SEATTLE – One week after news leaked of the Mariners’ blockbuster trade with the New York Yankees, the deal still hasn’t been officially consummated. But an end might be in sight.
The holdup has been Jesus Montero’s travel problems getting from his home in Venezuela to Seattle to undergo his physical exam.
Montero has had to deal with weather, plane and visa issues, but on Friday word came that he had reached the United States and finally was en route to Seattle.
Montero’s agent, Jamie Appel, said that his client reacted positively to the pending trade, which will send pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos to the Yankees for Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi.
“He’s happy,” Appel said. “He’s the type of guy who says, ‘I’m playing baseball, I can be thankful for that.’ Jesus is happy. He just wants to play baseball. That was his quote. Jesus is a very quiet, reserved kid. He’s very polite, comes from a good family background, good parents.”
Montero, who on Friday was ranked as the No. 1 catching prospect in baseball by MLB.com, has a 20-year-old brother who catches in the Cardinals’ organization. He is named Jesus Rafael Montero, while the would-be Mariner is Jesus Alejandro Montero.
“We call him Montero Jr. in the office,” Appel said.
The two grew up in Guacara, Venezuela – about 12 miles from Felix Hernandez’s hometown of Valencia.
The trade news didn’t come as a shock, considering the rumor mill had long churned out Montero’s name.
“He knew he was the biggest chip,” Appel said. “He had kind of been told it was a possibility, and he’s always levelheaded and aware.”
Montero, 22, faced a situation with the Yankees where he would have had to fight for playing time in 2012. With Seattle, he’s likely to play every day, which he takes as a positive aspect of the trade, Appel said.