Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called his decision to trade away Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda a big mistake.
This is a massive decision gone wrong right now,” Cashman said. “So all scrutiny is fair.”
Pineda will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery after he tore a ligament in his shoulder blade last week. The Yankees acquired Pineda from the Seattle Mariners last January.
The question is what did the Mariners know and when did they know it?
The Yankees gave Pineda an MRI before the trade became official. But there are doubts as to whether the Mariners knew the 23-year-old right-hander was damaged goods when the Yankees made the deal.
“How can you not ask a question like that?” Cashman said. “It’s a fair question, but I can tell you we did everything possible to be sure Michael Pineda was healthy.”
Cashman said Pineda passed his Yankees physical, which included an MRI, within 72 hours of the trade agreement.
“The focus should be on me and the New York Yankees, not the Seattle Mariners,” he said. “I’m responsible. I’m the decision-maker.”
Cashman said he wondered about the condition of Pineda’s shoulder during spring training, when he struggled to get his fastball above 90 mph on a regular basis.
“I asked him several times through an interpreter if he had ever been in an MRI tube at Seattle,” Cashman said. “Each time, the answer was the same.
Some say Pineda has an 85% chance for a full recovery after 12 months of rehabilitation following surgery.
“Our fans are right to be upset about this,” Cashman said. “I’m devastated by it. I just hope everyone understands that every move I make is to improve this club, not hurt it.”