Tag: Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero Claimed off Waivers by Blue Jays: Latest Comments, Reaction

The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly claimed hybrid catcher and first baseman Jesus Montero from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  

Montero had been placed on waivers by Seattle on Sunday, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. 

The Blue Jays made a corresponding roster move by designating A.J. Jimenez for assignment, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.

Montero was once among the top prospects in the New York Yankees’ farm system, ranking as high as No. 3 in Baseball America’s top 100 behind only Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in 2011.

At the time, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had ambitious hopes for Montero, holding him in the same conversation as some of the greats of the past generation. 

“In terms of hitting ability, Montero can be a Manny Ramirez or a Miguel Cabrera,” Cashman told ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor (h/t Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com). “As a catcher, he’s got a cannon for an arm. As far as everything and what I want him to be, I want him to be Jorge Posada.”

But Montero only played 18 games with the Yankees and was dealt to the Mariners the following offseason in the Michael Pineda trade. 

He played one full season in Seattle, compiling a .260/.298/.386 slash line with 15 home runs and 62 RBI in 135 games before spending most of the next three seasons in the minors. 

He’s had an underachieving spring thus far, hitting .237 in 38 at-bats after showing promise in Triple-A last year, where he had a slash line of .355/.398/.569 with 18 home runs and 85 RBI.

The Blue Jays already have a three-headed platoon at first base with Chris Colabello, Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak, as well as All-Star Russell Martin at catcher—last offseason’s big free-agent addition. 

Montero will likely spend most of his time in the minors and be a reliable option should the Blue Jays run into attrition during the season. At this point, he appears to be a cost-effective experiment who could see an occasional big league call-up if he’s able to consistently perform at a high level in Triple-A like last year.

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Jesus Montero Throws Ice Cream Sandwich at Seattle Scout After Heckling Incident

UPDATE: August 29 at 8:17 p.m. ET

According to ESPN, Montero will not play again this season after this incident.

End of Update—

UPDATE: August 29 at 3:08 p.m. ET

Mariners cross-checker Butch Baccala (the scout involved in this strange incident) denies provoking or taunting Montero on Thursday night.

Baccala told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times on Friday that he did not attempt to anger the catcher and that the events of the evening are being portrayed incorrectly. First, he denied sending Montero an ice cream sandwich then said he wasn’t allowed to talk about it.

He also told Baker to check whether they even sell ice cream sandwiches at Everett, Washington‘s Memorial Stadium (where the game was played).

“It’s not what is being portrayed,” Baccala told Baker. “Of course I wasn’t [trying to instigate Montero]. Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I’ve worked my [expletive] off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn’t even close to the intention.”

Baccala told Baker he didn’t know what the club intended to do regarding his employment and will not be able to speak further until meeting with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik.

—End of Update—


In an incident straight out of a Seinfeld episode, Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero threw an ice cream sandwich at an MLB scout after a bizarre heckling incident. 

MiLB.com’s Tyler Maun (h/t HardBallTalk’s Craig Calcaterra) brings news of the strange, ridiculous minor league run-in that occurred on Thursday night. 

According to Maun’s report, the drama occurred during a minor league game between the Everett AquaSox and the Boise Hawks.

Montero, playing with the AquaSox while rehabbing a strained oblique, heard a voice in the crowd yelling “Rapido! Rapido!” as he jogged off the field between innings.

This voice belonged to a “cross-checker,” which is a major league scout who presides over other scouts within a regional territory.

To reiterate the significance of this moment: A professional major league observer decided to put the screws to one of his team’s own players.

The screaming likely surprised Montero, who ignored the taunts and went to the dugout. A stadium employee approached the catcher with a special delivery shortly thereafter: one ice cream sandwich. 

Montero’s not-so-secret admirer? The yelling Mariners scout, who ostensibly sent the dessert over as a means of taunting the catcher’s overweight arrival at spring training in February.

Montero snapped upon receiving the sandwich.

The catcher stormed out of the dugout with a baseball bat and hurled the delicious frozen treat at his tormentor. Maun reports he was restrained by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera and returned to the dugout. Montero sat out the remainder of the game.

Zduriencik told Maun the team is assessing the situation and cannot comment. 

“I am aware of the incident in Boise,” Zduriencik said. “We are currently in the process of gathering information, but until I have all the details, I cannot comment.”

More details will certainly emerge as this story develops, but for now, it’s safe to say that the Mariners need to get their house in order. 

