Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik says anyone that thinks the Mariners knew that Michael Pineda was damaged goods before they made the blockbuster offseason deal for top New York Yankees hitting prospect, Jesus Montero, is wrong.
"Absolutely not," Zduriencik told ESPNNewYork.com shortly after the Yankees announced Pineda would miss a full year because of shoulder surgery. "None, whatsoever. Before the trade, he was going to be our No. 2 starter."
Yankees GM Brian Cashman also has taken Zduriencik off the hook by saying he believes the Yankees received a healthy player. After being an All-Star in the first half of last season, Pineda's velocity and success tailed off toward the end of last year. Still, Cashman said there were no pre-trade signs of injury.
Pineda was 8-6 with a 3.03 ERA at the All-Star break. In the second half, he was 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA. In his final start of the season, he only threw 90 mph compared to 98 mph at his peak during the season.
Pineda reported to training camp about 20 pounds overweight this spring and never could find his velocity in any of his starts. The Yankees eventually put him on the disabled list. Zduriencik said Pineda will fight back.
"I feel bad," Zduriencik said. "We love Michael Pineda. He's a great kid. This is very unfortunate. I hope it works out. I'm surprised."
Before the trade, the Yankees did a complete physical of Pineda before it was finalized and they did not discover anything wrong with his shoulder.
Pineda will undergo surgery on May 1.