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MLB Trade Rumors: Should the Yankees Trade Jesus Montero?

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The morning after the Yankees lost game 5 of the ALDS against the Tigers, talk already turned to how the Yankees will shore up their starting rotation in 2012, and John Harper from the New York Daily News tossed this trade rumor out there:

Of all the names, Cain is by far the most intriguing. Under contract for $15 million in 2012, he can be a free agent after next season, and will command huge money that the Giants, with plenty of other good, young pitching, may decide would be better spent on signing, say, Jose Reyes, to be their shortstop.

The Giants don't need a catcher, assuming Buster Posey recovers from his collision-induced broken ankle, but they're desperate for offense. As a result, they might see Montero as a cleanup hitter who could play first base for them, while they move first-base prospect Brandon Belt to the outfield.

One scout considered the notion of the Giants adding Montero and Reyes, while seeing Posey return from injury and perhaps Belt blossom, and said, "They'd go from one of the worst offensively (in the National League) to one of the best."

Jesus Montero for Matt Cain? Everyone knows what Cain will do to the Yankees starting rotation. He would slot in behind CC Sabathia, assuming CC is still a Yankee in 2012, and I think he will, but that's an article for another day. Cain went 12-11 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.083 WHIP and a 179-63 K/BB rate in 221.1 innings in 2011. Cain has thrown at least 190 innings in each of the last 6 years and owns a career record of 69-73 with a 3.35 ERA and 1.196 WHIP. Wow. I didn't realize he had a losing career record.

More on Montero to the Giants after the jump:

Adding Montero would enhance the Giants lineup for sure. Assuming the Giants did sign Jose Reyes and Buster Posey is healthy in 2012, here is what their lineup would look like:

C-Buster Posey

1b-Jesus Montero

2b-TBD

SS-Jose Reyes

3b- Pablo Sandoval

LF-Brandon Belt

CF-Andres Torres

RF-Nate Schierholtz

That is definitely an improvement over the lineups they were running out there in 2011.

Since Cain pitches in a pitchers park in San Francisco, I wanted to see what his career home/road splits were and here is what I found over at Baseball-Reference:

Home-38-37, 312 ERA, 1.162 WHIP, 7.2 K/9, 2.23 K/BB

Road-30-38, 3.62 ERA, 1.234 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 2.37 K/BB

So, his career road ERA is a half run higher than his home ERA, but moving to the American League, i would expect that split to move against him. He has one career start against the Red Sox, where he gave up one run in 7 innings, but that is an extemely small sample size, so you can't take anything from the one start to project how he would fare if he was traded to the Yankees.

I think the Yankees will try their best to deal Montero this offseason, as they may want to keep the DH spot open for aging hitters like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, giving Eduardo Nunez more playing time at third base and shortstop in 2012.