Justin Upton Rumors: Saturday

Yesterday we learned that at least 15 teams inquired about the availability of Arizona's Justin Upton at the GM Meetings, and that five of those clubs wanted to push talks further along. We also learned that the 23-year-old can block trades to Athletics, Indians, Royals, and Tigers. Here are today's batch of Upton rumors, with more to come throughout the day…

  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that a lot of people in the game are wondering why the Diamondbacks are so intent on marketing their budding star. They're curious if something's wrong.
  • ESPN's Keith Law (Insider req'd) lists four reasons why new GM Kevin Towers might want to deal Upton, noting that he may have concerns about his on-field potential, makeup, and health.


72 Responses to Justin Upton Rumors: Saturday Leave a Reply

  1. mauerfan 5 years ago

    How bad could his shoulder be if Towers wants to trade him??????

    • Maybe he just wants to get a ridiculous haul for him. Towers could be concerned with his strikeouts.

  2. bustersposey 5 years ago

    interesting that his makeup is mentioned. i remember hearing how he rubbed people the wrong way after he first signed- kind of arrogant and entitled, not running out ground balls, etc. that wouldn’t make me trade him, just kind of interesting to see that mentioned.

  3. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    “Yesterday we learned that at least 15 teams inquired about the available of Arizona’s Justin Upton…” Just FYI Mikie-boy.*availability

  4. SDCAP 5 years ago

    Every team should be willing to consider trading every one of their players. It’s ridiculous to judge the “considering” you should only judge the “trade.”If Towers trade Upton for Omar Infante and a middle reliever then you can say he’s a silly billy little head. If he trades him for Clay Buccholz, Jacoby Ellsbury Jed Lowrie and Daniel Bard then it’s probably a smart thing to do.

  5. Char_Aznable 5 years ago

    he’s had a torn labrum since 2006 and has not gotten it fix.. that why he been missing games past few years. Torn labrum can be a real nasty injury

  6. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Why I think KT is willing/wants to move Upton:

    Towers as far as I can tell is the type of GM who wants his team his way and to play a certain type of baseball. He inheritied a team with record breaking strikeout numbers and not much in overall pitching talent in the rotation or pen or minors or majors which seems opposite to his MO. He did inherit a few players with trade value and one of whom who has outstanding trade value in Justin Upton. Since Upton wasn’t drafted and developed under Towers he isn’t protected by that ‘GM’s special jewel syndrome’ and is much easier to trade in Towers’ eye. To KT, Upton is a guy who he may not particularly like and would be the quickest and most effective way to revamp the D-Backs into a pitching, defense and contact hitting team like he seems to want.

    Trading Upton along with Reynolds and maybe a few others could turn the D-Backs into the team Towers wants in just a year or two instead of waiting 4-5 years for all the the new draft picks and signings to trickle through.

    • I think you are right, makeup and injuries might play a role into it, but he isn’t Towers player by any means. I think Upton and Reynolds will both be on their way out b/c of their K’s and the rebuilding process. They also account for much of the future payroll of this team so Towers might be trying to ‘clear the books’ so to speak. Upton should bring back a King’s ransom, and in that I can see the logic in moving him.

  7. baseball33 5 years ago

    Could Towers want to trade him because he Strikes out 150 times a year

    • Some people think because of that, he may never reach his potential.

      • skoz 5 years ago

        Just want to point out that Carlos Gonzalez struck out 135 times last year and still finished with a .336/.376/.598 line.

        • qudjy1 5 years ago

          Didnt he also have a 28% LD rate and a ~390 BABIP?

          • Sniderlover 5 years ago

            Upton has had .354(2010), .360 and .332 BABIP the past 3 years. BJ had .393 and .344 in 07 and 08 seasons where he had his best seasons.

            Just seems like if you have high strikeouts then you will have a high BABIP.

  8. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    The Dbacks are doing the right thing. No one should be ‘untouchable’. They are just seeing if they could get blown away on a trade, if they don’t there is no need to trade him. Seeing as they are getting calls from over half the teams in the majors, they might get a trade that blows them away and deal him.

