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This Day in Yankees History: New York and Seattle trade young studs

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On this day, the Yankees and Mariners swapped young, talented players who never panned out for either team.

2008 XM Futures Game Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. The New Year is upon us, and the winter hot stove continues to percolate. That being said, there has not been much movement on the Yankees’ front as of yet, so in the meantime let’s dig into the history books. These daily posts will highlight two or three key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!

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This Day in Yankees History (January 14)

67 years ago

Former Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio and actress Marilyn Monroe get married at City Hall in San Francisco where reporters and adoring fans mob the newlyweds. The couple, who had captivated the nation with their romance, will unfortunately divorce just 274 days into the very rocky marriage.

34 years ago

The BBWAA elects pitcher Catfish Hunter to the Hall of Fame. The right-hander, an ace with the Athletics and Yankees, became one of the game’s first big-money free agents when he signed a five-year contract with the New York Yankees worth $3.35 million in 1975. He was a member of five World Series championship teams, winning two with New York in 1977-78. During his five years in pinstripes, he won 63 games with a 3.58 ERA over 993 innings.

Nine years ago

The Yankees trade Jesús Montero, who was considered to be the top catching prospect in the major leagues, to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Michael Pineda, a promising 22-year-old starting pitcher. The trade added an All-Star right-hander to the Yankees’ rotation, as Pineda posted an ERA of 3.03 while averaging nearly a strikeout per frame in 171 innings during his rookie season.

Pineda did not live up to his hype, only playing in New York for four years after missing both the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to shoulder surgery and rehab. When he finally returned to the mound in 2014, he was caught blatantly using pine tar to gain a better grip on the baseball. He was suspended 10 games for his actions. To make matters worse, while pitching in a simulated game during the suspension, Pineda strained his teres major muscle, and inflammation pushed his return back to August. He was healthy but maddeningly inconsistent from 2015-16, and he eventually needed Tommy John surgery in July 2017. That cut his season short and ended his Yankees career. He now pitches for the Minnesota Twins.

Jesús Montero had his own troubles as well. He could never get the hang of catching, and worse, couldn’t hit much at all after a so-so rookie season. In 2013, he accepted a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis baseball scandal. He only played four years in Seattle — often ping-ponging between there and Triple-A Tacoma — before getting demoted for good. At the time, Pineda and Montero were regarded as some of the best young talents in baseball. Looking back on it, they were nowhere near what they were supposed to be.*

*To add insult to injury, neither of the other two intriguing prospects involved in the deal (Hector Noesi and Vicente Campos) turned into much of anything, either. What a bust of a trade.

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Birthdays

There are no Yankee birthdays to celebrate today.

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We thank Baseball Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.