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Second-half question: What to do with Montero?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jul 11, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

No second-half question affects the Yankees long-term future quite like this one: Is Jesus Montero’s greatest value as a trade chip or as the future of the Yankees lineup?

In other words, should the Yankees think of Montero as a potential impact hitter in the second half, or should they think of him as the bait that brings an impact hitter — or pitcher — in the second half?

Similar questions could be asked about Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, who have clearly set themselves apart as the top two pitching prospects in the system. Andrew Brackman was right there with them for a while, but his season has been a significant disappointment. Montero’s season has been only partially disappointing. He’s gone through stretches of as-expected production, but his .419 slugging percentage is uninspiring. Right now he’s on the disabled list with a sore back.

Russell Martin is an all-star, and the Yankees love him behind the plate, but he hasn’t hit much since the end of April. Francisco Cervelli is hitting just .214 as Martin’s backup. There’s certainly the opportunity for an offensive upgrade behind the plate, and the designated hitter spot could be fairly open next season if not immediately.

It’s certainly possible to envision a big league role for Montero sooner rather than later. It’s also possible to envision a significant trade target with Montero as the asking price.

If the Yankees still believe in Montero but don’t think he’s quite ready, then it’s worth keeping him in Triple-A and postponing the question and its inevitable answer. But if the Yankees have made up their mind one way or the other, Montero could be an immediate help. The only question is how to use him.

Associated Press photo

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78 Responses to “Second-half question: What to do with Montero?”

  1. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Answer: CALL HIM UP

  2. Yogi Mantle July 11th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    This one should be interesting… I know I haven’t seen anyone post on Montero for at least a minute or two.

  3. Erin July 11th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    And here’s my cue to leave. ;)

    Have a good night everyone

    Go Robbie!!!!

  4. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:04 pm
    BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Good point both of you, also don’t forget the likely world series foe….The Philies, very lefthanded line up

  5. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Chad just keeps teeing ‘em up.

    Finding the combo to the vault at Ft. Knox would be easier than knowing the answer to that question.

    The truth is a well-guarded secret.

    ;)

  6. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Easy one!!,

    Send down Cervelli, bring him up, split playing time with Martin ( 3 days- 3 days ), plus two days more DHing

  7. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Good point both of you, also don’t forget the likely world series foe….The Philies, very lefthanded line up

    Choate has killed lefties in his career and is doing it especially well this year. I’ll take him for individual matchups and use Robertson/Mo/Soriano/Mike Adams/Heath Bell/WHOEVER the rest of the time.

    Robertson kills lefties, Mo kills lefties. Soriano if he comes back can be an elite reliever. If they trade for someone awesome that will be great too. I might even trust Cory Wade over Boone Logan.

    In the playoffs we want the bad relievers, even if they have specific purposes, to pitch as little as possible. We don’t want CC handing the ball off to Logan. Playoffs is when you ride your hottest relievers into the ground and having 2 short short relievers leading up to the playoffs could mean they are burnt out.

    Maybe if they acquired Choate and replaced Mitre and just left Noesi as the long man whatever, but I dunno how they’d construct the bullpen with 2 LOOGYs. It’d probably be ok, but there is a chance its dumb or Girardi will use them stupidly.

  8. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Chad, you just exploded about 2 dozen heads.

  9. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Jerk face,

    True, honestly what i think the yankees need is a second lefty starter but i don’t see them getting one, sad

  10. tyanksfan36 July 11th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    It would have been funnier to use “do you believe in Jesus…Montero. Instead of do you believe in Greg Golson?

  11. paulp July 11th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Right field. that should be his assignment in the second half ( he should have been placed there earlier). He has the size to make leaps, the arm for throws to second and home. He isn’t much of a catcher ( I have seen him play many times). Good, solid catchers behind him, Swisher will be too expensive next year, this seems to be a no brainer to me.

  12. BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Trade him and prospects for Bryce Harper! :-)

  13. joeman July 11th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Montero…would put his name out around the league and see who bites….

  14. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Free Jesus!

  15. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    “He has the size to make leaps?” Adam Dunn has size. When have you ever seen Adam Dunn leap? Montero isn’t an outfielder.

    Damned….just think of something else to make jokes about. That one stinks.

