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Diamondbacks “very much open again” to Justin Upton deal

Jan 3, 2013, 7:59 PM EST

Justin Upton AP AP

UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Rangers, Mariners and Braves have all expressed strong interest in Upton.

4:02 PM: It’s been a while since Justin Upton rumors were swirling, so Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Diamondbacks are “very much open again to talking about trading Upton with other teams.”

That’s some interesting language from Olney and falls pretty short of saying Arizona is actively shopping Upton or even actively fielding offers on Upton. But considering reports like that have been surfacing every month or so for going on two years now none of it is surprising.

After the Diamondbacks basically came out of nowhere to sign Cody Ross it seemed obvious that they’d be moving an outfielder, and Upton or Jason Kubel are the leading candidates.

  1. psuravens19 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Will they please just trade the guy, I’m tired of hearing about him in possible trade talks. I would have to think Upton would agree with me.

    • dodger88 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      I second the motion. Enough is enough.

    • joeeversole - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      The Braves have lots of prospects including young pitchers and infielders. Trade for him and I think he and BJ playing together will lift both of their games.

    • chacochicken - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      The problem with actually trading Upton means that none of the other GMs will have any reason to talk to Kevin Towers at all. Its really kind of sad, Kevin they should like you for you not your trade bait.

  2. djjackson81 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Third that move Upton already hello Mariners

    • tuberippin - Jan 3, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Upton already hello Mariners.

      Upton then almost accidentally the entire thing.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I am guessing the Diamondbacks move Kubel before Upton because I think they have an inflated valuation of Upton and a more realistic valuation of Kubel.

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      True and trading Upton would take away the endless speculation about trading Justin Upton. I’m not sure Towers can live without it.

  4. jpack1974 - Jan 3, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Ranger fan here. I would love to see Texas get him. I think at 25 in a lineup that the Rangers have…..he does nothing but get better. He is a HUGE defensive upgrade to Cruz in RF (who is my favorite Ranger) and move Cruz to DH. I’m ok with sending Elvis to Dbacks. Let Profar play short. Or, send them Olt. Zona could use some help at 3B as well.

  5. cackalackyank - Jan 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Not going to happen because Dacks do not need an outfielder, but Curtis Granderson would look great in that sharp red color they have in Arizona.

  6. Jonny 5 - Jan 3, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Philly Philly Philly Philly, how many times did Dorothy have to click those heels to get home from Oz again? Philly Philly Philly Philly…….. Or should I go the Jobu route on this?

    • phillyphan77 - Jan 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      How much would we have to give up to get him?

      • thebadguyswon - Jan 3, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        Guys, face it. Philly doesn’t have the prospects. I get it….I like Upton too. But the Philly farm is in the bottom 10 and 5 or 6 lottery tickets for Upton won’t do it. Teams like Texas and Seattle can over close-to-ready elite prospects.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        I’m thinking with the help from Jobu, ruby slippers, and rum (for Jobu of course) lots of pitching. I’m not sure Philly has the depth to spare, but I’d say pitching is where they are deepest and they always stock up on pitching every year. Of course it’s a long shot with other teams in the mix for him, but Upton isn’t soooo valuable that the Phillies couldn’t put together a competitive enough package of prospects to land him. As thebadguyswon mentioned other teams in the mix are better stocked to land him via prospects as long as they are willing to give up more than the next guy. I know Seattle values their prospects far more than Philly does and Texas probably has the best shot at it in reality. That is if they are willing to offer the best package. Who knows? Watch a mystery team land him.

  7. yahmule - Jan 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Upton seems to lack the ability to produce when his health is at less than 100%. Arizona should deal him before everybody in the league realizes it.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Upton seems to have the ability to remain an above-average player, even when his health is at less than 100%. Everybody in the league should try to deal for him before Arizona realizes it.

      • yahmule - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        I guess that seems true if you choose to ignore consistent empirical evidence to the contrary.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        Like what, the fact that in his two down, injury-plagued seasons he was still nearly ten percent better than the league-average player offensively while at least remaining neutral in the field and on the basis? Because wRC+s of 109 and 108, along with fWARs of 3.0 and 2.5, during his injury-filled seasons of 2010 and 2012 would seem to be consistent empirical evidence supporting my position. Obviously he doesn’t play at his peak when he isn’t fully healthy – nobody does, despite media narratives of warrior players fighting through injury and not letting it affect them. But he still contributes at an above-average level despite not being fully healthy. That’s a positive in his column, not a negative.

