Archive for July 13th, 2009

Why The Yankees Should Trade Jesus Montero

July 13, 2009

monteroSurely, you’ll look at the headline and assume I’ve overdosed on crazy pills. 

And perhaps I have, loyal reader.  Perhaps I have. 

You could, if you were a not so clever writer looking for a weak play on words involving his name, say that Jesus Montero is a godsend.

He’s made a big impact on this very blog, with news of his arrival shattering single-day records.

He’s made a big impact on the Thunder lineup, posting a line of .287/.353/.472 in his first 29 Double-A games.

He’s made a big impact off the field, with the July 4th jersey you see him wearing in that picture to the left having been auctioned off for over $600.

And he’s made a big impact in the Yankees organization, coming off his second consecutive Futures Game and just a few days away from the Double-A All-Star Game.

And with all that said, the Yankees should trade him.

Well, they could anyway.  That’s more to the point.  The Yankees could trade Jesus Montero.  He isn’t untradeable.  Austin Jackson isn’t untradeable, Jesus Montero isn’t untradeable…name me a prospect in any organization who is one thousand percent untradeable, and I’ll find you a general manager who’s lying to you.

Obviously, you don’t give him away.  Mets fans, take note.

Making him the Scott Kazmir in a deal for a Victor Zambrano…who was a stud…in Double-A…last year…at age 33, would be ridiculous.

The name that comes to mind, of course, is Roy Halladay.

Of all the players that are rumored to be or may become available by the July 31st trade deadline, it’s likely that Halladay is the only one who would warrant Montero being involved in any legitimate discussion.

But if getting a pitcher like Halladay would increase your chances at winning a championship — and it undoubtedly would — would you trade Jesus Montero, and in all likelihood a littany of other prospects to do so?

In the case of Montero, there are a few reasons as to why you should.

What are they?

Really, it’s who are they?

Austin Romine.  Francisco Cervelli.  Kyle Higashioka.  Chase Weems.

Those would be your reasons.

Find me anyone other than Jesus Montero who thinks Jesus Montero will be the New York Yankees catcher of the future.  Ask him what the weather is like, and the conversation will inevitably turn to how much he wants to catch.

And that’s great.

But most people you talk to, scouts included, feel Romine is better behind the plate and could become the better all-around player.

With Romine entrenched behind the plate and Mark Teixeira at first base, where does Montero play?  Considering the Yankees will have some aging veterans who will likely need to avoid playing defense at all costs by the time Montero gets to the big leagues, you can’t just stick him at designated hitter, either.

Moreso than any other, Romine’s the reason why the Yankees could trade Montero. 

But should they?  Well…

In this specific scenario, in which the Yankees would be attempting to acquire one of the best pitchers in the game — if not the best – who’s still in his prime, they may very well have to.

To pull off an in-season trade with a divisional rival for a player of that magnitude, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would likely have rip out a few of the pages of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook and stuff them into the Toronto section.

There are people reading this who wouldn’t trade Montero straight up for Halladay.

And then there are people reading this who would gladly include Montero, Austin Jackson, and all their aunts and uncles for Halladay.

So where do you fall?  Tell me in the comments whether you would include Montero in any deal…tell me if you think Roy Halladay is worth the Yankees giving up several of their top prospects…and tell me what deal you think would be enough to acquire Halladay, if any.

Me?  I’m a beat writer, not a columnist.  I’m not allowed to have an opinion.  But, if I did…yeah, I’d deal Montero if it got me Roy Halladay.  Trade the unknown commodity for the sure thing.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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