Almost a decade ago, the Yankees and Mariners made a trade involving Michael Pineda that ended up disastrous for both ends of the deal.
On January 23, 2012, The Yankees traded top prospect, Jesus Montero, for Michael Pineda. At the time, Montero was the Yankees number one prospect and a top-five in all of baseball. Pineda was a rising star that would be paired next to CC at the top. This was a big trade, The Yankees hoped to get an ace from it and had to trade away their most hyped prospect. But this turned out to be one of the worst trades in recent memory. Let us take a look back at just how bad this trade was.
At the time of the trade, Pineda was coming off his rookie season where he made the all-star team. Pineda started the 2012 season on the IL due to shoulder tendonitis and during his rehab, he tore his labrum. This caused Pineda to miss all of 2012 and most of 2013. He made his debut with The Yankees in 2014 and a couple starts into that season he has his famous pine tar game. During his suspension, he got hurt and that shortened his season. Pineda finished 2014 with a 1.89 ERA. Things were looking good for Pineda coming into 2015, but the complete opposite happened. Pineda struggled for most of 2015, pitching to a 4.37 ERA in 160 innings.
In 2016, it got worse as Pineda pitched to a 4.82 ERA in 175 innings. He could not keep the ball in the park to save his life as he allowed a career-high 27 home runs that year. In 2017, it didn’t get any better for Pineda as he pitched to a 4.39 ERA in 96 innings and allowed 20 home runs before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Yankees did not bring Pineda back at the end of the year.
Most of the time when you trade your top prospect and the guy you get back doesn’t pan out, the person in charge usually gets fired. Well, this wasn’t the case as Montero turned out to be one of the biggest busts in recent memory. In his first full season in the majors, Montero only slashed .260/.298/.386 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs. He then spent most of 2013 struggling in the minors. But in 2014, he was involved in one of the funniest fights ever. Montero showed up to camp 40 pounds overweight and as a result of that, a scout sent him an ice cream sandwich in the dugout. Montero found the scout who sent that and he grabbed a bat, threw the sandwich at him and ran after him. Montero would be DFA’d two years later in 2016, never living up to the hype that he had. Montero will go down as one of the biggest busts in recent memory.
This went down as one of the worst lose-lose trades in Yankee history and in recent memory.