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Mariners, Diamondbacks discuss Justin Upton

Dec 4, 2012, 12:44 AM EDT

Justin Upton AP

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners and Diamondbacks met tonight to discuss Justin Upton.

Heyman’s report is just a tweet, so there are no details on the meeting. Heyman does, however, speculate on whether an offer of top prospect Taijuan Walker and Nick Franklin might be enough get a deal done.

Such a package would certainly intrigue the Diamondbacks, who seem to have their hearts set on acquiring a long-term shortstop for Upton. Franklin isn’t a can’t-miss guy, but he is one of the better shortstop prospects in the minors. He hit .322/.394/.502 in 205 at-bats in Double-A and .243/.310/.416 in 267 at-bats in Triple-A as a 21-year-old last season. He also batted .338/.422/.519 in the offense-heavy Arizona Fall League.

Walker, 20, is regarded as one of the game’s best pitching prospects, though he didn’t excel statistically last season. As one of the youngest players in the Southern League, he went 7-10 with a 4.69 ERA and a 118/50 K/BB ratio in 126 2/3 innings for Double-A Jacksonville.

Danny Hultzen and James Paxton are two other top pitching prospects the Mariners probably discussed with the Diamondbacks.

Upton, 25, is perhaps the most intriguing trade property out there right now, even though he’s coming off a down year in which he hit .280/.355/.430 with 17 homers in 554 at-bats. He’d be a terrific foundation piece for the Mariners’ rebuilding efforts. Adding him would give the team a 2013 lineup that looks something like this:

2B Dustin Ackley
3B Kyle Seager
RF Justin Upton
C/DH John Jaso
1B Justin Smoak
DH/C Jesus Montero
LF Michael Saunders
CF Franklin Gutierrez
SS Brendan Ryan

  1. matckeeper - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Well it would be nice if the M’s made a move and did something to show they are trying to win games. Now if they could get a new owner.

    • paperlions - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      It’d be a shame if the owner sold the team before attending a game. I’m sure he’ll get around to it any decade now.

  2. vegagreenleaf - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Do it

  3. swu32733 - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Remember Mariner fans that Trader Jack would be making the deal. His record to date sucks.

    • seattlej - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Does it?

  4. riverace19 - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    That’s not a half bad lineup actually. It’s time for the M’s to try and do something.

  5. shawnuel - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I would be OK with this deal as a Mariners fan. I would rather give up Hultzen or Paxton, However. I am also not sold on Upton. I know he was injured (thumb) for most of last season but his numbers have always been skewed by Arizona’s home park and, even with the fences coming in, Seattle will NEVER be favorable to RH hitters.

  6. mmason0071 - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Even with Upton, that’s a AAA lineup. It would be a good move for Franklin and Walker though. The only Mariner’s ‘hot’ prospects who have succeeded have been the ones they traded for washed up veterans. Examples – Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Mike Morse, Matt Thornton, Doug Fister.

  7. phreakin - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Is like Upron to be traded so we can stop hearing about him on talk radio here 24×7

  8. necr0philia - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Hate to Chop your legs out from under you Seattle but he will be a Brave.

  9. trybe29dr - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    For the sake of my fantasy team no…

  10. bigdaddycool50 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Mediocrity is how Jack Z rolls! Why trade our minor league prospects for another 280 hitter? Seattle has always traded away the future stars (Adam Jones, Jose Cruz Jr, Raul Ibanez) to mention a few…..If you want the fans to return to Safeco then give us some hope and get us a power hitting player with a big name!

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