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Pirates serious about a Justin Upton bid?

Jul 15, 2012, 1:11 PM EDT

That’s what ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark believes. Color me skeptical.

That doesn’t seem very serious to me. Marte is a fine prospect — the 23-year-old outfielder is hitting .286/.349/.490 for Triple-A Indianapolis this year — but he’s probably not a future star and he doesn’t fill one of the Diamondbacks’ biggest needs.

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are the Pirates’ top two prospects. Cole ranks as one of the game’s top five pitching prospects, and Taillon, while lacking polish, possesses the same kind of top-of-the-rotation upside. The Diamondbacks would almost certainly hold out for one of the two in an Upton deal, particularly since the Pirates lack the kind of infield prospects the Diamondbacks are looking for.

Cole’s name also came up in Nick Cafardo’s Boston Globe column today. Cafardo talks about the Red Sox possibly dealing Jon Lester, with Cole as one of their top targets in such a move.

  1. Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I don’t get the whole Marte as a centerpiece for Upton talk. Yes, I know he’s cheaper and under team control for longer, but at 23 he’s just hitting AAA for the first time. Upton isn’t fourteen months older than him and he’s been a legit All-Star twice. The chances that Marte turns into anything remotely close to what Upton should be the next couple of years is pretty remote.

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Cole and Taillon are not being traded. However RHP Luis Heredia could be, along with OF Marte and possibly SS Alen Hanson and I think that would be the best offer the DBack are going to see.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      If that’s the best offer they’re going to see, they shouldn’t trade him. This isn’t some Dwight Howard situation – he’s locked up through 2015.

      I also doubt that’s the best offer they see. There’s a lot of reasons for the Yankees to back the prospect truck up for Upton, and there are other teams who will want to get in on him, too.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        Right….so you’re admitting you have no clue who Heredia and Hanson are or what type of prospects they are huh?

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        Sure I have an idea what type of prospects they are. Heredia has an incredible amount of talent but is probably five years away, and Hanson is shooting up rankings right now but still just making his first pass through A-ball. If that’s the type of prospects Towers is looking for, the Yankees can bury Pittsburgh’s offer with Campos and some combination of Williams, Sanchez and Austin.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Just saying Marte, Heredia and Hanson would be considered the Yankees 2nd, 3rd and at worst 5th best prospects. So how isn’t these 3 not considered “backing up the prospect truck”?

        Heredia was the top international arm in 2010, stands about 6’6 220 lbs as a 17 year old. He is considered to have as much upside as Taillon.

        Hanson who Keith Law likes a lot, is rocking over 154 wRC+ with a .330/.392/.581 as a 19 year old SS

        And then Marte who is a well known solid prospect

        You think the Yankees will offer 3 better prospects, Id love to read who they are

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        Austin? Austin Romine you mean? Another catcher prospect to go along with the Sanchez who is the only player that grades anywhere near the 3 Pirate prospects that I mentioned?

        Sorry but Campos, Williams and Romine are not considered by anyone to be better than any one of Marte, Heredia and Hanson.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        It’s funny you mention Keith Law, because in his top-50 update he has Austin, Sanchez and Williams all ahead of Hanson, the only of the three you mentioned to even make that list.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        No, Tyler Austin. But you were accusing me of not knowing the prospects I was talking about.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        Oh really? That’s sad to read because I’ll quote Keith Law’s most recent quote on Romine “Not completely sold on his bat and that I’ve has seen him struggle with ‘basic receiving tasks’”

        Funny though, I wonder if 3 months of baseball being played and evaluations being made that his list might change. You think Hanson isn’t ranked higher than them? Right now? Ok

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        No I really didn’t think that you were serious about a guy nobody was looking at who has struggled with his 1st taste of high A ball.
        Who will be turning 21 in a few months.

        No, sorry I really didn’t think you were seriously thinking that he was a better prospect than any of the 3 Pirates. Especially the 19 year old who is playing at the same level and killing it while Austin has only shown he can do it at low A

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        Oh really? That’s sad to read because I’ll quote Keith Law’s most recent quote on Romine “Not completely sold on his bat and that I’ve has seen him struggle with ‘basic receiving tasks’”

        Again, not talking about Austin Romine, he’s talking about Tyler Austin. As for better prospects:
        Klaw -
        Mason Williams OF – 21
        Gary Sanchez – C – 28
        Tyler Austin – OF – 45
        (Hansen – 48)

        Baseball America –
        Mason Williams – 28
        Gary Sanchez – 30
        Tyler Austin – 39
        (Hansen – 40)

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        Good grief you’re dense. Why would I refer to everybody by last name and then Austin Romine by his first? I’m not his cousin. Tyler Austin. You know, Yankee outfielder. Been getting a fair deal of publicity recently.

        And I also said that Austin, Williams and Sanchez were all ahead of Hanson on the top-50 update. The one that came out this week. Pay attention.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        But again, please tell me how my suggestion of these three Pirate prospects is not comparable to “backing up the prospect truck up” as you suggested the Yankees should do? Because it’s basically doing exactly that, none of the 3 I mentioned are “toss in” players.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Because it’s basically doing exactly that, none of the 3 I mentioned are “toss in” players.

