The rest of this week figures to be devoted to a number of moves the Mariners have made in advance of the regular season starting next week. Big names, like Mike Zunino and James Paxton, alongside smaller names like Boog Powell, Chris Taylor, and Stefen Romero, have all been sent down to Tacoma. Some of those names were expected to get chopped, some of those names are a surprise. But, I’m going to start with Jesus Montero.
If you search his name on my website, you’ll find he was very much my whipping boy for many years. You know what I think about all the time when it comes to the Seattle Mariners? The mind-bogglingly stupid trades our various GMs have made throughout the years. That is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good jumping-off point. There have been some WHOPPERS over the years, but right down there at the bottom, you’ll see the full terms of the Pineda/Montero trade.
That trade has been a rollercoaster of emotion since it happened on January 23, 2012. I liked it at first, because we were trading from a position of depth, and we had a serious need for power hitting (or, really, hitting of ANY kind). While he wasn’t gangbusters out of the gate, at least he didn’t miss two full seasons and most of a third due to serious arm injuries. But, then Montero got fat and lazy and had the ice cream sandwich incident down in the minor leagues, while at the same time Pineda returned from injury and started to look solid again. Even though Montero lost the weight and started to take his career more seriously, he ultimately never developed into much more than a fringe Quad-A type player who struggles to hit the curve ball, struggles to hit right handed pitching, and ultimately doesn’t make enough of an empact against left handed pitching to be of any value. He’s no longer a viable catching prospect, and he’s trying his best to convert to first base, but his best position defensively is probably no position at all.
I no longer have my anger issues with the guy that I used to. Indeed, I respect him quite a bit for turning everything around and at least putting in the effort. That’s really all anyone can ask for. Ultimately, though, you can’t help but feel – as a Mariners fan – at least some resentment for his Too Little, Too Late results. What we needed was for him to put in that effort back in 2012 when we first got him; not when he was essentially poison and lost any value whatsoever to try to salvage something.
Then, when you note Hector Noesi also came over in the deal … it’s best not to think about it. My blood pressure can’t handle it.
Jesus Montero is out of options, so he was DFA’d. The Toronto Blue Jays picked him up, and now have him, Michael Saunders, and Justin Smoak on their roster. As I’m sure countless people have already pointed out, they’re a Dustin Ackley away from being the most disappointing version of the Seattle Mariners we’ve seen in the last generation. All that promise, all washed up.
What this move ultimately represents is the last of the worst of the Jack Zduriencik era being eliminated from this roster. There are still some likely mistakes we’re dealing with – who will hopefully be improved by their time learning their craft in the minors, I’m looking at you, Zunino – but on the big league roster, we’ve only got the best of the Jackie Z era, or the little hatchlings of the Jerry Dipoto era. Whether that’s enough to turn around this organization remains to be seen, but ultimately I’m taking a positive, Out With The Old, In With The New stance. Fuck off, Jesus Montero, and thanks for nothing!