It’s time for Zduriencik to put on the big-boy pants and straighten out this tussle. You can’t fight ice cream sandwiches with ice cream sandwiches and expect to solve anything.


Follow Dan on Twitter for more sports and pop culture news.

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Jesus Montero Blames Weight Gain on Overeating, Mariners Management Displeased

Jesus Montero is fat.

That sounds harsh, but it seems to be the overarching sentiment coming out of Seattle Mariners spring training, where Montero has showed up 40 pounds overweight.

The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish (h/t The Big Lead), reports the young catcher bulked up over the winter, and not in the massive-amounts-of-muscle way. His belt size is growing and his pants are bursting, and Montero blames the weight gain on, well, eating.

Per Divish, Captain Obvious had the audacity to state, “After winter ball, all I did was eat.”

That’s excusable for an average Joe after a weekend bender in Vegas, but when you’re a professional athlete like Montero, not so much (apologies to any professional eaters in the audience). Imagine showing up to work with a hangover and telling your boss that you were blackout drunk a few hours ago…but you’re sorry. 

Things are going downhill fast for Montero, a former top prospect who was once mentioned in the same conversations as MLB wunderkind Mike Trout.

No, I’m not kidding.

Hard to believe for a middling catcher-turned-first baseman that played all of 29 games last season due to injury and a 50-game suspension after being named in the Biogenesis steroid scandal.

In those games, he had as many hits as strikeouts (21) and batted all of .208. However, the 24-year-old weighed 230 pounds, which we are guessing the Mariners might take at this moment.

While there is no mention of his current weight, Divish reports that each player is given a target weight every season—something Montero has failed to meet in Seattle on multiple occasions. 

Here is the big, beautiful specimen, via a tweet from Divish: 

All is not lost for Montero, who as recently as 2012 belted 15 home runs, batted .260 and drove in 62 runs in 135 games for the Mariners.

All optimism has been lost on general manager Jack Zduriencik, though, who had a pointed assessment regarding his nonchalant power eater, via Divish: “We are disappointed in how he came in physically.” The GM continued, “It’s up to him. I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero. Any expectations I had are gone.”

Manager Lloyd McClendon was equally frustrated: “At some point, the light has to come on for all of us. When I talked with him, I told him he’s at a crossroads. It’s time to put up or shut up.”

For his part, Montero states that he is “comfortable” with his weight and is doing all that is asked of him, including extra cardio work.

Maybe next time, Montero will instead answer for his weight with something like “big is beautiful.” At the moment, it seems the public admonishment has worked on the young athlete, who maintains, “Whatever they want. I’m here for the opportunity.”

Hopefully that means the extra work leads to some of the extra weight melting off by the start of the season, and that raw talent can beat his apparent apathy.

If that’s the case, the Mariners will have a nice asset. If not, baseball fans have just another cautionary tale that making it to the bigs is never enough, because you still have to work at it tirelessly—good advice no matter the venture.

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Why Expert Predictions for the Seattle Mariners Are Too Negative

The Seattle Mariners are going to have a good season. In fact, they might be one of the surprise teams in 2013. As one might expect, some of the early 2013 predictions (via CBS Sports) are not particularly favorable. One can assume that many previews will keep the Mariners towards the bottom of the American League West.

It isn’t like the M’s are necessarily going to rise up, take the league by storm and make a miracle run to the World Series in 2013. However, this team has real potential and if they can get into a groove, they could make some noise this season. The predictions are not insulting, but there are a few reasons this Seattle Mariners team may be better than some experts think in 2013.


The Mariners will hit

Seattle has struggled to get on base, and this has been a glaring weakness the past few seasons. As noted by Dayn Perry of CBS Sports, “Yes, Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales have pop, but they don’t address the team’s central shortcoming, which is getting on base.”

The reality is that Morales is a career .281 hitter and Morse has hit .295 during his eight-year tenure. Will this not theoretically have a positive impact on a Mariners team that finished with a .234 team average in 2012?

There are other reasons to believe that this team will hit better in 2013. While nothing is guaranteed, it seems reasonable to project that Dustin Ackley will improve on his 2012 average of .226 and Justin Smoak will not hit .217 again. In addition, there is optimism that young players like Jesus Montero, Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders could continue to progress.

Add in the tutelage of Raul Ibanez, and this team just might produce on offense.

This is not to suggest that Seattle will jump from a team average of .234 to .275 in 2013. However, a .250 average and a .315-.320 OBP seems reasonable. If the Mariners had hit .250 in 2012, they would have ranked 19th in the league, which is lot better than 30th. How many more wins might that have produced?


