Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
He has risen!
Or, at the very least, he has been asked to rise and pack up his Glendale hotel room for a rushed trip to Dunedin, Florida.
Yes, Jesus Montero — one-time creation of the Yankee hype machine, and the player traded for Michael Pineda during Seattle’s long winter of Jack Z — has been acquired via waivers by the Blue Jays.
You probably remember him as a catcher, right? Well, he hasn’t caught in a big league or minor league game since 2013 (it is currently 2016, FYI), so let’s not maybe go nuts here. Or even care.
On the other hand, despite being trash (he has a career .253/.295/.398 line as a big leaguer), he plays at a position where everybody is kinda trash. And certainly everybody who is currently on the Blue Jays’ roster and not named Russell Martin is kinda trash — a group that may no longer include former catcher-of-the-future AJ Jimenez, as he’s been designated for assignment to make room for Montero on the 40-man.
But can Montero even catch at this point, or has that ship sailed? I’d imagine that it has, despite the fact that Jimenez — who is out of options and would have had to be placed on waivers to be sent down anyway — is the reciprocal move.
And so what do the Jays have here? A former massive hitting prospect who has so far been a total bust. You could say the same about Justin Smoak, who has proved useful to the Jays, but Montero is on another level entirely.
He failed this spring in his attempt to win a job as Adam Lind’s right-handed platoon mate in Seattle, for example.
He’s only 26, though, and he’s got that fast-fading pedigree.
Yeah, I got nothing.
He’s an interesting name. He’s a guy the Jays might be able to sneak through waivers to Buffalo (Montero is out of options). And he was quite good at triple-A last season — a crazy .355/.398/.569 line with 18 home runs, but one produced in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, as he was putting up a .394 BABIP (!!!). But meh.
Yes, the Blue Jays have spun nothing into gold before, and they should certainly not stop making small bets that they can get the most out of talent, but I tend to think it’s disrespectful to guys like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, or even Chris Colabello, and the amount of work they’ve put in to become what they are, to think that the club has some kind of magic wand it can wave to turn someone like Montero into a useful hitter at the big league level.
Can’t hurt to try, though. Or at least to try to try. But we’ll see what happens when they try to send him down. Maybe don’t unpack too much just yet, Jesus.
FYI, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wrote an interesting and instructive lament about Montero’s lost potential (and the scouting community’s big miss on him) earlier today, when it became clear that he was on waivers.