In my nearly two years of blogging, I don’t think there is a player I’ve written about more than Jesus Montero. Joba Chamberlain and Derek Jeter probably come close, and may pass him, but writing about Montero has been more enjoyable than writing about Chamberlain’s mostly improper development and/or Derek Jeter’s decline. Some of what I’m going to say is repetitious, but I think these things are worth repeating, even if I said them yesterday.
The first thing we should remember is that Jesus Montero is most definitely tradeable. Every prospect is and despite his awesome bat and ridiculous upside, he is no exception. The return for him just needs to be higher. He’s not a “part of a package” guy. He’s not a “use him to get a slight rotation upgrade” guy. He’s a “get a player that’s going to impact the team in a big way immediately and in the future” guy. Those guys don’t become available often and they probably won’t be during this trade season.
There was a comment yesterday on my post about trades that was the real inspiration for this post:
Adam B Reply:
May 31st, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Yea its not ideal, but to me its the million dollar question… He is no use to us if he cant catch 120 games a year.
I responded that I completely disagree. If Jesus Montero can be an even Posada-level catcher, he will be insanely valuable for the Yankees during his team-controlled years. If he’s not, well, he won’t be as valuable. That doesn’t mean, however, that he will be completely without value to the team. While he’ll never win Gold Gloves back there, it seems that Montero is at least competent enough to sit back there and take up space. Even if he doesnt’ catch full time, he can still do the job occasionally while DHing. Yeah, it would suck if a guy as young as he is ends up relegated to DH, but there’s still value in that. While DHs aren’t incredibly hard to find or incredibly expensive, having a guy who will cost as relatively little as Montero will in his first few years can help the Yankees a lot. Instead of giving money to a veteran player to DH, the Yankees can give Montero the league minimum or just above it. That way, they can “spread the wealth” and use those resources elsewhere.
There’s also the production element to that argument. While it’s not a guarantee–because nothing is in baseball–it’s a good bet that Montero’s bat will turn out more than fine in the Majors. If he catches and hits like he’s supposed to, he’ll be the paragon of value. His value obviously takes a hit if he doesn’t catch, but I’m confident in his ability to produce at the level of your average DH and if he can do that while being much cheaper than the average DH, then there’s no way he’s “of no use” to the Yankees.
Jesus Montero is incredibly valuable in two big ways for the Yankees: He can be used to land an impact player or he can be held on to and become a key bat for the Bronx Bombers going forward. I think it’s much more likely that the latter happens…at least, that’s what I hope.
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