  16. blake July 11th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Offer him for a few elite young starting pitchers and if they say no bring him up August 1st.

  17. Tar July 11th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Perfect time to see what he has to offer.

  18. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:19 pm
    Free Jesus!

    QFT

  19. LGY July 11th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Montero…would put his name out around the league and see who bites….

    ———

    Montero is one of the best prospects in baseball. You don’t have to put his name out there as everyone already knows him.

    Prob close to every team in baseball has called the Yanks and inquired about him at some point.

    Actively shopping him would be the worst thing they can do as it would hurt his value.

  20. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    As far as I know no one who has ever seen Montero play has doubted the stick.

    The only thing that comes into question is wether or not he can stick at catcher.

    Little doubt that he could play 1st.

    So. If you’re a weak hitting club looking for a PT Catcher/1B type you love the idea of Montero.

    And you’d be willing to give up a lot to get him.

    That would be a safe bet IMO.

    ;)

  21. blake July 11th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Beltran for Jones.
    Laird for Pena
    Montero for Cervelli.

  22. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    MTU,

    We play him as catcher and dh to start, then when Tex contract is up we move him to first, by then Sanchez should be ready to take over or Jr Murphy

  23. ariel July 11th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    My sense is that Montero will be part of a package for either (i) an outfielder who can still hit and perform occasional adequate defensive duty, (ii) a backup established third baseman who can hit or (iii) a LH pitcher by month-end. It’s clear Andruw is done, Chavez if he ever does come back is too brittle to be relied upon and a decent bat is necessary in A-Rod’s absence. The combination of Martin’s performance and Montero’s erratic performance this year, should make Montero expendable…certainly more so than last year when he was all but off to Seattle. Cash definitely will do something. Cervilli is a decent backup at this time, and the system abounds with other good catching prospects.

  24. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Blake-

    That means K-Rod for the pen.

    ;)

  25. Warning Track Power July 11th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    This goes out to all the Montero fans:
    The kid is on the DL.
    Stop asking for the Yankees to call him up today, later today, tonight, late tonight or tomorrow.
    He’s injured=No chance he will be called up while on the DL

    Next!

  26. 108 stitches July 11th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Mitre has no value in either short or long relief. Do a reasonable deal to get Randy Choate and the team is better off with a situational lefthander and Noesi as the long man.

  27. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Luis-

    I really have no idea what is going to happen with Montero.

    Don’t think anyone else does. Except for Cashman.

    That’s as good an idea as any.

    :)

  28. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    This goes out to all the Montero fans:
    The kid is on the DL.
    Stop asking for the Yankees to call him up today, later today, tonight, late tonight or tomorrow.
    He’s injured=No chance he will be called up while on the DL

    He is eligible to be removed from the DL today, which means they could call him up whenever they want. Montero himself said he thought he’d be ready by the weekend (last weekend) and didn’t want to go on the DL. Call him up, when play resumes!

  29. LGY July 11th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    2008-2010 Pence, I would rather have Gardner.

    2011 Pence hasn’t performed at this level long enough to warrant the big time prospect package it would take to get him.

  30. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Ariel,

    You don’t trade your best position prospect for an outfielder that can still hit or can play his position, you trade for topnotch talent or else

  31. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Montero on the DL provides more value than Cervelli on the bench/in the lineup. FACT.

  32. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    luis, I have my doubts that JR will end up catching. More like a COF or corner IF, but love the bat.

  33. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Montero should be playing by end of this week, according to Miley.

    GB, Norton should be back in a couple of weeks at latest.

  34. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Very wise words indeed!!, but still fun to speculate and play a little gm

  35. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Don’t forget about Romine.

    He put on quite a show last night.

  36. Tar July 11th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    WTP

    Wasn’t Montero was put on 7 day DL on July 4th. Today is the 11th.

    And beside the team is on an All Star break so nobody was talking about Today, Tonight anyway.

  37. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Luis-

    It’s what we’re all about.

    :)

  38. joeman July 11th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    montero .276…12 & 50

  39. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hi YF,

    Didn’t mean to imply that he could be the next catcher just gave two names that could play a role in that position in the future, but true i love the bat too

  40. Bronx Jeers July 11th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I think his value as a trade chip reached it’s height last July when they nearly snagged Lee.

