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Justin Upton rejected a trade to the Mariners

Jan 10, 2013, 8:29 PM EDT

justin upton getty Getty Images

UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Taijuan Walker was in the deal, as well as Nick Franklin and two others.

8:29 PM: Scott Miller of reports that the D-Backs would have received three or four players in return for Upton, including relievers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, prospect infielder Nick Franklin and likely one of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton or Danny Hultzen. Alas, no deal.

8:07 PM: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are on Upton’s no-trade list. It’s possible he included some of those teams for leverage, not because he wouldn’t go there. But Seattle doesn’t look like a fit.

7:12 PM: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic confirms Rosenthal’s report and adds that the proposed package from the Mariners was “substantial.”

7:10 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks were in agreement on a trade that would have sent Justin Upton to the Mariners, but that the outfielder rejected the proposed deal.

The Mariners are one of four teams on Upton’s no-trade list. Players often waive their no-trade rights if they are compensated in some way, but it appears that he just doesn’t want to play in Seattle. Of course, coming back to Arizona would now be pretty awkward, too. The Rangers and Braves are still interested, so chances are the D-Backs will continue to shop him.

Rosenthal hears that the Diamondbacks would have received a package of young players in return for Upton, but their identities aren’t known. As our own Matthew Pouliot speculates, it’s likely that names like Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin, Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor could have been discussed.

  1. Reflex - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Damn. Honestly based on the moves the DBacks have been making, I’d be more willing to bet on the M’s winning over the next couple of years. Might be hometown bias though. Good to know Jack has been busy.

    • ireportyoudecide - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      The problem is Jack has done such a bad job Upton isn’t willing to go to Seattle. Can’t say I blame him Mariners ownership seems determined to keep the payroll under 70 million.

      • Reflex - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        I’m not sure why you think that. Jack has built a good young team with a great farm system. He inherited a terrible old team with a completely barren farm system. Also, ownership used to keep payroll in the top third MLB teams for years, it only declined after Jack started the rebuild. Do you think they should have been spending on expensive veterans who were unlikely to contribute to any future contender? Seems like that is more of the style of the previous GM, Bavasi.

      • ireportyoudecide - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        Let’s see, he let Dickey and Beltre walk. Traded Morse, Vargas, Morrow, C. Lee. Aquired Montero and Smoak. That’s good? When you are so bad you get a top 3 pick every other year it’s hard to give to much credit for the picks that have yet to fail or succeed.

      • shawnuel - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        Try commenting when you know what you are talking about.

      • tuberippin - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        I like that the guy above me is trying to defend Jack Z’s moves like they’ve been any good.

        Let’s see:

        Trade Brandon Morrow for Brandon League. Trade Brandon League for garbage.
        Trade Mike Morse for Ryan Langerhans.
        Trade Jarrod Washburn for garbage.
        Trade for Milton Bradley.

        Is he as bad as Bill Bavasi? No.

        Is he markedly better? Also no, but at least he’s giving it the old college try in chasing big-name players instead of overpaying for flash-in-the-pan and over-the-hill players like Bill Bavasi did.

      • Mark - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:37 PM


        Don’t forget that awful trade where he gave away Doug Fister for nothing.

      • Reflex - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        So basically you are faulting him for taking out the trash left over from Bavasi’s reign? Seriously, every guy you are faulting him for trading is a guy he didn’t acquire who was not worth anything at the time. None of them had any chance of contributing to a next great Mariner’s team, whenever that arrives.

        Yes, he traded veterans for prospects, some of which will pay off and some of which will not. Which is the nature of prospects. He’s also drafted really f’ing well, something Bavasi wiffed at repeatedly, and which sets the stage for both a better team in the future, and trades from areas of strength(such as pitching).

      • shawnuel - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM


        Really easy to make a point when you leave out ALL the good trades he has made. Also, Leon Landry, who Seattle got in the League trade is an OF prospect with “borderline regular” to 4th OF potential, which is valuable…..hardly garbage. Maikel Cleto for Brendan Ryan? ireportyoudecide mentions Cliff Lee trade as bad….well, Jack turned one of those pieces (Lueke) into John Jaso and the jury is still out on Smoak. I’ll concede he is a bust if he sucks again this season but look to other very good career first basemen to their age 25 seasons and that tends to be a breakout year after a few seasons of struggle. Also…how did Jack get Cliff Lee in the first place? 3 prospects who he did not draft, who haven’t done much of anything….except get arrested for Cocaine use or sit in the minors for 3 seasons FOR FREAKING CLIFF LEE!!!!!!!. How about JJ Putz – who suffered through a couple of seasons of injuries before FINALLY becoming effective again last season – and Luis Valbuena for Mike Carp, Maikel Cleto (now Ryan) Jason Vargas and Franklin Gutierrez? Then trading Vargas for Kendrys Morales?