  9. Dermick 5 years ago

    I really think the Cardinals should throw everything outside of Colby to get this guy

    • skoz 5 years ago

      I can tell you right now, if Colby ruffled under TLR’s management style, Justin Upton would throw tantrums.

  10. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    “a lot of people in the game are wondering why the Diamondbacks are so intent on marketing their budding star. They’re curious if something’s wrong.”

    That’s another big reason why I don’t want the Red Sox to send a major package to the Dbacks for Upton. If he’s such a sure thing then almost any package probably wouldn’t be worth the Dbacks trading him. Towers has a good eye for talent…

  11. MaineSox 5 years ago

    Could it not be that they believe that having 3-5 good/really good players is better than having one outstanding young superstar? If you drop some value in right but gain value at 3-5 other positions it could potentially be a pretty big net upgrade for the team overall.

    • Esp. if most of them have 5 or 6 years remaining of team control (and for prospects who are M.L. ready Towers could always bring them up in June and get this year for free).

  12. BobbyJohn 5 years ago

    If you can move one player and get 2-3 major-league-ready players as well as a couple of prospects in return, it makes all the sense in the world to me.

  13. myname_989 5 years ago

    Buster Olney makes stuff up whenever Jon Heyman is getting more publicity. Lol

  14. bustersposey 5 years ago

    lets assume that nobody trades for upton in the next few weeks and the talk dies down. any chance upton then demands to be traded?

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Then it’ll be treated like the Colby Rasmus trade demand, internet rumors will run rampant. Ultimately though my bet is Towers will only trade Upton at his price.

  15. Tigers94 5 years ago

    So Upton blocks the Tigers but not the Nationals, Mariners, Pirates, Brewers, or Astros? I don’t want this guy, his potential is too high and any trade for Upton would be a good trade for the D’Backs. Upton has been in the league for 3 years now, and is always projected to hit almost 40 hrs, but never does. Personally, I would rather have Crawford who is a proven OF who is good defensively and offensively.

    • I would like for someone to start doing some real reporting, and get players to start telling reasons for why they have certain teams on their list of no-trade…now THAT would be interesting.

    • How could you have a problem with a player’s potential being too high?

    • jdub220 5 years ago

      Are you saying that Upton isn’t a proven OF and isn’t good defensively and offensively? I think his 2009 all star roster spot, third-best UZR at his position, and career .272/.352/.471 line disagree with you. Especially compared to Crawford’s career .296/.337/.444 line. Oh yeah, and Crawford is six years older.

    • eviola1 5 years ago

      I love how you rationalize how Upton isn’t that great a player just because he doesn’t want to be on the team you are a fan of. LMAO

  16. I know the DBacks will probably want more, but it would be nice if the Red Sox got him for a package built around Ellsbury, Doubront, Rizzo, and Reddick. Then after losing Ellsbury the Sox could go hard after Crawford and probably get him. Let V Mart walk and hand over the catching duties to, of course, Varitek, but have Salty and Exposito compete for the other catcher spot on a merit system. Sign Downs and Fuentes and then release Okajima, and then the Red Sox would be in business next year!

  17. Mike C. 5 years ago

    With a talent like Upton. There is virtually no package of players that is too high a price to play. Obviously the D-Backs want young, cheap, top talent. Either they get it or they keep him…

    • TheodoreRoosevelt 5 years ago

      There is always a price that is too high to pay.

      The bottom line is this: if the price tag would make a team weaker, then there is no point in trading for him.

      Likewise, if Arizona’s aim is to get cheaper and better, then they should take the best deal that allows them to achieve that…whether it is an “overpay” or not.

      • JP 5 years ago

        Exactly Theodore.

        That’s why some of the trade suggestions here (Romero, Stewart, Snider + + + for Upton) are absurd. Fair value or a modest overpay is one thing, but no team is going to think ‘I want Upton so badly that I’m going to decimate my team to get him.’ What would be the point? You’d be better off not making the deal.