The future may be now

Perry also notes, “Yes, Seattle’s strength lies not in the present, which, insofar as the 2013 season is concerned, is not a good thing. But as dismal as things are in the short term, the Mariners have cobbled together an exceptional collection of young talent.”

To suggest that the present is “dismal” seems a bit negative given the changes that Seattle has made since the end of last year. This is a team that finished 75-87 in 2012 and arguably improved their roster in the offseason with the additions of Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez.

In addition, it would not be a shock to see some of the top prospects in Seattle this season. Perhaps players like Taijuan Walker, Mike Zunino, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Nick Franklin, Stefen Romero and Brandon Maurer will not make their presence felt until 2014 and 2015.

Then again, some of these players have looked pretty good in spring training. Seattle is obviously going to be hesitant to rush their young talent, but why couldn’t the Mariners start infusing young talent into the lineup this season?

Does the plan always have to be focused on two to three seasons from now?

The finish will be strong

It seems reasonable to assume that most experts are going to project that the Mariners will finish fourth in the American League West. The prediction from CBS Sports is in line with this prognostication. Still, there are some flaws in the argument.

The worst-case scenario presented by CBS Sports is that the Mariners will finish in last place. Obviously this prediction is a way for the author to cover his bases (no pun intended), but there is no way that the Houston Astros finish ahead of Seattle. To be fair, anything is possible, but a last-place finish is not going to happen.

This may be a bit bold, but a second-place finish is not out of the realm of possibility for this team. Certainly a lot of things would have to go right, but could the Mariners show offensive growth and maintain their solid pitching? Could this lead to overcoming the Oakland A’s and the Los Angeles Angels or the Texas Rangers?

The Angels and the Rangers obviously have formidable offenses, but pitching is what gets things done in baseball. If either of these teams take a step back on the mound, the Mariners could actually find themselves at the top of the division rather than the familiar cellar.

Perhaps the Mariners will have another mediocre season. Then again, perhaps there is reason for genuine optimism.

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Seattle Mariners: 5 Things Jesus Montero Needs to Improve to Become a Superstar

Jesus Montero is one of the most valuable players in the Seattle Mariners organization, but he has a ways to go and grow before he’s recognized as one of the most valuable players in the entire league.

The M’s paid a lot to get him, giving up Michael Pineda, the flamethrowing Dominican, and Jose Campos, a younger pitcher with high potential, but they also received right-handed starting pitcher Hector Noesi.

At this point, the Mariners appear to be the big winners, with Campos still in the minors, Pineda on the disabled list and Noesi and Montero combining on April 14th for a nice Seattle win (Noesi went eight innings, allowing no runs on five hits, and Montero batted in three of the team’s four runs.)

While Montero has looked pretty nice at the plate thus far, he hasn’t seen a lot of time behind the plate, which is where he can impact his full, intended effect.

So, what’s it going to take for him to become the next MLB superstar? Here are five things he needs to work on if he wants to reach stardom.

Begin Slideshow

Andy Pettitte Returns: Would Jesus Montero Still Be a Yankee If He Never Left?

Andy Pettitte is one of the most popular players of the Joe Torre era that netted the Yankee franchise four World Series rings and six trips to the October classic. 

His return was met with far more excitement than skepticism; after all, Pettitte won’t be 40 until June and even though he hasn’t pitched since 2010, he managed to amass an 11-3 record and a 3.28 ERA in what was assumed to be his final season as a major league pitcher. 

Of course, all that changed yesterday when it was announced that Pettitte was returning to New York to don pinstripes and give it another go. 

It’s safe to assume that nearly every Yankee fan will be rooting for Pettitte’s success. One has to wonder if when Pettitte’s people contacted the Yankees, someone in the Yankee front office said to themselves, “Thanks a lot, Andy; you couldn’t have let us know about this three months ago?”

That’s because in the last three months, the Yankees have made some major moves that one would have to think might not have happened had the team known that Andy Pettitte was thinking about returning. 

The most significant of those moves was the trade made back in December in which the Yankees sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. 

It was a major trade in Yankee-land because Montero was arguably the best offensive Yankee prospect since the turn of the century. They got a pretty good player in return as well by acquiring Michael Pineda from the Mariners. Pineda was coming off a fantastic rookie season in which he made the All-Star team and finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. 

The problem is that while Montero has amassed an OPS of .936 along with a home run and a .304 batting average this spring, Pineda has been hampered by a drop in velocity, which has people speculating that he could start the season in the minors. Those struggles coupled with some weight issues had people speculating about him starting the season in the minors before Andy Pettitte even announced his return.

