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Report: Mets interested in trading for Justin Upton

Jan 11, 2013, 8:28 PM EDT

justin upton getty Getty Images

We heard earlier today that the Mets are looking at free agent Scott Hairston as a “fallback option” and will only sign him if they can’t find someone better for their outfield. It’s not a surprise who they have on their wish list.

Sources tell Marc Carig of New York Newsday that the Mets are again interested in trading for Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. It’s viewed as a longshot, though, as it’s unlikely they’ll give up enough prospects to make a deal. One would think that Zack Wheeler wouldn’t be on the table, so names like Noah Syndergaard and Wilmer Flores probably won’t get it done.

It was reported yesterday that Upton rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners for a package which included prospect right-hander Taijuan Walker and prospect infielder Nick Franklin. The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are the other clubs on Upton’s no-trade list, so the D-Backs would not need his approval to send him to the Mets.

The Rangers have reportedly “moved on” from Upton, so many have pegged the Braves as the favorites, where he could play with his brother, B.J. Upton.


  1. dondada10 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    No thank you. Based upon what the M’s were giving up, it wouldn’t be worth it. Look at his his road/home splits. Citi would ruin him.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      They did bring the fences in, it could make a big difference. It was good enough to keep Wright in town. Maybe it could be good enough for Upton. Only time will tell.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      The home/road splits thing isn’t what it’s cracked up to be necessarily. Here is an article about justin upton and his park effects by dave cameron of fangraphs. Check it out and lemme know what you think.

      • paperlions - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Isn’t the take home message of that:

        Upton isn’t as good as playing in AZ makes him look AND he isn’t as bad as his home/road splits make him look?

        You obviously have to take park effects into account to understand the context of performance, but as many have pointed out (often to me when I cite them), it isn’t as simple as translating splits. There are some exceptions when a skill is taylor-made for a park or if a park helps hide a weakness, but those are relatively rare.

  2. cackalackyank - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Nothing to see here…NEXT.

    • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      If they’re not on his no trade list and he finds himself working for the Wilpoons, Upton is liable to wish he had accepted the Seattle trade.

  3. thebadguyswon - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Another Mets fan that would rather pass. Not worth the price.

    • dondada10 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      Not this year. For as bad as the outfield is right now, there’s no point in trading a single prospect for somebody we’re only gonna have for 3 years. We’re not 1 go away.

    • gammagammahey - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      Depends on what the price is for the Mets. Sure, the Mariners were offering Walker and Franklin and a very rough Mets equivalent would be centered around Wheeler and Flores, but that deal with the M’s is dead and so maybe the D’Backs are willing to take a little less now that they’ve lost some leverage. A similar thing happened with the Twins and Johan Santana once the Yankees and Red Sox mutually dropped out of the bidding. Based on Carig’s article, the Mets seem to be dangling Flores as the centerpiece, knowing that he doesn’t have much of a future with the Mets organization. If Flores is the top prospect in the deal and none of the big 4 (Harvey, Wheeler, d’Arnaud, Syndergaard) end up going with him, that could be a hell of a deal for the Mets.

    • Old Gator - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Sounds like a case of Wilpoon Beltranoia.

    • kappy32 - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Crazy & STUPID

  4. Walk - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Please forgive my ignorance, but i believe the dbacks are looking for pitching depth what can the mets offer? I do not follow the mets very well but i know they had bad luck with jason bay, heres hoping they do better if they get upton.

  5. lordd99 - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Report: 29 teams interested in trading for Justin Upton.

  6. drubeatz - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Sure, make the trade. You ain’t getting Wheeler, Harvey D’arnaud or Noah. Take Johan, Niese Flores and whoever else. Obviously not Wright or Davis.

  7. jason7498 - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Not worth giving up prospects for this guy. We would just set ourselves back again. Alderson is doing a great job with building the farm system to build within. Plus why give up prospects when we will have large contracts expiring to spend on a free agent outfielder, ie Jacoby Ellsbury. Stick to the plan Sandy!

    • kappy32 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      You’re stupid. Let’s not get an MVP-type player so we can hope & pray some kids become even 1/2 the player Upton is. Let me tell you, the Mets track record is GREAT with prospects, & it dates back through numerous front offices, not just Minaya. Bill Pullsipher, Jason Isrinhausen, Paul Wilson, Alex Ochoa, Alex Escobar, Butch Husky, Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez; remember those guys? I don’t know if you’re too young, but those are just a few “top prospects” the Mets had that amounted to absolutely NOTHING. During that time period, the Mets have produced only David Wright & Jose Reyes as prospects who actually panned out. We know what Upton is, but we don’t know what the prospects are. Given the Mets’ past, they should be more inclined to trade a few prospects to get a proven commodity so the other team can assume the risk. Plus, Alderson isn’t building the farm up just so every player can come through the system & play on the big club. He is building the system to produce some players that can help, but also have attractive trade pieces. We are DYING for a RH, young, power-hitting OF & Upton fills that mold to a T. 2013 & 2014 were supposed to be the years where the Mets are going to compete. So far, since Alderson has taken over, the team has regressed & players on the big club have proven to not be ML-caliber players. I guess you would rather have a platoon in right, involving Hairston, Nieuwenhuis in Center, and Duda in Left? Not one of those players are ML-caliber players. Putting Upton in LF gives us the chance to move Duda for a bullpen piece & allows us to put Cowgill in Right. With the young pitching the Mets have, along with d’Arnaud, Wright & David, if you add Upton the Mets automatically become competitive. However, if you just send a retread of the 2012 Mets out there in 2013, they’re going to be lucky to win 75 games, again. A couple years ago, or even going into 2012, I wouldn’t be interested in Upton because there were too many holes the Mets needed to fill. However, the Mets aren’t very far from contending, especially with the 2nd wild card, and Upton can put them over the top. There is no question we need serious bullpen help, too, but taking care of priority #1, an everyday OF who we will have for a few years at a minimum, allows Sandy to move on to the bullpen & gives him an idea of the pieces he can afford to move to get relief help. It doesn’t take a baseball savant to know that the Mets are dying for an everyday, difference-making OF because right now, we are completely devoid of an outfielder who can play everyday. Lucas Duda is absolute garbage; Nieuwenhuis is a complete unknown & has never been considered a prospect; Baxter is a reserve player, at best; Hairston is an older player & is best suited as a pinch hitter v. LH pitchers; Matt den Dekker is a year or 2 away; and the best option we have, Colin Cowgill, was given to us from the A’s for pretty much a sack of baseballs. There should be no question that if we can land Upton for a reasonable price – which will include good prospects, maybe even Jon Neise – that we should pull the trigger IMMEDIATELY. We have a big hole out there, and we have an MVP-type player within reach, DO IT! That is, unless you’re more concerned watching young players develop than you are watching winning baseball. I’m not, I want to win & Upton helps us win.