        • Sniderlover 5 years ago

          Stewart in a deal for him wouldn’t be an overpayment but it was ridiculous seeing Romero +++ or Snider + Drabek ++ or Snider + Cecil ++. Nobody will give up that much major league talent or guys with the upside they have.

  18. moonraker45 5 years ago

    Hechavarria, Stewart, D’arnaud and Cecil. . . . If the Dbacks get more then that in a trade for Upton, I will buy a Randy Johnson DiamondBacks jersey and become the teams biggest fan.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      In terms of value, I’d say that’s a solid deal but I don’t think anyone of those guys will become “stars”. Like, they are good players and could be solid contributors but I don’t think any of them will become great or have the potential to become great. Which is why they would ask for Snider or Drabek, they have potential to become stars.

      • Sorry, but anything that includes Cecil, Drabek or Snider is too much to pay. I wouldnt care that the D’backs want Major League players. I would make them an offer of some top young players like Hech, Stewart, Arencibia, Gose, etc. and if they dont want it, you walk away. Oh and saying that Cecil doesnt have star power, I beg to differ. The guy was in his first full season of starting and went 15-7 with some decent peripherals in the toughest division in baseball. 2-1 against Boston, 4-0 against NY, and 3-1 against Tampa… Those numbers speak for themselves. Oh and he’s 24 years old. This reminds me of the whole Rios for Cain or Lincecum issue from a few years ago. We were hoping beyond hope for that to happen, because you just dont trade excellent pitching for good “maybe” great hitting. SF looks good for not going the stupid route, dont they? And before anyone says it, I am not saying Cecil will be the “NEXT ONE” like the 2 mentioned. I’m just using a similar situation as a comparison. The conversation ends for me if you talk about any of Marcum, Cecil, Morrow, Romero or Drabek, and Snider is off limits as well. You dont sit on and groom a player of his talents for so long just to cut him loose for a guy who can play a little bit better defensively. Snider has every chance to hit just as well as the projections for Upton indicate. He has 40+, 100+, 300+, 500 + talent as well and if it werent for Cito he may already be there at the age of 22. He is primed for his breakout season.

        Like I said, Hech, Stewart, D’Arnaud and Mastrioani, maybe put a Rzep in the conversation as a possible starting option or you walk away.

        • Toronto isn’t walking away from that.. Arizona is. I think you have to at least deal Drabek as the centerpiece to get Upton.

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that one of d’arnaud , stewart or hech will become stars..

  19. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    *cricket chirps*

  20. InLeylandWeTrust 5 years ago

    Good one…

  21. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    For the sake of good taste let’s avoid comparing trading Upton to a slave auction block.

  22. Jason_F 5 years ago

    Nomination for worst comment of the year?

    Upton poked fun at all the rumors the other day on twitter, btw, so I don’t think he’s too broken up about the whole thing. Also, really? A slave auction? You can’t buy tact…

  23. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Yeah, when you pay someone millions of dollars any slave comparisons seem very hollow and insulting to the memory of that past injustice.

  24. Calling it as I see it, that’s all. This is yet another example of one way to conduct business, and a reminder to all that baseball is certainly a (big) business. You can bet that players in the game identify the GM’s that do business in this way, and make their decisions accordingly. KT may be looking smart to get what he can for a guy, but if he doesn’t trade him, may have created an even bigger problem for the team.

  25. There’s a way to conduct business, and millions of dollars aside, you can treat your players with respect (if you in fact have any for them, or this one in particular), or you can subject them to the ugly truth of how this in not just a game…it is entertainment, and they are merely pieces to move around on a board game played by GM’s who claim they are acting in the best interest of their team.

  26. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    I’ll echo bbxxj, when you sign a contract that pays you millions of dollars to play a game then you’re anything but a slave and it sounds insulting. Baseball is a business, players are given a lot of money to play a game, they have a union to make sure their interests are voiced, and I have yet to hear Justin Upton say “hey, you’re treating me like a piece of meat.”

  27. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    This isn’t just the game of baseball, if you are pretending it is, then you are just delusional. They are simply chess pieces being moved around the board.

