So about that four-player/ trade - I decided to sit in on the Mariners media conference call without participating, which is way less awkward and uncomfortable on the phone than it is in person at an actual press conference. I'm not going to review all the bits and quotes because others will do that and they'll do it better, but there was one thing in particular early on that stood out to me.
The Mariners were looking all around the league for a young bat. Somebody they could bring in and keep for a while. They had a few options, but in the end they "settled on Jesus" (different from "settled for Jesus"). Jack Zduriencik asked Brian Cashman if there was any way to get Montero without trading Felix Hernandez, and that's where Michael Pineda came in. Pineda wasn't being shopped, but he was available at the right price, which is exactly what one would've figured.
From there, things developed, although they didn't necessarily develop that fast - the seed was first planted during the winter meetings, and then I guess it sprouted a few weeks ago. No, that doesn't sound right. It first came up during the winter meetings. Then it came up again a few weeks ago. Much better. Writing is easy!
As for Montero's future as a catcher, the quote you've probably seen all over the place is that he'll "get every opportunity to catch." The way Zduriencik tells it, they'll go to camp and let things play out as they will. So Montero could catch, and if you ask Brian Cashman he will catch, but his big selling point as far as the Mariners are concerned is most definitely his bat. They love the hell out of his bat.
Somebody always has to ask during these things what comes next, and Zduriencik always has to remind people that he won't talk about current negotiations. But for those of you who love to be teased, he did say that he has "other conversations going on." All that really says is that Jack Zduriencik isn't flat-out ignoring other executives and agents, but watch how little you care. What other conversations! How many of them involve Prince Fielder! I'm using exclamation points instead of question marks because the people who are still obsessed with the Mariners signing Prince Fielder probably don't understand punctuation.
Trade! It's done. Jesus Montero will be present at FanFest. He'll be bringing his big bat. It is a huge bat.