Report: Yankees trade Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda

Jesus Montero.

So much for the Yankees having a quiet offseason.

CBSSports’ Jon Heyman is reporting the Yankees have traded No. 1 prospect Jesus Montero for Seattle starting pitcher Michael Pineda.

Pineda, 22, was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA in his rookie season with the Mariners last season. He was an All Star and finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting.

Montero has been the Yankees top prospect for a few years and blasted onto the scene for New York last season with a .328 average and .406 on-base percentage and four home runs in 18 games. He is also just 22 years old.

Heyman reported Hector Noesi will also go to Seattle, while Jose Campos comes back to New York.

In a separate move, the Yankees signed free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal. The former Dodger has pitched four seasons in the United States after 11 years in Japan. Kuroda, 36, was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA in 2011. He is 41-46 in the majors, but has never had an ERA over 3.76.

Montero came up as a catcher, but was seen as a defensive liability. He fit in more as a designated hitter or first baseman. The Yankees were not keen on starting a 22-year-old at designated hitter and have Mark Teixeira locked up at first base long term.

Pineda was seen as the young star serving as the one-two punch with ace Felix Hernandez. He had 173 strikeouts in 171 innings. It’s entirely possible Pineda would slot into the second spot in the rotation between CC Sabathia.

Noesi, 24, was a contender for the No. 5 spot in the rotation in 2012. He pitched in 30 games last season, with a 4.47 ERA. He made two starts. Campos is a good pitching prospect, who was in the lower levels of the Seattle system. He is just 19 years old, but had a 2.32 ERA in 81.1 innings for short-season, Single-A Everett.

Follow New York sports editor Mark Osborne on Twitter


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