How Surprising Were Moves for Young Pitchers Like Trevor Cahill and Michael Pineda?


When a team is willing to deal a young starter, buyer beware.

The Yankees’ Michael Pineda is a talented young starter moved this offseason.  Now we might know why.  Pineada is out for the season after undergoing labrum surgery, an injury that his former team–the Seattle Mariners–claim was unknown.  If that is the case, it is an awful stroke of luck for the Yankees.  The cost for the Yankees to acquire a starter to team with CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova was huge, namely former top prospect Jesus Montero.

The D-Backs, meanwhile made an move for another top young pitcher this offseason in Trevor Cahill.  While Cahill has been wild and erratic–suffering through a bad start in last night’s loss–he’s definitely panned out better than Pineda, whose loss leaves a gaping hole in the Yankees lineup.  The cost to the D-Backs probably wasn’t quite as high, as Jarrod Parker could have got lost in the D-Backs crowded minor league pitching situation that includes top prospect Trevor Bauer.

Every orgnization in baseball would love to acquire one of these guys.  Pineda was among the early stories of the 2011 season before fading late–perhaps a sign?–and heading into last season Cahill was thought to be a dark horse Cy Young contender.  It’s right to question the moves since it took another team to deal them.  It’s also hard to believe that there weren’t enormous red flags for these players by their former teams.  The Mariners move of Pineda makes a little more sense for them.  They needed offense and supposedly got one of the best young offensive prospects.  The Oakland A’s, meanwhile, traded their ace for another young pitcher–who recently had Tommy John’s surgery–and a couple of marginal prospects.  Why not just hold onto Cahill?  Fans are completely justified in at least having second thoughts about the move while we evaluate if it pans out.

Here’s hoping that it was merely a budget move for the low spending A’s and not a sign that the D-Backs could be in the same ship as the Mariners.

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