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The Diamondbacks want to “win” any Justin Upton trade. What does that mean?

Nov 18, 2010, 10:37 AM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets Getty Images

This from Rosenthal and Morosi:

“The Diamondbacks are making it clear to potential suitors they intend to “win” any trade involving Upton, who is 23 and under contract through 2015.”

What does that even mean?  What team is going to say “yes, Arizona, we understand.  We will make sure that any offer to you will be such that you receive greater value in this transaction than we would receive in return. That is completely reasonable in our view.”

No trade happens unless the other team thinks it’s getting a good deal too. That could mean a good deal in players. That could mean salary relief. That could mean a lot of things.  But what executive would actually be on board with the notion that the other team must come out on top, or else no trade is made?

None. Which means that this sort of thing is merely P.R. signaling by someone. Either the Diamondbacks, trying to calm fans who are worried about them trading a guy who, ten minutes ago, was supposed to be the future of the franchise (i.e. telling them that, by definition, the trade will be a win for us), or other teams who want to have an excuse ready for fans when they do not land Upton despite having the players and the need to make it happen (i.e. the Diamondbacks wanted too much).

  1. Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Winning the trade means not trading Justin Upton.

  2. billtpa - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I wonder if all along it’s been some sort of jerk-around-the-media thing aimed at motivating Upton to have a better 2011 or something. Not that that would be a *good* idea, by any means, but it would start to make sense.
    Because the only thing I can think of that actually leads to them seriously considering a trade is that they think he strikes out too much (Gibson, Baylor and Towers have all complained about the team strikeouts) and want to shake things up, and that’s just too depressing to really think about.

    • Ari Collins - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:54 AM

      Well, to be fair, the strikeouts aren’t a detriment to his current production, but if he doesn’t cut down on the Ks, it could hurt his future development. If you DON’T believe he has superstar upside (and I do), then trading him to a team that thinks he does is a good move, at least value-wise.

  3. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 18, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    Winning the trade means getting back far more value than the slop they received for the Haren trade.

  4. twang621 - Nov 18, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    yeah i don’t get that either.. “Sources say the D’backs would like to get something in return or possibly just get totally raped in the trade.” Of course they want something, that’s like saying the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:35 PM

      Haha, Ken should have said that instead.

  5. nps6724 - Nov 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    I’ve always heard the goal of any trade is to make the other team feel like they pulled the wool over your eyes. You WANT them to think they “won” the trade because it makes them more likely to deal with you again.

    This makes me think the Arizona GM ain’t too bright.

  6. BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    How in God’s name they’re looking to trade a 23-year old potential superstar that they have under contract for 4 or 5 more years is ridiculous. Been a while since I’ve seen something that dumb. Probably since the Haren trade.
    Hey…. wait a minute…..

  7. xpensivewinos - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    “Winning the trade” is all relative and certainly subjective. A team could offer a package of players that Towers perceives is a “win” for his team, but still may not be perceived as a “defeat” by the team giving up the players.

    Hypothetically, the Red Sox could provide a package of guys that helps Arizona far more than it hurts the Red Sox. In the grand scheme of things, that’s still a “win” for Towers.

    Boston is already of the mindset that they would have to give up a ton for Adrian Gonzalez……….so who wouldn’t give up a ton plus a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to get a player with Upton’s skills? Not to mention, he might cost a little extra in terms of players, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less in terms of dollars over the next five years which allows the Red Sox to spend money to fill other holes. It seems like monopoly money to most of us, but I’m sure the Red Sox do actually work within a budget.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    You really want to trade Upton now, Towers? Unless you get a package of Hanley/Logan Morrison/Mike Stanton, there’s no reason in the world to deal him.

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