Montero was thought to be the guy around whom the Yankees' offense would be built over the next several years, but apparently they feel that a 22-year-old stud pitcher is more valuable than a 22-year-old stud hitter.
I tend to agree.
Montero's been highly-regarded for a long time, at least as a hitter. But his catching skills haven't progressed and he's thought by many to already be relegated to a DH, or perhaps 1B, player. That significantly reduces his value. The Yankees must figure that they can easily replace a bat in the lineup, especially when it's just a DH as opposed to someone who has to play defense. The fact that they'll need to spend to do that, rather than pay a youngster still a handful of years away from free-agency, but therein lies one of the big advantages the Yankees have over many other teams.
Don't make all that much of Montero's fast start in the majors last year. In addition to it being a small sample, quite a few guys in the last 15 years have had 4 homers within their first 15 career games:
That's a pretty good group of players, but let's not put Montero in the Hall of Fame quite yet.
While the Yankees have developed a number of decent young pitchers lately, none has shown the consistent power that Pineda showed last year. He's got 5 more years until free agency and the Yankees may have finally found a great young arm who will stick in their rotation for years to come.