On Friday morning, MLB.COM published an interview with Brian Cashman in which the Yankees GM praised Jesus Montero:

“People thought we were taking a step back on Montero when we got Russell Martin. We did the same thing with [Jorge] Posada. It was three or four years until we fully handed it over to him. When people saw Montero at the end of last year, they said, ‘Holy cow, that’s a middle-of-the-lineup bat.’

On Friday night, Jesus Montero was on his way to Seattle in a trade for one of the better young pitchers in the game:

The New York Yankees have traded top prospect Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for phenom pitcher Michael Pineda and righty Jose Campos, a source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.

And just when you thought the killing had stopped, word came that former Dodger Hiroki Kuroda was inked to a 1-year, $10 million deal.

All this blood in just a mere couple of hours.

What does this all mean?

1. The Yankees obviously don’t believe Montero can catch. This is the biggest implication of the entire trade. We specifically pointed this out after the ALDS and it turns out our assessment of the organization’s opinion was correct.

If Montero can catch, this trade very likely doesn’t happen. It’s incredibly rare to find Montero’s bat at the catcher position. As a DH, he’s easier to replace.

2. In a heartbeat, the Yankees went from having an inadequate starting rotation to possessing a very good one — Pineda and Kuroda are two big additions.

In his rookie season last year at age 22, Pineda posted the following:
171 IP, 3.42 FIP, 3.53 xFIP, 3.4 WAR, 9.11 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 3.15 K/BB

It’s very unusual for a young pitcher to strike out that many people, while having such excellent command.

The 6’7″ righthander does not fit the mold of the groundball-types the Yankees have preferred recently. He only had a 36.4% GB rate in 2011, which can be haunting in Yankee Stadium. However, his peripherals against LHB were solid, as noted by his 3.49 FIP / 3.82 xFIP splits. Hopefully, this will help combat the short porch.

Kuroda is straight disciplined, Miyagi-style. Over the last 3 seasons, Kuroda has averaged 7.10 K/9, 2.11 BB/9, 3.36 K/BB, 3.54 FIP, 3.52 xFIP, and a 47.6% GB rate. He’s an above-average pitcher and a very nice pick-up, no doubt.

3. While nearly everyone came up with excuses for the front office when they thought the rotation would be Sabathia/Nova/Burnett/Hughes/Garcia, it turns out all the ballwashing was for nothing. It’s ok to drink something else besides Kool-Aid.

4. With the signing of Kuroda, the Steinbrenners siphoned off a sliver of the club’s monster revenue stream. With the pitchers that were available on the free agent market, there was no reason why this shouldn’t have happened. Obvious upgrades were available.

Who said Friday the 13th was unlucky?