Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today that the club has acquired catcher Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league right-handed pitcher Jose Campos.
"With this trade we feel we have acquired a premium offensive talent that has the potential to hit in the middle of our lineup and grow with our other young players," said Zduriencik. "It is also beneficial that we were able to acquire a Major League- ready pitcher with six years of control and who will compete for a spot in our rotation.
"It was very difficult to part ways with Michael (Pineda) as we are extremely proud of what he has been able to accomplish in our organization. He is a special young man and we wish him the best of luck with the Yankees.
"Through our evaluations, we've identified the strength of our organization to be pitching depth, and this helped in our decision to acquire what we consider a premium bat and a potential starting pitcher for the 2012 season and beyond. This trade is also a testament to the job that Bob Engle (Vice President, International Operations) and Tom McNamara (Director of Amateur Scouting) and their staffs have done through scouting and signing of players. "
Montero, 22, has been ranked by Baseball America as the Yankees top prospect in each of the last three years (2010-12) and the 3rd-best prospect in all of baseball (top catcher) entering the 2011 season. He was also tabbed by the publication as the Yankees "Best Hitter for Average" and "Best Power Hitter". He was recently selected as the top catching prospect by MLB.com.
Montero made his Major League debut as a September call-up and hit .328 (20x61) with 9 runs, 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBI with a .406 on-base percentage and a .590 slugging percentage in 18 games. His September performance earned him a spot on the Yankees Division Series playoff roster where he went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in his only two at-bats against Detroit. Last season in 109 games with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Montero hit .288 (121x420) with 52 runs, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 18 home runs and 67 RBI.
Montero has combined to bat .308 (570x1852) during his rapid rise through the Yankees minor league system. He was selected to play in the 2008 (Yankee Stadium) and 2009 (Busch Stadium) Futures Game. In 2010 he combined to bat .289 (131x453) with 34 doubles, 3 triples, 21 home runs and 75 RBI with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Guacara, Venezuela native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 17, 2006.
Noesi, 24 (turns 25 on Jan. 26), split the 2011 season between the Yankees and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 30 games, including two starts with the Yankees, he was 2-2, 4.47 ERA (28 ER, 56.1 IP) with 45 strikeouts. With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he was 1-1, 3.28 ERA (9 ER, 24.2 IP) with 17 strikeouts in 6 games, 5 starts. He was rated by Baseball America as the Yankees 7th-best prospect heading into the 2011 season as was also tabbed by the publication as having the "Best Control" in their system (he was not eligible to be included in their 2012 rankings due to having pitched more than 50.0 innings in the Major Leagues last season).
Noesi has combined to go 30-18 with a 2.98 ERA (142 ER, 428.1 IP) with 401 strikeouts in 97 games, 74 starts in the Yankees minor league system. In 2010 he combined to go 14-7, 3.20 ERA (57 ER, 160.1 IP) with 153 strikeouts in 28 games, 27 starts between High-A Tampa, AA Trenton and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre and was selected to the World Team roster for the 2010 All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Esperanza, Dominican Republic native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 3, 2004.
Pineda, 23, spent the entire 2011 season with the Mariners, going 9-10, 3.74 ERA (71 ER, 171.0 IP) with 173 strikeouts in 28 appearances, all starts. In his career in the minors he was 31-14, 2.49 ERA (112 ER, 404.1 IP) with 396 strikeouts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 12, 2005.
Campos, 19, was 5-5, 2.32 ERA (21 ER, 81.1 IP) with 85 strikeouts in 14 appearances, all starts with short-season Everett. In three seasons in the Mariners system, he is a combined 14-10, 3.26 ERA (62 ER, 171.1 IP) with 167 strikeouts in 40 games, including 30 starts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 15, 2009.
With these roster moves, the Mariners 40-man roster is now full at 40.