12:24 pm Aug. 21, 20122
The Yankees made a big, big deal last winter, sending hitting prospect Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for starting pitcher Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campos.
It didn't turn out well for them.
Pineda hasn't pitched for the Yankees in 2012. He showed up to camp overweight, showed disturbing problems with velocity that turned out to be related to a season-ending shoulder injury, and was arrested early Monday morning for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The other component to the deal, a hugely talented Campos, has battled injuries all year at single-A Charleston, appearing in just five games.
It may be some small consolation that the deal hasn't turned out particularly well for the other guys, either.
Montero's bat was supposed to keep opposing pitchers up nights worrying about him. But his .696 O.P.S. over 420 plate appearances hasn't scared anyone. It is worth noting that much of his depressed offensive value comes from a .552 O.P.S. at home; away from spacious Safeco Field, he is at .837, right in line with what one would expect of the prodigiously talented hitter. And Montero, who had questions surrounding his ability to stay at catcher, recently caught Felix Hernandez's perfect game.
As for Noesi, his 5.77 E.R.A. over 17 starts seems to indicate that the Yankees were right to think he wasn't going to be much help to them. Incidentally, his pitching line is improved by Safeco Field, where his E.R.A. is a somewhat reasonable 4.20. Away from Safeco, he's pitched to a 7.42 E.R.A.
Ultimately, this trade's value will probably be judged by the seasons beyond 2012. Noesi, a pitcher of negligible value, was never likely to be the key to the deal, nor, for all of his talent, was Campos, since young pitchers as far from the big leagues as he was are lottery tickets.
As such, the Mariners, with a hitter in Montero who has at least stuck in the big leagues and has shown signs of excelling at just age 22. The Yankees can't say the same of Pineda, and it is harder than ever to imagine them building their 2013 rotation plans around him.