Did the Seattle Mariners really lose the Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda trade?

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 12: Jesus Montero of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after hitting a home run. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 12: Jesus Montero of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after hitting a home run. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda throws.
SEATTLE – AUGUST 15: Michael Pineda, former Seattle Mariners pitcher delivers a pitch. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Seattle Mariners needed hitters and was expecting a young group of pitchers in 2012

Seattle Mariners fans were hoping to add free-agent Prince Fielder in 2012 to bolster its offense, but trading for Montero took away the burden of paying for Fielder. The previous 2011 season was a nightmare for Seattle’s offense. The idea was that the young Jesus Montero would be able to grow alongside Dustin Ackley, Mike Carp, and Justin Smoak.

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For the Yankees, Montero was an expendable prospect because Austin Romine was in Triple-A and Russell Martin was just selected as an All-Star with the Yankees. It was a similar story for the Seattle Mariners who had young talent in the minor leagues. Although Michael Pineda has a great 2011 rookie season and made the All-Star team, general manager Jack Zduriencik thought it was worth trading away Pineda for an offensive asset.

At the time, fans were excited about a Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda duo at the front of the starting rotation, which led to so many disappointed fans when they heard Pineda was sent to the Bronx. But, Jack Zduriencik was lining up three draft prospects to join the starting rotation soon. These pitchers were: Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton.

These pitchers were still very new and young, but the hope was that they would join the team soon enough. Danny Hultzen never panned out due to injuries, Walker was good, and Paxton was better. So to recap, the trade made sense a lot at the time. The Mariners were hoping Montero would become the offensive savior to build around while making room for the next crop of young pitchers.

Now, let’s examine how the trade turned out looking back on it.

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