Brian Cashman makes some bad moves, but he also makes his fair share of good to brilliant ones. Despite that, criticism at the New York Yankees general manager is the most it has ever been and he gets next to no credit for his successes.
Regardless of how you feel about Cash, I think we can all agree that he's starting to look like a very smart man for trading former top prospect Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners for Michael Pineda. It wasn't always looking this great, though.
Pineda was a mess from the second he got here. After an initial injury to start his tenure in the Bronx that ultimately led to him not pitching the first two seasons, Pineda also got himself a DUI in Florida and further soiled his name with the Yankees.
Thankfully, Pineda smartened up following his mistake and kept his name out of the news—except of course when talking about when he'd return and finally pitch to a batter while wearing a Yankees uniform. Chalk it up to maturity (maybe not so much because of the pine tar), or the guidance of guys like Cashman.
Yes, Pineda has dealt with injuries this season and he did have an embarrassing run-in with pine tar, but that pales in comparison to what Montero has been through. On top of that, Pineda has shown he has nothing short of elite stuff when on the mound, he just has to stay healthy.
In 2014, Pineda is pitching to a 3-2 record and a 1.95 ERA.
Bottom line: Pineda's problems you can come back from. The same can't be said for Montero.
Not only can he not stay healthy (he's played in six games this season and 29 in 2013), Montero also got suspended from his involvement with Biogenesis, which will forever label him a dirty player.
Montero didn't help himself after that by showing up to camp 40 pounds overweight and seemingly disinterested in his job. Now he's throwing ice cream sandwiches and chasing scouts with a baseball bat.
It's safe to say Montero's problems are on another level than Pineda's and Montero's continued self-destruction makes Cashman look like a wise man for taking a risk in trading the team's top prospect for what was an otherwise mostly unproven pitcher. Granted, Pineda did have an All-Star appearance under his belt in his rookie season back in 2011, but Pineda's second-half left plenty of doubt.
Many people like myself argued vigorously in support of keeping Montero, while the other side of the Yankees Universe argued for Pineda. As Pineda takes the mound on August 30, 2014 versus the Toronto Blue Jays, the Pineda supporters were right.
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