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Diamondbacks “listening” to offers for Justin Upton, but “need to be blown away”

Nov 16, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

Justin Upton

Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Diamondbacks are “listening” to offers on Justin Upton, but “need to be blown away” in order to actually trade the 23-year-old right fielder.

I’m not exactly sure why a rebuilding team like the Diamondbacks would be even remotely interested in trading one of the best young players in baseball, but other teams should absolutely be trying to put together offers that lead to Kevin Towers being “blown away.”

Upton took a step backward this season after a huge 2009, but still hit .273 with 17 homers, 18 steals, and an .800 OPS in 133 games as a 22-year-old. He’s a very good defensive right fielder with speed and power who’s signed through 2015 at reasonable prices and very few hitters in baseball history have been as productive as Upton through age 22.

In fact, here’s the complete list of all the players in the past 50 years to get at least 1,500 appearances through age 22 and post a higher OPS than Upton: Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Conigliaro, Boog Powell, Cesar Cedeno.

That’s it. That’s the whole list. And filling out the rest of the top 10, directly behind Upton on the list, are Johnny Bench, Andruw Jones, and Rickey Henderson. Given his age, tools, production, and contract Upton is likely one of the dozen or so most valuable commodities in baseball right now. If your favorite team’s GM isn’t trying to pry him away from the Diamondbacks, he’s not doing his job.

  1. bigharold - Nov 16, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Has there been any update on that shoulder injury? He didn’t play much after he hurt at the end of August. The last repot I read said there was not “damage” but that the pain persisted. That doesn’t sound good.

    Maybe the DBacks are not being as forthcoming as they should be?

  2. frankvzappa - Nov 16, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    maybe they think peaking young and then fizzling out to an average career is in the Upton genes

  3. Jonny 5 - Nov 16, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Aaronn this was most likely a typing error you’re reporting here. I heard that Kevin Towers said “if anyone wants Upton they need to blow me”. Just trying to keep you straight here, that’s all…

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