The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a deal with first baseman Jesus Montero.
The move was first reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
jesus montero agrees to minors deal with orioles
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 3, 2017
Montero, 27, most recently played in the Toronto Blue Jays organization where he batted .317/.349/.438 over plate appearances in Triple-A last season. In September, Montero was hit with a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a banned stimulant, dimethylbutylamine. It is the second suspension of his career. He was once the top catching prospect in the New York Yankees organization, but he was dealt to the Seattle Mariners before the 2012 season for pitcher Michael Pineda.
In his first season with the Mariners Montero hit .260/.298/.386 with 15 homers and 62 RBI. He was suspended previously in 2013 for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal, which involved the clinic providing him with performance enhancing drugs. Many players in the Majors and minors were taken down along with him. With the Mariners, Montero batted .247/.285/.383 and was eventually moved to first base because of his size (Montero is listed at 6’3, 235 lbs).
In Triple-A he has held a career line of .305/.357/.491, showing his potential at the Major League level. It hasn’t been able to translate yet, but the Orioles are attempting to find lightning in a bottle. His move to Baltimore could also allow him to spell Chris Davis at first.
This move is naturally a Dan Duquette move. He finds players who have shown promise in the past and picks them up when they hit a slide in their career. It is a cost effective move, which could allow the Orioles a return on any upside that Montero gives them.
In the short-term, Montero gives the Orioles depth. He is known to produce well in the minor leagues and he’s still young. At 27 years old, Montero could find his hot streak as a hitter at Camden Yards. Another player who has felt the pain of hitting at Safeco Field is Mark Trumbo. Trumbo only hit 13 homers in 96 games with the Mariners in 2015. He turned around in 2016 to hit 47 home runs.
The moral of the story:
Don’t sleep on this deal. It could hold a lot of upside for Baltimore after the first couple of months in 2017 season.