEARS I have had every Yankee fan I know and about 95% of the ones posting in forums on how incredible Montero's bat was and how great of a prostect he was and how he was going to be Miguel Cabrera/David Ortiz/Jason Giambi all over again.

Now he's traded and suddenly so many Yankee fans say he's a guy who can't play a position and you can't compare him to those guys anymore.

So have the last two years of touting been a mirage? Or is it just that once a guy is off your team he's suddenly no longer as attractive?

It's like the Mets fans who are "glad" Jose Reyes is gone because he was a DL/Injury riddled guy who celebrated too much and cheated to take himself out of the last game of the season last year to win the batting title.and wasn't worth the money.

Pineda looks to be a real good pickup, but c'mon... don't suddenly discount all of the building up on Montero just because he's no longer a Yankee.

You also have to take into consideration that Pineda will be under some pressure and have a spotlight on him this season. He'll be touted as the "Can't Miss" 22-year old Phenom future Ace. Especially in the New York media. Forget it he's already penciled in as the Yanks #2 starter. There will be a lot of spotlight and pressure to not be a bust after the yanks traded away their #1 prospect who they have been saying has the bat of a Miguel Cabrera for the last two years.

But that doesn't mean the kid can't handle it. For all we know he's a perfect fit for New York. We won't know for a while. You would have to say the future looks promising and bright. It's not definite, but there is no reason not to be optimistic.

But he will have a spotlight glare on him though. No way to avoid that.

As for Kiroda, his 3.07 ERA was excellent last year and throughout his four year MLB career his ERA has been pretty good. However remember he did lose 16 games last year, has only has one season in his career with a winning record (8-7 in 2009), has never pitched in the American League and he'll be 37 years old. The one year deal means there is little risk here, it's not like he got a three year $32 million deal, but he's also not exactly a "no-doubt" guy. I would kind of expect simular numbers to what you were getting out of Javier Vasquez in his second go-round with the Yanks.

So, yes, these seem to be good moves and the Yanks rotation looks miles better today than yesterday, but I wouldn't go TOO crazy just yet. I heard the radio host on 1050 ESPN radio last night say "The Yankees now have the best rotation in baseball" which is just a stupid comment. Relax a little

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