Had the Yankees been aware of Pettitte’s potential return, it’s worth wondering if that trade of Montero for Pineda ever would have happened in the first place? Maybe the Yanks wouldn’t have signed Hiroki Kuroda, or maybe Raul Ibanez would be playing elsewhere since Montero’s bat probably would have made the need to add a bat far less urgent to Yankee brass.

It’s impossible to say for sure what would have happened had Pettitte voiced his thoughts about a potential return to pinstripes a few months ago.

One has to assume that Pettitte has returned to the Yankees both to satisfy his own individual competitive desires as well as to return the Yankees to glory in October, but his team might have been in a better position to do that had Pettitte been a little more forthcoming in his decision-making process a few months ago.

Regardless of how effective and what type of impact Pettitte will have on this year’s Yankee team, his timing may have had a major impact on the team’s fortunes going forward. Montero could be a major offensive star; the Yankees resisted numerous offers to deal him for years in hopes that they could find other ways to fill out their rotation while retaining Montero. Once it became apparent that they could not, they pulled the trigger on the deal for Pineda.

MIchael Pineda may bounce back from his shaky spring and have a great season, or he could struggle this season and still go on to have a great career. If that’s the case, then the Yankees won’t think twice about having made the deal, but if Pineda struggles and if Montero continues to show off his offensive abilities, then not only will the Yankees have made a bad trade, but it’s one they might not have had to make in the first place.  

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2012 MLB Spring Training: 8 Position Battles That Will Come Down to the Last Day

A week into March, spring training is well under way. Many veteran players lament having to go through the grind, but for others, this time of year provides hope in many forms.  

Be it a career revival after a down season, a former standout looking to bounce back from a key injury or an unproven player fighting for a roster spot or starting position, spring training provides plenty of reasons for baseball fans to start paying attention early. 

Most teams have at least a handful of players who fall into one or more of the aforementioned categories, leading to some intriguing position battles as we work toward opening day. Here I’ll break down eight of the most interesting competitions heading into the 2012 MLB season.

Begin Slideshow

MLB: Why the Pineda-for-Montero Trade Is Perfect for the Mariners

As the world found out on Friday night, the Seattle Mariners have traded prized young pitcher Michael Pineda along with top prospect Jorge Campo to the Yankees for prized young hitter Jesus Montero and big league pitcher Hector Noesi.

People in Seattle are already writing this off as yet another terrible trade involving one of their future stars. But they shouldn’t.

This is exactly what the Mariners needed. Here are three reasons Seattle fans should love this trade:

1. Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker

Three young pitchers with immense talent. We could see Paxton and maybe even Hultzen at some point this season, and by all accounts they will both be very effective Major League pitchers when they get here. Taijuan Walker may have the most talent of the bunch, but at just 19 years of age, it will most likely be two more seasons before we see him take the field in a Mariners uniform. Bottom line is, the Mariners have enough young arms, and as we all saw last season, not nearly enough talented bats.

2. The Angels and Rangers

I know no fan likes to hear this, but barring a miracle, no team except the Angels or the Rangers will win the AL West this season. With Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson joining the Angels, they should, on paper, be the best team in the division. Apparently this Pujols guy is fairly decent.

At the same time, the Rangers, who have made it to the World Series two straight seasons, seem to have improved their team as well and should make another late-season push.

With the roster the Mariners currently have, there is just no feasible way to think that they have a chance to win this division. In two years, however, when Montero and the rest of the young M’s hitters are coming into their own, and the young pitchers I referred to earlier are ready, this team should be prepared to make the jump to the postseason.

3. Hitters don’t get hurt (as often)

One of the biggest things that worried me when I saw young Mr. Pineda pitch last season was how hard I saw him throw the ball just about every time. His injury history in the minors only added to my worry. It seemed that at any moment he could go down with a Stephen Strasburg-like arm issue.This is just speculation, but so often young hard-throwing pitchers go down with season ending injuries.

I’m not saying that Montero will never get injured; there is no way to know that. It is easier to expect that he will have more durability though, especially if he plays a lot at designated hitter in his first couple of seasons. 

Bonus: Hector Noesi

Noesi is a young pitcher who already has a season of Major League experience under his belt and is expected to be a back-of-the-rotation starter with the Mariners. He is someone whom Yankees GM Brian Cashman really liked in New York and should continue to develop. In the Campo-for-Noesi portion of the deal, it seems that the Mariners have won.

