MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Trade Jesus Montero to Mariners for Michael Pineda, Sign Hiroki Kuroda

Greg Johns from MLB.com reports that the New York Yankees have traded catching (?) ...errr....hitting prospect Jesus Montero and pitching prospect Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for starter Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campos.

Greg Johns

No confirmation from team, but source says Mariners sending Pineda and Jose Campos to Yankees for Jesus Montero/Hector Noesi.

At first glance, I think this deal hurts the value of both Pineda and Montero. Montero is leaving the hitter's haven in Yankee Stadium and heads to Safeco Field, a huge pitchers park. As a result, Pineda loses value as well.

The fantasy impact of this deal and tweets from Jon Heyman and Buster Olney after the jump. The Yankees may not be done dealing.

Pineda went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA, 3.42 FIP, and a 3.53 xFIP in 28 starts, covering 171 innings pitched. Pineda struck out 173 batters and walked 55, good for a K/BB rate of 3.15, which was good for 30th amongst all major league starters. He gave up 18 home runs last year, good for a 0.95 HR/9, which will more than likely increase as he will pitch at least half of his starts in Yankee Stadium in 2012.

While Pineda's stock takes a hit, I think Montero's does as well. As stated above, he leaves one of the best hitter's parks in baseball and one of the best lineups to one of the best pitcher's park and one of the worst run scoring lineups in Seattle. He obviously improves the Mariners lineup, but we will have to temper our power numbers for him going forward. One positive to take from this is Montero will play everyday, which I assume will be at DH, and he could see some time backing up Miguel Olivo at catcher. Here is more from Johns on Montero:

Montero is one of baseball's premier right-handed power prospects, a 22-year-old Venezuelan who hit .328 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 61 at-bats after a late-season promotion by the Yankees. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he would figure to split time at catcher and designated hitter for the Mariners and provide a middle-of-the-order bat for an offense that finished last in the Majors in scoring the past two years.

Johns is a little more optimistic than I am as he states above that Montero could SPLIT time at catcher. I have a hard time believing he will start more than 30 games at catcher in 2012. Dynasty and keeper league owners should pay close attention to how much time Montero gets behind the plate in spring training to get an idea if, and how soon, he will gain catcher eligibility in 2012.

The Yankees were busy this evening as they not only traded for Pineda, but they also signed former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda to a one year, $10 million deal. As a Dodgers fan who has watched Kuroda pitch the last four years, this is a great signing for the Yankees, and they will be happy with him. They get a #2 starter to slot behind Sabathia and in front of Pineda.

As a result, the Yankees rotation will look like this:

CC Sabathia

Hiroki Kuroda

Michael Pineda

Ivan Nova

and one of A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia.

The Yankees have significantly improved their rotation evening, and are apparently looking for a bat to replace Montero in their lineup. So who will DH for the Yankees? This may sound absurd, but could they now go out and sign Prince Fielder? I doubt it, but you never know with the Yankees. They were quiet in the Mark Teixeira talks a few years ago and swooped in and signed him. And if I remember correctly, they did something similar with CC Sabathia.

Here is some reaction from rival AL East executives on the Yankees deal for Pineda, via ESPN's Buster Olney:

Buster Olney
Strong reaction so far from other teams: Some execs from other AL East teams believe Yankees just made an incredible trade.

44 minutes ago

And this from Rany Jazayerli via Twitter:

Rany Jazayerli
Yankees were willing to trade Montero for 3 months of Cliff Lee. Instead they traded him for 5 years of Michael Pineda. I'd call that a win.

Apparently, the Yankees aren't done dealing. This from CBS Sports Jon Heyman:

Jon Heyman
so get pineda & kuroda. they arent done. calling around for a hitter. carlos pena/others in play now.

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