  8. chill1184 - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Would be nice for the outfield but the D-Back’s price is too high (I dont blame them).

  9. kappy32 - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    You should check your comment section every once in awhile. I have you a heads up on this EXACT story last night in the “Hairston Fallback Option” comment section. Thanks.

  10. kappy32 - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Mets fans who would pass are CRAZY!!! This guy is a 24 year old RH hitting OF, something we are dying for, and has already finished in the top 5 of NL MVP voting. He had an MVP caliber year in 2011, but fell off in 2012; it sounds a lot like Matt Kemp with a great 2010, then a crappy 2011. Kemp went on to put up MVP-like numbers in 2012 when he was healthy. Kemp & Upton project to be a very similar player & by the time Upton hits his prime, 27-30, he will be a perennial MVP candidate. You guys don’t want to trade for him because you don’t want to give up prospects? Wake up, guys. We don’t know Wheeler, Noah, Flores, or anyone else that is a prospect in the Mets system will ever pan out & it is highly unlikely any of them will be the player Upton is. The Mets will not win anything with the current crop of prospect position players they have, so eventually we have to make a move for a proven player to go along with what we have in the farm. Upton is the type of player we wish our prospects will be. It makes no sense to not make the deal when you can get a proven commodity for a few unknowns. I’m not content with the Hairston, Cowgill, Francisco type signings. You guys are just plain stupid if you wouldn’t want Upton, and pay the price for him. This is not Kansas City, Tampa Bay or Pittsburg; this is NEW YORK, the LARGEST sports market in the world & we deserve superstar players here, not a bunch of kids who may or may not be good. Go root for one those small market teams if you want cheap, penny pinching roster construction.

    • kappy32 - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM


      Matt Kemp put up MVP numbers in 2009, fell off in 2010, but returned to form in 2011. Regardless, Upton & Kemp project to be a very similar player. This isn’t BJ Upton we are talking about here.

  11. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jan 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    kappy32 has probably blown his shot at winning this thread’s Miss Congeniality award.

  12. mtr75 - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Come on guys, this could make us a 70-win team next year!

  13. kappy32 - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Chip, being Ms. Congeniality was never my goal. I’m tired of Mets fans being brainwashed by Sandy Alderson & Co. Either Mets fans are too dumb to see through the BS, or the new crop of fans remembers nothing other than the Minaya debacle years. NY is a big market, the biggest market in the world, and Mets fans seem content with bargain bottom FA acquisitions, hoping & praying on the development of “prospects,” and the 70-win seasons that have become the norm. Many Mets fans want to believe Lucas Duda is going to be a 30/100 savior only because he is homegrown. This is the same guy who was demoted over Jason Bay last year, yet he is the closest thing to an everyday OF the Mets have. With the young pitching the Mets have, they are a solid OF like Upton & a few bullpen pieces away from contending for the second WC spot. However, Mets fans are more concerned with keeping prospects that they have no idea about. They like to think they’re the smartest fans in baseball because they read reports online. I read the same reports but I have no idea what Noah Syndergaard or Zach Wheeler are going to be. I know Jon Neise is a #3 starter, at best, and it would be stupid to not make a deal for one of the game’s best, young OF over a guy like Jon Neise. Neise’s skill set can be easily replicated, but Upton’s can’t. When I read things that some Mets fans post, I’m embarrassed to be identified as a Mets fan. Don’t trade for Upton because we can’t afford to give up Wheeler or Neise? WAKE UP!!! We aren’t talking about Steve Strasburg here. If nothing else, Mets fans are great at overvaluing their young players & have so for 20-plus years. These are the same guys who wouldn’t want Giancarlo Stanton because we couldn’t afford to give up Neise or Wheeler because they’re just too good. There’s nothing like a perennial 15 game winner with a 4.00 ERA (Neise) & a guy who hasn’t thrown a single pitch in the major leagues (Wheeler), but loves to walk the ballpark in the minors. Let me tell you, you certainly can’t win without that, but I guess you could win without a single ML-caliber OF. A .300/30/100 guy who hasn’t even hit his prime yet is something we don’t need. EMBARRASSING

  14. richyballgame - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    If you’re emptying out the farm for a player,make it someone actually worth getting and instantly contributes,not knocking Upton or anything but I don’t think he’d preform well in the Big Apple.

  15. brandonm7315 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Being a Rays fan… We’re gonna miss B.J. this year. Though l think it would be kinda cool to see them play 2gether.

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