        Yes…..Zduriencik has made a few errors. I will forever rue the Morrow for League trade, and while the Fister for Youth trade looks bad now, it certainly made baseball sense when it went down. Wells still provides some value and Furbush has been solid. And really….Washburn? You bring that up as a bad trade? What did he do after going to Detroit? Seattle got more value from the guys they got back than Detroit did from Washburn…..who flamed out the rest of that season and then didn’t play again.

    • olympiacham - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Honestly what would it take for Jack Z supporters to question his ability? Last 3/4 seasons in the AL West? Two of baseball’s historically worst offenses? The supporters are only looking at what could be. They definitely aren’t looking at his record.

  2. lew24 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I’m sure one of them was Taijuan Walker!

  3. lyon810 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Damn, the DBacks were so close to getting a young, high ceiling, superstar to build a team around in return for a young, high ceiling, superstar. So close

    • unlost1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      I thought Justin Upton was a young high ceiling superstar.

  4. macjacmccoy - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I dont blame him. Who wants to go to the Mariners who are a constant dissapointment. It seems like every other year they get a big name player and everyone gets all excited and then they flop. Usually leading to that player being traded . No one wants to be with a new team every 6 months.

    • shawnuel - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      Yeah….every other year. Tell me when that happened besides the Cliff Lee situation?

      • macjacmccoy - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:53 AM


  5. dondada10 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    I just joined Twitter yesterday. Man, Pouliot is tough on the eyes.

  6. Old Gator - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Just out of curiosity, didn’t anyone in the Mariners front orifice bother to ask, hey, Justin, um, would you, you know, waive your no-trade clause to go to Seattle if we worked out a deal with them, before investing all that time and effort in negotiating the trade?

    • Reflex - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      I’m under the impression that that is tampering. Unless the team he’s under contract to permits it(and why would they until they have a deal on the table) only the team he’s playing for can ask him such questions.

      • Sign Ahead - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        I was wondering why the Diamondbacks didn’t ask him the same question.

        I know they’re not doing it on purpose (at least I hope they’re not doing it on purpose) but it feels like the Diamondbacks have been working very hard to drive down the trade value of their own player. It doesn’t give me a lot of faith in their end game.

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        Uh…yeah, the unstated assumption here (though clearly implied) being that the Mariners would only ask him as part of the negotiations with the Diamondbacks.

        It’s hardly unheard of for one team to give another permission to talk to their player to see if they can tempt him into agreeing to a trade he’s entitled block, or to agree to an extension as part of a trade to make it worthwhile to give up good players or prospects for a player with a very short contract life – as in the case of the Feather Lice negotiating with R. A. Dickey on an extension before they agreed to pull the trigger with the Mutts.

  7. chill1184 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Granted Upton was the one who rejected the trade I sometimes wonder what if anything the D-Backs are hiding. Is their some hidden injury or is the guy that much of a pain in the ass for the rest of the team?

    • Sign Ahead - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      I think he’s just a convenient scapegoat.

      Last year had enough anger and embarrassment to get the best of anyone, and it feels like the current Diamondbacks ownership is especially susceptible to acting out in anger. I had hoped they could contain themselves until they had a chance to cool off and Upton had a chance to rebuild some of his value. But it looks like that isn’t going to happen.

  8. echech88 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Good for him. They were willing to give him that power of a limited NTC and he has every right to use it. Why uproot your life to go to a team that is shooting for 3rd place in its division.

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      He is already on a team shooting for 3rd place in its own division.

      Plus Seattle >> Phoenix.

  9. jrob1020 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Now is the time to make your move Duquette. Now it seems like the D’Backs have to trade him and you were looking for a bat with power that can play left or first. He is young, under team control, and can run and play defense. I guess it makes too much sense. I enjoyed the playoffs for the one year we were in it.

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      It is going to take 2 of Bundy, Gausman, and Schoop and possibly more….I think they could do it….but it won’t be cheap (in terms of young talent).

  10. pricejustin24 - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Shocker- he doesn’t wanna play with wet panties on

  11. proudlycanadian - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    That no trade list is strange. The Jays do not need him. The Red Sox could use his bat, but are reluctant to trade prospects. The Cubs are rebuilding and would also be reluctant to trade for him.

  12. tfbuckfutter - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Is there really a professional baseball player named Charlie Furbush?

    That is my favorite thing I have heard in the last 5 months. It sounds like a character name in a Kevin Smith movie if Kevin Smith made movies in the 1970s.

    • dtoms - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Yeah, the Mariners traded Fister for Furbush. Us fans can keep ourselves somewhat entertained.

      • bankboy2012 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        Only thing that would have made that trade better for my inner 12 year old was if if was a 3-way deal.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:27 AM

        This just reminds me of how much I miss Rusty Kuntz.

  13. brianabbe - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Just think, Upton gave up a chance to play for a team gunning for third place in its division to stay with…a team gunning for third place in its own division!

