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Rosenthal: Mariners in mix for four-team Justin Upton trade

Dec 6, 2012, 12:21 AM EDT

Justin Upton Getty Images

FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says that while the four-team Justin Upton talks are going nowhere fast, they’re not yet dead, not with Rangers GM Jon Daniels working hard to keep them alive.

Rosenthal reports that the Mariners have replaced the Rays as the fourth team involved in talks. They would likely get Rangers left-hander Derek Holland in return for whatever talent they surrendered.

The Rangers’ goal in the proceeding is to get Justin Upton from Arizona, and to accomplish that, it seems they’re going to have to facilitate a deal that would send Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians to the Diamondbacks.

What’s odd about that whole aspect is that the Diamondbacks and Indians wouldn’t seem to need the Rangers at all, given that the Diamondbacks have young pitching to trade. However, it sounds as though the Indians are more interested in Tyler Skaggs than fellow top prospect Trevor Bauer, while the Diamondbacks prefer to deal Bauer.

So, perhaps it all boils down like this:

Rangers get Upton from Diamondbacks
Diamondbacks get Cabrera from Indians, prospect from Rangers
Mariners get Holland from Rangers
Indians get prospect(s) from Mariners

For the Mariners’ side, it’s hard to imagine they’d trade top prospect Taijuan Walker for Holland. However, Danny Hultzen could be in play. Jesus Montero might be another possibility.

Anyway, the whole mess seems unlikely to come together. However, it’s become pretty clear that the Rangers’ preference is to end the winter with Upton and Zack Greinke and that Josh Hamilton has become the fallback option.

  1. manifunk - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    This makes literally no sense for the Mariners. Why would they:

    A. Trade their prospects for *pitching*
    B. Help division-rival Texas get Justin Upton

    Just makes no sense at all.

    • bigmeechy74 - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      Agreed. I think Holland is terrible. I wouldn’t sign him if he was a cheap free agent, much less trade assets for him. This would be completely idiotic for seattle to participate in this.

      • beefytrout - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        Probably why you’re not a baseball executive.

      • bigmeechy74 - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:10 AM

        I was exaggerating about the not signing him as a cheap free agent. But he is maddeningly inconsistent and has some of the worst starts I’ve ever seen. He is the exact same person as Justin Masterson. Great stuff, terribly inconsistent. Thanks for the comment though. Your expertise is always appreciated.

      • tk41 - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        He’s not terrible at ALL- he is maddeningly inconsistent. Its all what expect of him. He gives a lot of innings (175 last year, 200 year before) & keeps games competitive. His ERA is likely skewed a bit by playing in Texas, and he is still able to turn in an absolute gem from time-to-time. That paired with the fact that he has been a very good post-season pitcher makes him a commodity.

        But hey, I quit scouting after 1 year…. the hours & pay are awful.

      • beefytrout - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        really? some of the “worst starts you’ve ever seen?” So, in all your time watching MLB, Holland has thrown out some of the worst starts ever?

        Please. He wasn’t even in the top 5 worst starts on his own team in 2012.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      They’d certainly have to be very confident that they can turn Holland into a legitimate No. 2 starter to make it worthwhile. But, yeah, I don’t get it. Makes more sense to focus on hitting.

  2. spytdi - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Holland isn’t terrible. Not sure what baseball games you’ve been watching. Ranger’s ballpark is a launching pad, how else do you explain why they’ve never had a real ace. He has above average stuff and a immature approach. That can be corrected.

    • mashoaf - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      Nolan Ryan wasn’t an ace for the Rangers when they had him?

    • bigmeechy74 - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:12 AM

      Has nothing to do with launching pad and everything to do with the starts where he walks 7 guys in 3 innings.

      • brewcitybummer - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:58 AM

        He gave up a home run in 4.4% of his at bats. That’s not good man. Walk rate was actually slightly below league averages. Also, if a guy occasionally comes out and walks everyone and has a home run problem shouldn’t we at least consider the two might be related?

  3. phreakin - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Olt is part of the deal from Texas. MANY people locally have confirmed it, and its people that have known things in the past. Apparently Cleveland is asking for more than Skaggs. They want at least a starting pitcher and a prospect. The Rangers don’t wanna give up enough for Upton so that’s why the 4 teams are involved. Look for the Dbacks to get the SS and 3rd baseman they need if Upton is traded. They have no desire to give him away because of his upside still and his very friendly contract in comparison to other similar players out there. The key here is if this doesn’t get done soon, the Rangers are going to look more seriously at bringing Josh Hamilton back and forget getting Upton

  4. phreakin - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Olt is part of the deal from Texas. MANY people locally have confirmed it, and its people that have known things in the past. Apparently Cleveland is asking for more than Skaggs. They want at least a starting pitcher and a prospect. The Rangers don’t wanna give up enough for Upton so that’s why the 4 teams are involved. Look for the Dbacks to get the SS and 3rd baseman they need if Upton is traded. They have no desire to give him away because of his upside still and his very friendly contract in comparison to other similar players out there. The key here is if this doesn’t get done soon, the Rangers are going to look more seriously at bringing Josh Hamilton back and forget getting Upton

  5. spytdi - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    [Took my medicine.] Holland is a decent 3rd or 4th starter and believe he’ll come around on the long balls. If I was Texas, I’d miss him if Feliz and Lewis don’t come back healthy.

  6. 13arod - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    come on tampa get justan upton

  7. skytzo425 - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Wow, if Mariners trade any of their top 10 prospects or a big leaguer like Montero for Holland I’ll vomit all over everyone and everything in my vicinity. Holland is no more than a backend starter and has never filled his potential. It’s been 4 years now I think that I’ve heard Holland is going to break out, and it never happens. How does trading a potential stud bat like Montero or a potential Ace like Hultzen for a nothing like Holland make any kind of sense at all. This report makes me sick, I’ve been sticking up for the M’s moves and lack there of for years now but if this happens I’m done defending them because that would be more than stupid, it would be incompetent and just plain ignorant.

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