    • yahmule - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      It is when you consider what he’s going to cost and where he bats in the lineup. Most teams and fans expect more than slightly better than league average from those kinds of players. Try and view things in proper context and you’ll gain a better understanding. I guess Upton’s booed at home and constantly shopped by management because of your media narrative straw man argument, too.

  8. wpjohnson - Jan 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Braves and Rangers need him.

  9. chacochicken - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Towers simply needs to periodically remind himself just how much he hates the very idea of Justin Upton.

  10. rockthered1286 - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    If he’d JUST play LF… He’d look great in O’s orange and could take advantage of the hitter friendly park. But like the Phil’s convo above, O’s don’t have much to offer in terms of prospects NOT named Bundy or Gausman.

  11. Sign Ahead - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    As a Diamondbacks fan, I would very much like to see the situation resolved. It feels like the last couple years of Justin Upton’s career have been one big trade rumor, and the odd cycle of “He’s our best player!” and “He’s through in Arizona,” is a little distracting.

    I hope they don’t trade him during this offseason. Whether they intended to or not, the front office did a lot of damage to his trade value. Trading him now would feel like a huge, self-induced “sell low” situation. A season, or even half a season of healthy baseball and silence from the front office (or maybe even some positive front-office spin, if they can manage it) should help improve his value.

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      Agreed. They’d be further ahead dangling him in June or July.

  12. oprk - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    I hope Upton lets the front office know he’s changing his offseason workout routine to something they disagree with so that a few B level prospects will become the new asking price.

  13. lyajoe - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Rumor in Philly has that Upton has limited no trade clause and Marinersare on it . Also that Cliff Lee would have to be part of package . I don’t know if RAJ can pull that rabbit out of his hat but he has seemed to have a few rabbits hidden away in the past.

    • phillyphan77 - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      In a Lee-Upton trade, the diamondbacks would have to send us at least 1 or 2 prospects also. Otherwise, there is no way you make that deal.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        The Diamondbacks are not surrendering the younger, less expensive and arguably better player AND giving up prospects in the deal. Cliff Lee is owed $87.5 million for the next three seasons ($102.5 million if his 2016 option is picked up/vests). Justin Upton is owed $38.5 million for the next three seasons. For Arizona to even think about sending prospects along with Upton, they’d have to not only think that Upton is less than half the player Cliff Lee is now, but also that he will continue to be less than half the player Cliff Lee is as he heads towards the peak player age while Lee descends into his late 30s. Any Cliff Lee-Justin Upton deal would have to involve Philadelphia either eating a ton of money or sending along significant other pieces, not the other way around.

  14. 13arod - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    they should just trade parra he is only good on defense and with ross upton and kubal in the outfield they will be contenders

  15. 13arod - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    tampa can get him they have one of the best minor league system out there an if they get another big bat or 2 then they will win the divsion for sure

  16. oprk - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Heyman reported back in November that Upton added Seattle to his no-trade list making the Mariners/Blue Jays and two other teams on it if I remember right. It’s common for a player to add highly interested clubs to their list in order to get a bonus to waive their clause. Upton knows of the Mariners interest and could want leverage in a possible deal. Or, he really has no interest in playing for Seattle, but it sounds as if they weren’t originally on his list until they showed interest.

  17. spudchukar - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Unless the Rangers are willing to part with Olt or Profar they most likely do not have the quality of youngsters the D-backs are looking for, maybe if they include Perez and others but I doubt if that would do it. The Braves are in the best position IMHO, with a number of young arms, which have previously been coveted, but a little slow to reach potential. Seattle, maybe, but Hultzen would certainly have to be included in a package, that isn’t as glamorous as what the Braves could offer. Delgado, Terehan and possibly O’Flaherty would be attractive, and the Braves would be set for a long time, with an outfield of the Upton Bros., and Heyward, a return of Prado to second base, and a move of Uggla to third, and be talented enough to challenge Washington in the NL East.

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