For the record, we like the deal. However, the level of enthusiasm we’ve seen from supporters of the deal is a bit overboard. Nearly overnight, Jesus Montero went from being the crown jewel of the farm system and future superstar to an easily replaceable DH. Michael Pineda went from being some kid who pitches for Seattle to a guaranteed ace-in-the-making.

There’s no denying Pineda’s talent, but there’s substantial evidence that pitchers develop differently than hitters do. Young pitchers don’t develop in a straight upward slope. There’s more ups and downs. They plateau sooner. There’s more injuries. They are less predictable.

Look at the lessons of Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, who we all believed were The Next Big Things. Look at guys like Francisco Liriano or Homer Bailey.

While Pineda has excellent potential and delivered a very impressive rookie season, there’s no guarantee he’ll become a sure-fire ace. In fact, the probability of Montero becoming an elite hitter is likely higher than Pineda becoming an elite pitcher — based on what we know about how hitters and pitchers develop.

The deal addresses the Yankees’ biggest area of need with a very exciting pitcher who has pedigree and initial success on the big league stage. Yet, it’s not the risk-free, slam dunk deal that some Yankee supporters are saying it is.


Brian “Sky” Cashman