Jesus Montero-for-Michael Pineda swap is finally official

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UPDATE: Montero passed his physical, so it’s now a done deal.

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The multi-player deal between the Yankees and Mariners headlined by Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda is moving closer to completion.

Montero was delayed from taking a physical due to weather, plane and visa problems in his native Venezuela, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the 22-year-old arrived in the United States yesterday and was en route to Seattle.

The Pacific Northwest was rocked by a pretty nasty winter storm this week, so there’s no guarantee Montero’s travel plans went off without a hitch. However, assuming no problems with his flight and scheduled physical, an official announcement could happen within the next day or two.

The deal between the Yankees and Mariners, which was agreed upon last Friday, will send Montero and right-hander Hector Noesi to Seattle for Pineda and prospect right-hander Jose Campos.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?