From Baseball America -
The Yankees reportedly gave another international player $2 million this year, but reports on Jesus Montero have not been good ever since the Yankees signed him for that amount in July. Montero has been dogged by rumors that he fudged his age or worse, and sources had indicated for weeks that his contract was under review by the commissioner’s office at the Yankees’ request.
Newman confirmed that the Yankees and Montero, a Venezuelan catcher with prodigious power potential, had “long, involved” negotiations. He would not comment on the value of Montero’s signing bonus, but said one source’s information–that Montero’s bonus had been restructured to $1.3 million–was not correct. His only on the record comment was that “there is no age issue” with Montero, who struggled in the Yankees’ fall mini-camp.
Newman confirmed a final rumor, that the Yankees had a second righthander who has had to have elbow surgery after pitching in Hawaii Winter Baseball. First it was 2006 ninth-round pick Mark Melancon. Now, 2004 third-round pick Chris Garcia has had elbow surgery to reinforce a torn ligament, a surgery similar to that performed on Mariano Rivera when he was in the minor leagues.
“He will not pitch in 2007; the goal is 2008,” Newman said. “It would really be pushing it to have him come back by instructional league next year.”
Garcia ranked as the Yankees’ No. 6 prospect on a list that already has changed dramatically with the injury to Melancon (No. 9) and the acquisition of Humberto Sanchez and Kevin Whelan from the Tigers in the Gary Sheffield trade. The 21-year-old missed much of the 2006 season with an oblique strain. He also pitched 21 innings in HWB, striking out 23.