...if he stays in this organization, and moves from behind the plate like many scouts believe, Montero quickly becomes one of the game’s most overvalued prospects.
Bryan Smith projects Montero as a 3 WAR player on the strength of his bat alone, with a .370 wOBA roughly equivalent to Robbie Cano's 2009.
I like a lot of what I read at FanGraphs, but this article has some serious flaws.
1) If Montero is a lousy catcher and splits time between DH and C, it adds a full win to his value even given his lousy defense.
2) The article doesn't weigh a RF/LF option. Ryan Braun (-8.9 UZR/150), Jason Bay (-11.2), and Magglio Ordonez (-5.4) have all enjoyed All-Star seasons in the last few years despite lousy outfield defense.
3) We're talking about Montero's youngest, cheapest seasons- the years when he is most likely to over-perform all expectations for the least amount of money. Johnny Damon was a 3.1 WAR player in 2009- his "discounted" FA price for the Tigers was $8M. Hideki Matsui was a 2.7 WAR player in 2009, when he earned $13M, and he signed for $6.5M.
If Montero can't stick at catcher, he still has huge value to the Yankees because he could be an everyday player at the DH or OF and also fill a bench role as an offense first backup catcher. And he can do it cheaply. Maybe Montero won't be a Yankee for life. But if Melky Cabrera can bring back Javy Vazquez, Montero will still have value after 3 or 4 seasons. And for those 3 or 4 seasons, he'll be most valuable in the Bronx.