        For one, because none of those players is rated as highly as the three on Klaw’s or BA’s prospect lists (KG’s is coming out this weekend I think)? There are questions on Marte’s approach as he’s got a terrible K/BB ratio (5% BB over 1900 PA in the minors).

  3. randygnyc - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Yankees could put together a modest package of Nunez, Gardner, and either Bellin or Betances. Id take a flyer on Upton and hope that the perpetual culture of winning in NY would inspire him to perform more consistently and up to his potential.

    • paperlions - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      That wouldn’t be nearly enough. Neither pitcher has shown anything this year and the Yankees best position prospects (which are nice) are all in A ball. The D-Backs are still in win-now mode…they want MLB-ready players….and at least a couple of them will need to be solid regulars.

    • keithbangedyermom - Jul 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      I would look at that offer – giggle – and then tell you that you have Upton for Banuelos, Tyler Austin and Dante Bichette, You can keep Betances and Gardner.

  4. andrewproughcfe - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Starling Marte just finished demolishing the Independent league pitching in June – he probably had the best June of any minor league player. His stat line does not reflect the fact that he had a slow start as he adjusted to the changes of moving up from AA (which he also terrorized last year). He may just be the best hitting prospect in all of minor league ball, and the Bucs have been prepping him to take over one of their corner outfield spots recently.

    The Pirates are in a can’t-lose situation: if they are smart, they will trade Marte and the lower-level prospects for Upton while keeping Cole and Taillon to bring up later this season. Or they will stand pat and bring up Marte, Cole & Taillon for themselves in the next few weeks. Either way, they should be adding an RBI-producing bat and some good young pitching to the lineup fairly soon.

    • paperlions - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Yes, a deal that has no upside for the D-Backs would be a great deal for Pittsburgh.

      • andrewproughcfe - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        DBacks have put themselves in a poor negotiating situation. Pirates don’t need Upton.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        And the D’Backs don’t need to trade him.

      • andrewproughcfe - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Stupid – If they don’t need to trade him, then why ask for offers? Clearly they are very worried that he is not going to live up to that back-loaded contract. And his numbers this year support their concern. They are stuck with the prospect of paying $40 million to a .270 hitter in 2013-15. They are probably back-peddling as fast as they can to get out from under that contract.

        They should be thankful if they get Starling Marte and are able to dump Upton’s deal.

      • paperlions - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        They asked for offer to see if anyone blows them away, possibly improving the team now and in the future. They aren’t in a position where they essentially have to trade him. In the current situation, AZ only has to consider great offers…because if they don’t trade him they still have a 24 yr old Upton playing RF….which is better than having a 23 yr old Marte in AAA.

      • paperlions - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        Actually, the Pirates definitely need him. They need offense, badly, if they want to maintain this run or have any chance whatsoever in the playoffs.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Near zero percent chance you will see Cole or Taillon this season unless you;re into minor league ball

  5. buffalomafia - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Go Pirates!!!!!!

  6. itsabergthing - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    The Pirates have a much better chance of landing Upton over the Yankees, the Yankees are one of four teams that Upton has in his no-trade clause. The entire Yankees argument throughout this post is rather useless at this point.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      the Yankees are one of four teams that Upton has in his no-trade clause.

      limited no-trade protection (may block deals to four clubs — originally Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Oakland)

      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/?page_id=129

      Citation on the Yankee block?

    • vallewho - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      the no-trade clause over the Yankees is probably in place to help with leverage. I assume Upton could waive that, in exchange for extra years($$ extension)??? But I agree that a Yankee package is not realistic.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        But I agree that a Yankee package is not realistic.

        Why not? Although if anyone would have a leg up on Yankee prospects, it’d be Towers since he was just working/advising for them.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        I guess it’s unrealistic in the sense that Towers wants closer-to-the-majors guys that would help the team compete immediately, but if that’s your goal it makes little sense to deal Upton. Trading him only makes sense if you don’t plan on contending for the next three years.

      • vallewho - Jul 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        yeah. what he said ^

  7. randygnyc - Jul 15, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Itsabergthing- is this true that Upton has a no trade clause? And it includes the Yankees? Anyone know for sure?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Upton has a no-trade clause that includes four teams, which he can change each year. According to Buster Olney, the Yankees are one of the teams he can block a trade to.

      I doubt it’s anything personal against the Yankees. In many cases like that the agent and player simply list the teams most likely to trade for the player, gives them leverage.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        Any way to determine who is correct, Buster or BPro/Cots?

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        Ken Rosenthal said last night that the A’s were no longer on the list. The Cots list is from one of the earlier years of the contract.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        And Upton’s agent confirmed that last week, though he wasn’t willing to get into the current list.

        Reynolds Sports ‏@Reynolds_Sports
        @JonHeymanCBS Justin Upton’s no trade list is NOT the same as it was the last time trade rumors surfaced.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Does that happen often, where a player can change the list of teams he has a NTC against?

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 15, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        That’s the way it’s usually done, yeah. The player gets to make a new list each offseason.

        That was part of the K-Rod controversy last year. Apparently his agents forgot to submit a new no-trade list for Rodriguez, and he ended up firing them after the deal to Milwaukee.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Thanks Matthew, the more you know

        /rainbow

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