This is a very good trade for the Mariners. It is also a pretty good trade for the Yankees. Both sides seem to have won, but we won’t really know until we see how both of these players pan out. For now though, the Mariners front office went out and made a move that proved they aren’t just sitting on their hands. They made a move that proved they are not afraid to disappoint some fans for the long-term improvement of the organization.

Of all the tough-luck trades the Mariners have made in the past five years, lets hope that the one that happened on Friday the 13th was the luckiest of all.

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Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda: How the Field of Baseball’s Been Altered

Well, the ball has finally dropped.

In a stunning move, the New York Yankees have traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Seattle Marines for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos.

As a Boston Red Sox fan, crap. As an MLB fan, whoa.

In one evening the field of baseball has been altered. You thought Jose Reyes signing with the Miami Marlins was big? This is bigger. Thought Albert Pujols signing with the Los Angeles Angels was big? This is bigger. The Texas Rangers winning the bid for Yu Darvish? Guess what…this is bigger.

It’s a maelstrom, the perfect baseball storm. It might not seem that way now, but it is.


Seattle Mariners
At face value, it doesn’t seem like this changes the AL West too drastically. Oh, but you would be wrong.

Three names: Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak. Three of the most talked about hitting prospects over the last three seasons are all on the same team.

But, they play in Safeco. They’ll never be able to hit there… right?

What if I called those three Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez and Bret Boone—they also played at Safeco. Your mind has officially been blown.

The scary thing is that’s shortchanging these prospects.


In 2011, Ackley turned in a fantastic rookie season hitting .273/.348/.417 with six home runs and stolen bases in 90 games. His swing is as pure as it gets, and he could be competing for batting titles in the near future.

Smoak has struggled to live up to his top prospect title, but he still has massive potential. The big switch-hitter posted a career high 15 home runs and .719 OPS in 2011. Looking at his splits, he actually posted a higher OPS at home than away.

Now, we get to Jesus Montero. In 2011, we saw the 21-year-old top prospect ascend past Triple-A and play in 18 games for the Yankees. His line: .328/.406/.590 and four home runs. His defense has been called into question, but when you’re likened to Miguel Cabrera, defense doesn’t matter.

Even with the Safeco factor, these three don’t have to hit all the time. They only have to hit half the time. When at home they need the pitchers to do their job, and boy does Seattle have some pitching.

Their rotation is led by Felix Hernandez, one of the best young starters in the game. Behind him are Blake Beaven and Jason Vargas, the former coming into his own in 2011, and the latter headed to trade-bait status.

In the minors, Seattle has three of the top pitching prospects in the league. Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton have ace potential, and all three will be knocking on Safeco’s door over the next two seasons.

In the short term Seattle doesn’t see any huge improvements. Their pitching will take a small hit, while their hitting continues to improve. In the long run, Mariner fans could be seeing a dynasty in the making. The lineup has three huge bats to build around, and the rotation could very easily be the best in the majors. It’s way too early to tell, but the ceiling on this team’s future is massive.



New York Yankees
On the other end of the spectrum are the New York Yankees.

In this deal, the Yankees finally got what they’ve been searching for since 2008. Phil Hughes, a bust; Ian Kennedy, traded; Joba Chamberlain, shunned to the bullpen; Michael Pineda, winning.

Where others have failed, Pineda will succeed. That young No. 2 ace-in-the-making has eluded New York for so long, but Cashman has finally brought in the right guy.

Pineda’s arm is the epitome of electric. In his 2011 rookie season, he went 9-10 with a 3.72 ERA (54th best in the majors), 1.099 WHIP (14th), 9.1 K/9 ( seventh) and 3.15 K/BB (30th).

It’s easy to get lost in the splits of Pineda’s stats. His second half was far worse than his first, and the home stats show an ace, while the away stats show a No. 4 pitcher.

Frankly, I don’t care, and neither should the Yankees. Those trends are fully expected of 22-year-old rookies. Just because it didn’t happen to Jeremy Hellickson doesn’t mean it should be blown out of proportion with Pineda (it’s worth noting sabermetrics, like FIP and xFIP, hate Hellickson, like Pineda).

It’s impossible to not stare in awe at those peripherals. Pineda is going to be a strikeout machine, and he finally gives the Yankees that elusive No. 2 starter.

With CC Sabathia leading the pack, Pineda pitching No. 2 and Ivan Nova at No. 3, the Yankees finally feature a top three that can go toe-to-toe with the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. With names like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances in the minors, the Rays are going to have competition for top rotation in the AL East.


