July 19, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Jesus Montero (63) connects for a double in the seventh inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Mariners won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners call up former top prospect Jesus Montero

The Seattle Mariners made waves a few seasons back when they traded young pitching phenom Michael Pineda to the New York Yankees in exchange for top catching prospect Jesus Montero.

Both were at the time viewed as possible franchise cornerstones, so to see two young talents swapped for each other was a bit uncommon. Regardless, it was one of the more popular trades involving top prospects that we had seen in some time.

Ironically, the trade has worked out for neither team as Pineda has been consistently injured since being acquired by the Yankees while Montero has never realized his potential, continually dealing with weight and poor conditioning issues.

Seattle gave Montero every chance he could to claim a roster spot but continually failing to meet expectations, the Mariners eventually were forced to demote him in hopes he’d be able to turn his career around. It’s been a slow but steady process in the months and even years since as Montero was hitting a respectable .270 at Triple-A Tacoma this season, good enough to get him back to the big leagues as the Mariners decided to call him up today.

“No confirmation from #Mariners, but hear that 1B Jesus Montero is on his way to Seattle,” says Bob Dutton. “Batted .270 at Tacoma with eight homers, 40 RBIs.”

With Justin Smoak sidelined, the former catcher turned first baseman/designated hitter could be in line for some significant playing time in the coming weeks, though he’ll likely need to impress if he’s to stick around long term.

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