Its become conventional wisdom to say that the Montero-Pineda swap from last January has been complete disaster for the Yanks. Brian Cashman himself wouldn’t argue the point, calling all second guessing of the deal fair game in a recent press conference. But so far in the 2012 season, on the field, the Yanks haven’t missed Jesus Montero one bit. Actually, they’ve received better production from the players they signed to take his ABs.
The whole reason why Jesus was traded was he lacked a position on the Yanks, and would be relegated to DH duties. As a righty bat, he was an even poorer fit since the Yanks had plans to DH Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter about once a week to keep their aging bodies strong. Since Jesus would have spent much of his time at DH had he stayed with the team, let’s compare his numbers to the production the Yanks have had from the DH spot this season:
Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS 2012 Totals 30 30 121 116 11 31 5 0 5 17 0 1 3 24 .267 .281 .440 .721
Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS as DH 33 144 129 17 38 4 0 8 25 2 0 12 22 .295 .347 .512 .859
As you can see, the replacements Brian Cashman signed (Jones/Ibanez) have more than held the fort, while A-Rod and Jeter have contributed some good numbers as well. While its impossible to know how much effect the weekly half day off for Alex and Derek have had on their 2012 seasons, what we do know is that both have been healthy and productive thus far this year, exceptionally so in Jeter’s case. If they maintain that over the course of the full season, the added production you get from them as opposed to recent years has to be taken into consideration when assessing how much the team has missed Montero, if at all, for the 2012 campaign. Like most other things in life, Baseball doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Of course, the trade isn’t a 1 year deal. If Pineda doesn’t come back healthy and productive next year then we can look at it again and find a very different result. But calling the trade “a disaster” at this point simply doesn’t hold. The Yanks have been just fine, actually better off, without Montero thus far this season.
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