    • brianabbe - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      But seriously, I think Arizona has a better shot at the playoffs and/or division than Seattle does for the next year or two. I think Seattle is a sleeping giant soon enough with that Nintendo money though, but in the next year or two, I’ll take Arizona’s pitching depth, even without Bauer, over Seattle, and the lineup won’t be too bad either.

      Here’s a question for Texas in these trade rumors. Why are you so insistent on keeping Andrus for two more seasons instead of flipping him for Upton for three seasons, especially with Profar ready? From the sound of things, Upton reportedly wanted a long-term extension if he’s to be traded, whereas Andrus is a Boras client. He has zero plans on doing anything other than play the FA market in winter 2014-15.

  14. jrob1020 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    I wouldn’t trade Bundy or Gausman, but I would trade Schoop and a mixture of other players like Arrieta, Britton, Matusz, Tillman, Avery, Reimold and others. A mixture of almost anyone that isn’t starting for us.

  15. seattlenative57 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Something tells me this deals not finished. We’ll find out more in the days to come. Upton won’t be in Arizona this season.

  16. fearthehoody - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    As an M’s fan I say good! Pryor has 100 mph fastball and future closer, Furbush is legit long relief / Spot starter, Franklin an everyday SS, and each one of the triplets (Walker, Pax, Hultz) are Ace/#2 guys

    • olympiacham - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Furbush for Fister was a terrible trade, and Furbush has been a disappointment as he is 8-9 with a 4.80 ERA since joining the Ms. Everyone else you listed has yet to prove anything in the Bigs. FYI–Hultzen got shredded in AAA last year. Claiming all 3 are going to be Ace/#2 starter is setting your self up to be let down. More than likely one will be good, one average, and one forgettable.

  17. fbwangus8736 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    This trade was never going to happen. Towers tried one last time to sqeeze the Rangers for Elvis or Profar. Daniels told Him to stick it. They have moved on.

  18. seattlenative57 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    The Mariners are on Upton’s no-trade list to provide leverage. The difficult part was getting Arizona to agree to the players involved. Now it’s up to Jack to sweeten the pot for Upton to agree. This deal is not dead.

    • shawnuel - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      I am a Seattle fan as well. However, Upton has told Arizona management, repeatedly, that he won’t accept a trade to Seattle. Don’t think any sweetener Jack can offer will persuade him.

  19. seacab1972 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    I kind of hope it doesn’t go through. If he doesn’t want to come up here to Seattle and get a new start see ya. It is business pal and your team doesn’t want you. I get you earned the right for the No Trade Clause, but guess what your fans earned the right to Boo you every time at the plate next year because they didn’t get some amazing talent coming their way. Enjoy the dough and the hate of a good portion of your team and fans.

    • bankboy2012 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM

      Boo the front office, not Upton. He’s got a limited no-trade clause and the FO worked a deal with a team on that list before getting his sign off. Considering just about every day that ended in Y since the end of last season has had a Justin Upton trade rumor I can’t blame him for sticking it to Arizona. There’s still 25 other teams they can try and trade him to without needing to ask permission if they really want to move him.

  20. seacab1972 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    I kind of hope it doesn’t go through. If he doesn’t want to come up here to Seattle and get a new start see ya. It is business pal and your team doesn’t want you. I get you earned the right for the No Trade Clause, but guess what your fans earned the right to Boo you every time at the plate next year because they didn’t get some amazing talent coming their way. Enjoy the dough and the hate of a good portion of your team and fans. In Jack Z we trust. Find us someone with a pop that will like to see themselves on that big TV you are putting in when they are pounding homers over that fence you just moved in.

  21. olympiacham - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    I laugh to hear people defend Jack Z. Look at his results in the big leagues. Last place in the division 3/4 years. He put together 2 of the worst offenses in baseball history!!!

    He’s has good players to trade but totally failed with Cliff Lee and Doug Fister. Otherwise he’s probably about even in his trades.

    I give the farm system is rated higher but nothing has materialized from his prospects. The so called ‘big three’ pitching prospects haven’t proven anything. Hultzen got shredded in AAA last year.

    Not saying he needs to be fired but the blind faith is absolutely laughable.

  22. wj4122 - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    When was upton good at defense? I go to many games at chase field a year and he is near elite status for being a lazy outfielder who consistantely let’s the ball drop right in front of him. 4 tool player.

  23. beastmode5150 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Hey Jack Z haters/bashers, don’t post when you are clueless please. He has taken this team from last place, with the #27 minor league system to 3rd place with the #2 Minor league system in 4 years. This is baseball, it’s hard to do much better than that in the best division in baseball with a 90 million dollar payroll.

    • olympiacham - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      All Jack Z supporters can point to is the minor league level. He has created some of the worst major league offenses in the history of the game. You can have a good farm system and big league club at the same time. They are not exclusive from each other.

  24. fnc111 - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    More like Phx > Seattle

    Who honestly wants to live in cold cloudy rainy Seattle?

  25. rwsh - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Mariners will never be interesting with current ownership.

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