When the Mariners traded away rookie Michael Pineda, they thought they were getting a future monster bat. Everyone did. With a surplus of pitching prospects this was their chance to improve the offense in the present and future. While the Yankees did not get what they were expecting in Pineda, the Mariners also did not get the hitter they were expecting.
Instead they got Jesus Montero, a catcher who can’t play catcher. Some made the argument that with his bat he was destined to be a DH for most of his career. His stats against righties would beg to differ. Despite having great success against lefties, Montero struggled heavily against righties.
So when you have a catcher that cannot catch or a DH that cannot hit, however you would like to classify him, what do you do? The Mariners are currently trying him out at first base. But what is the motive behind this move when they are already jammed at the position? In front of Montero there is Justin Smoak, Corey Hart, and Logan Morrison all of whom I prefer before Montero.
Maybe they are trying to find some unfound value in Montero. The Mariners are already likely to move an infielder. Nick Franklin’s name could up come up when thinking about making a trade considering second base is now off limits to anyone not named Robinson Cano for the next 10 years.
With three at first base already they can afford to trade one away. Adding another gives them more flexibility. They are then in position to make a move with their excess first basemen and if they have the chance to move Montero they should take advantage.
Let’s recap what Montero has done recently. In this past year Montero had to be sent down to the minors after not performing, then faced a 50-game suspension, and now has shown up to camp out of shape. In a short time, he has blown several chances.
For the time being he remains a Mariner, but perhaps the experiment at first base allows them to flip him for some value.