    I hope he gets some time in the bigs soon.

  41. Bronx Jeers July 11th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Montero for a back up 3B?

    Worst trade proposal ever and that’s saying something in these parts.

  42. Nick in SF July 11th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Call up Montero tomorrow night, during the All-Star Game.

    Do it while Curtis is stepping into the box to lead off the game. Just before he squares up, have the bat boy run up to him. Curtis steps out, listens to the bat boy’s news.

    Then Curtis does a fist pump, high fives the bat boy, and yells “Yes!!!”

    A note is handed to Buck just as he’s asking what’s going on.

  43. RadioKev July 11th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I still don’t see a trade getting done. Cashman isn’t about to sell Montero for spare parts, and there are no big fish to land pitching wise. I also don’t see why he would trade for a bat, or for who, for that matter.

    We’ll see him in the bigs this season.

  44. paulp July 11th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Montero is athletic, not a word you would ever apply to Dunn. No way can he catch, his arm is decent but not outstanding. He needs to be in a position where he can concentrate on hitting.I know there would be an adjustment period in the minors but it needs to happen. Plenty of players have started out as catchers and moved to other positions. However, he seems to have a cavalier attitude about him, he really should have gone to AA and Romine to AAA.

  45. blake July 11th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    “I think his value as a trade chip reached it’s height last July when they nearly snagged Lee”

    Nah…..he had a so so first half last year as well and people were jumping ship on him.then as well. His trade value was probably highest this winter after his big 2nd half last year.

  46. Frozen Rope July 11th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    trade him. he’ll never be any good as a catcher. He’s too big (too tall and too broad) – he’s wider than Mauer who people love to cite when anyone brings up Montero’s size. Mauer is the exception, not the rule. Plus Montero’s questionable attitude (benched for lack of hustle etc) says a lot too. Like this team needs to be stuck with another DH type? Not to mention the health issues with his size at catcher – already on the dl with a bad back? yikes!

  47. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Nah…..he had a so so first half last year as well and people were jumping ship on him.then as well. His trade value was probably highest this winter after his big 2nd half last year.

    or in the offseason when he was offered str8 up for Halladay.

  48. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    YankeeFem, i read that good news about Norton’s return. Also, David Adams has been activated on the Tamp a (FSL) roster. shouldn’t be long before either he or Joseph are in Scranton.

  49. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    @PeteAbe
    Pete Abraham Here at the HR Derby Press Conference. @HeidiWatney is tweeting, too. One of us is wearing a nice turquoise dress.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    I wonder what Heidi is wearing?

  50. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    GB7,

    Is that Tim Norton?, the one that had the shoulder injury??

  51. BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Had to laugh—from MLBTraderumors.com
    +++
    Carlos Beltran told Speier that he would accept the trade to Boston if the Mets decide to move him. “They’re in first place,” Beltran said. “That’s a no-brainer.” Beltran is an unlikely target for the Red Sox, who don’t have much money available and would prefer to find an internal solution, according to Speier. Beltran earns $18.5MM this year and has said that he would waive his no-trade clause under the right circumstances.

  52. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Is Montero Victor Martinez with more power ?

    or

    Is he more like Mike Piazza ?

    or

    Miguel Cabrera ?

    or

    ?

  53. Bronx Jeers July 11th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Nah…..he had a so so first half last year as well and people were jumping ship on him.then as well. His trade value was probably highest this winter after his big 2nd half last year.

    ———————————–

    I’ll buy that but it seems like chopping down his value has become a cottage industry for the hired geeks that write about such things.

  54. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Anyone talking to or about a girl in their social circle on the internet should be ashamed.

  55. BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Update on Intl FA Signings…

    For second straight day, I have not heard anything on new signings for the top 40 prospects.

    WHERE ARE THE YANKEES SIGNINGS?!?!?

  56. J. Alfred Prufrock July 11th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Bronx, those are the same geeks who’ve never actually seen him play :D.

  57. monzagorilla July 11th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    The big questions are “Do the Yankees have their catcher of the future currently in their minor leagues?” (whether it is Montero or Romine or Murphy or …)

    And “If so, keep that catcher and trade the others.”