It’s taken them a while, but the Yankees have finally nabbed that young pitcher they so desperately need. True, they gave up their best offensive prospect since Robinson Cano, but they don’t call these guys the Bronx Bombers for nothing.


Final Thoughts

In the end, this trade was a win-win for both teams involved. The Mariners finally have three middle-of-the-order bats, and the Yankees finally feature three top-of-the-rotation arms.

As for the MLB, it’s too early to see how things will unfold. On paper, it looks like both teams are destined for greatness; but, this is baseball and things are never that easy.

For now, as a Red Sox fan, I will stand in awe and excitement as we’re one day closer to spring training.

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New York Yankees Prove Once Again They Run the Best Business in MLB

Take away the pinstripes, the statues, the lore.

Get rid of the 27 rings, the 40 American League Championships, the Hall of Famers.

Strip it all away, and the New York Yankees still run their team better than any other ball club in baseball does. In fact, they run theirs better than any other team in the Western Hemisphere.

What Manchester United is to soccer, what the Green Bay Packers are to football, what the Lakers are to basketball pale in comparison to what the Yankees are to baseball.

They are Apple in a league full of IBMs. They are Goldman Sachs in a league full of Lehman Brothers. They are Walmart in a league full of K-Marts.

With their most recent baseball-related moves, the New York Yankees showed that they are rich in every sense of the word, able to control the balance of power in baseball with a simple phone call. Love them or hate them, you have to respect the power of the Evil Empire.

As the only free-market American sport, baseball lends itself to a lack of parity. Since the free agency era began, baseball has shifted more from a sport full of hometown heroes to a relentless business, a perfect example of survival of the fittest.

And that’s exactly what the Yankees have been—the fittest. They signed Catfish Hunter. They traded for and signed Alex Rodriguez. They signed CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett in one offseason. They’ve traded their farm system for big-time talent, a practice other teams wouldn’t dream of.

Maybe they don’t get the best return on investment, but the Yankees have always been profitable.

When a shipbuilder from Cleveland named George Steinbrenner took over the team, he instilled a businesslike demeanor throughout the organization. It was all about the bottom line—the wins, the championships and the profits.

There is no more powerful brand in sports than the mighty “NY” embroidered on jerseys, hats and t-shirts. No team’s logo has more selling power. Not even close. When you throw in a television station and baseball’s largest market, the Yankee dynasty refers more to business than baseball.

Everything about the Yankees’ dominance was exhibited in the span of one evening. Last night, the Yankees, in two transactions, went from being doubted to win their own division to being the American League favorites.

First, they traded Jesus Montero, their top prospect, future superstar and best bargaining chip, to Seattle for Michael Pineda, a pitcher with just over 170 innings of major league experience. Why? Because they could. Why? Because the Yankees can afford to take risks like that.

Next, they bought their insurance policy. They signed Hiroki Kuroda, a proven commodity and workhorse pitcher, to a one-year deal. No other team in baseball showed much intent to pay $10 million for Kuroda. For the Yankees, he is an investment with almost zero risk. If he produces, $10 million might have been cheap. If he doesn’t produce, well, $10 million is pocket change to the New York Yankees.

Think about that for a second. The Yankees traded their best offensive prospect for what amounts to their second- or third-best pitcher. Then, they bought an insurance policy on that pitcher, who also happens to be a pretty good pitcher himself. It’s baseball’s equivalent to buying a Mercedes, then an Audi as a backup car. You can still drive the Audi, but if your Mercedes breaks down, you’ll be happy using it as your first car.

The only reason the Yankees are able to do this is because of their bottom line. It’s because their merchandise sales dwarf everyone else’s. It’s because their television revenues are astronomical. It’s because they are absolutely unaffected by the luxury tax and revenue sharing.

Perhaps this is baseball’s biggest flaw, or perhaps it is the Yankees’ biggest strength. The Yankees control the business of baseball. They set the bar. The Rays can exploit undervalued players all they want, and the Rangers can make perfect trades all they desire, but at the end of the day, the Yankees are the ones who can do literally whatever they want.

Ask any businessperson on the planet—the ability to be completely financially flexible is the ultimate dream. At an organizational level, the Yankees have achieved that dream for many years now.

What they did Friday night is simply another lesson taught by the masters of the business of baseball. The New York Yankees are the business kings of sports.

Now it is time to see if they want to sign themselves a Prince.

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