The New York Yankees made Friday the 13th the highlight of their offseason, trading their top prospect Jesus Montero and minor league pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for rising star pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league pitcher Jose Campos. Not content to leave things there, the Yankees agreed to sign former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million contract.
The Yankees now have a formidable rotation, led by C.C. Sabathia, Pineda and Kuroda, with some mix of Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett filling the final two spots. Their lineup is still too reliant on aging sluggers in the declining years of their careers, but Friday’s moves should make New York the clear favorite in the A.L. East.
I like the deal for the Mariners, too. It hurts to give up Pineda, but I think they will always have an easier time adding pitching than hitting as long as the play in Safeco Field. And Montero sure looked like he’s going to be a good hitter during his late-season callup.
I’m also happy because I can now root for Montero and Noesi without any conflicting feelings. (It never seemed quite right to root for a Yankee, but I enjoyed watching both players when they were with the Trenton Thunder.)
Meanwhile in Mets land, Mike Pelfrey was one of four players to file for arbitration and at Rising Apple, Matt Kaufman took a look at what needs to happen with the rest of the N.L. East to allow New York to contend. Fun stuff.
And yet I’m still looking forward to the start of spring training, which is only 37 days away. Spring training tickets go on sale today, for those who will be in the Port St. Lucie area in March.