  58. luis July 11th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    MTU,

    If you asked me i would say Piazza, but with one concern, he might become like miguel cabrera

  59. blake July 11th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Jeers,

    True.


    Then Beltran should accept a trade to the Yanks as well because they will be in first place :)

  60. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Hi luis, JR was particularly bad behind the plate when I saw him. Out of position, couldn’t receive ball well, etc. Granted he has caught for very long. However, the Yanks have been using him at various positions, so obviously they have their doubts about his receiving abilities, as well. His bat on the other hand is very good. The AB’s I saw were of a very disciplined and professional looking hitter with very good pitch recognition and plate coverage at age 20.

    Yes, shoulder injury, Tim Norris.

  61. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    *hasn’t* caught

  62. BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    @PeteAbe
    Pete Abraham Here at the HR Derby Press Conference. @HeidiWatney is tweeting, too. One of us is wearing a nice turquoise dress.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    I wonder what Heidi is wearing?
    ___
    :-) Very good!

  63. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    luis-

    Not too shabby either way.

    ;)

  64. Jerkface July 11th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    The big questions are “Do the Yankees have their catcher of the future currently in their minor leagues?” (whether it is Montero or Romine or Murphy or …)

    And “If so, keep that catcher and trade the others.”

    They should also be considering which catchers can play other positions. JR Murphy might not be a catcher of the future, but if his bat is as good as it looks and he can play another position they shouldn’t trade him lightly. The Yankees need to develop position players.

  65. BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    How could Tim Norris come back so quickly? That is hard to figure…thought he was through

  66. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    paulp July 11th, 2011 at 5:45 pm
    Montero is athletic, not a word you would ever apply to Dunn. No way can he catch, his arm is decent but not outstanding. He needs to be in a position where he can concentrate on hitting.I know there would be an adjustment period in the minors but it needs to happen. Plenty of players have started out as catchers and moved to other positions. However, he seems to have a cavalier attitude about him, he really should have gone to AA and Romine to AAA.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    and, yet, there he is….catching and catching well. Ask his pitching staff what they think. You’ve “been to so many of his games”, you should know them all personally.

    I’ll take Frankie Piliere’s word over yours.

  67. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    GB-

    I’m gagging imagining the size of that dress.

    ;)

  68. luis July 11th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Yankee fem,

    Wow! i thought Norton’s career was almost over, good to hear he coming back and so soon!!

    I wont argue with you or Gb about minorleaguers, anyway i do think his bat will take him to bigs regardless of position

  69. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    GB, yes good news on both counts, Norton and Adams. Can’t wait until after All Star break with so many players coming back. :D

  70. MTU July 11th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    New one ==>

  71. BoJo July 11th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    BTW–I thought it was Tim Norton

  72. Giuseppe Franco July 11th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    We dealt with Pete Abe for a few years here. We already knew he had no shame, especially when he was busy slobbering over ladies.

  73. yankeefeminista July 11th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    luis, *Norton,* not Norris. lol.

  74. LGY July 11th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    His trade value was probably highest this winter after his big 2nd half last year.

    ——

    I think everyone in baseball underestimated how valuable Halladay was and how he would just completely avoid any age related decline.

    Refusing to trade Hughes for him really seems like a huge mistake now.

  75. 108 stitches July 11th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    If Montero were to make his major league debut and replacing Cervelli, it wouldn’t be advisable to have him catch Burnett. Russell Martin’s blocking ability has saved many of Burnett’s sharp breaking curve balls.

  76. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Kyle Higashioka’s bat has picked up in Charleston, where he should have been in the first place. He wasn’t ready for Tampa. His defense still needs work but, he’s getting better.

  77. GreenBeret7 July 11th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    MTU July 11th, 2011 at 6:00 pm
    GB-

    I’m gagging imagining the size of that dress.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    Let’s just say that Omar called and said he was short on tents.

  78. Dill Pickler July 11th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    “My sense is that Montero will be part of a package for either (i) an outfielder who can still hit and perform occasional adequate defensive duty, (ii) a backup established third baseman who can hit …”

    My sense is that this is the dumbest trade proposal I’ve ever heard.
    You don’t trade one of the top prospects in baseball (even after a lackluster first half) for a back up 3rd baseman or “an outfielder who can still hit…”

    wow.

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