  28. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    You miss the point. There’s a major difference between a person having their freedom taken away and a man earning $10M/yr being told that by the terms of his contract he gets to play in a different ballpark. Baseball is a business, not a slave trade.

  29. Nobody is pretending anything. Everybody involved KNOWS what it is, the point is: Some have class and decorum while doing it, others do not. If KT went to Justin Upton and told him what he was planning to do, that’s one thing…but if he is just playing the “new Sheriff in town” game where nobody’s job is safe…that’s another.

  30. Let’s wait to see this play out a bit more, and see who is insulted, and what comes of it…Sorry that you are offended by the “slave” reference. I didn’t know I had to temper my comments for those so easily offended.

  31. Jason_F 5 years ago

    Thanks for the lesson on class and decorum, guy who just compared trade talks/rumors to a slave auction.

  32. skoz 5 years ago

    Are you really questioning the class and decorum of the GM of a major league franchise in regards to whether he gives his players a “heads up” about trade intentions? These guys get paid *SO MUCH MONEY* to *PLAY BASEBALL*. Pretty sure there are millions people who would clean port-a-potties seven days a week for that kind of money, so if you or anyone else think they deserve a “heads up”, or think that to move/shop them without advance notice is somehow “unclassy”, you’re out of your head. People in the American workplace get re-assigned, transferred, even FIRED every day without a “heads up”. I think these professional baseball players can deal with it. Reality check.

  33. You have to give up something to get something, and I am just speculating. Would you prefer I be like 90% of all other Red Sox fans and wonder aloud if they could trade Bowden as the centerpiece of an Adrian Gonzalez deal?

  34. “thatd be a BAD trade. “Yeah, that’d be a horrible trade for Arizona. In what universe will Reddick be a stud? Doubront is an average arm. Any deal would have to include Ellsbury + one of Kelly or Iglesias. Last time I checked, Justin Upton has 3 .800 OPS seasons and he’s 23 years old.

  35. eviola1 5 years ago

    Everything I read from you is dumb.

  36. Whoops, I meant to hit reply instead of like. I disagree, Upton is still really young and could legitimately be a 25 home run, 25 steal guy and hit around .280 even with his big strike out numbers. Hitting 3rd in Boston’s lineup and playing at Fenway would work wonders for him too. And even though Doubront should be really good, I think Theo sees him as a starter in the future. With long term commitments to Beckett, Lackey, Lester, and Buchholz, and with Ranaudo and Kelly in the pipeline, who have even higher ceilings than Doubront, I think Doubront will definitely be the pitcher to get traded in the event Theo gives up a young arm to get a bat.

    Also, assuming the Sox get an outfielder this winter (Crawford), and hypothetically trade for one (Upton), even in giving up Ellsbury they’ve got three outfielders who will be in their long-term plans: Crawford, Upton, and Kalish. For 2010, they would also still have J.D. Drew and Mike Cameron, and assuming his rehab continues to go well they would also have Ryan Westmoreland, who I think is the best outfielder in their system. They obviously can’t plan on him rehabbing back to exactly where he was before, but only time can tell, and he’s made great progress so far. With three “big picture” kind of outfielders and in having Westmoreland and Fuentes in their minor league system, this would make Reddick fully expendable.

    But since all of those guys supposedly have very high ceilings, it might be interesting to see if Theo could convince Towers to throw in a guy like Stephen Drew or (much less likely) Miguel Montero to the deal.

    Drew and Upton for all of those guys would be awesome, but even though it is a little bit of an overpayment I do think the package I mentioned just for Upton would be alright.

  37. soxin10 5 years ago

    Well said. Upton is worth a ton, the problem is teams cannot always justify the addition by subtraction. One player will not carry a team, see A-rod in Seattle, Texas and NY. Even doc Halliday, Felix H etc cannot carry a team. If the Red Sox , Toronto or whoever gives up 2-3MLB ready players, plus the next two best minor leaguer’s, where is the benefit?

    In the Sox case, assuming Ellsbury comes back to form is a good 3 WAR player as is Bard. This does not take into account future stats for Kelly, Dubront, or whoever.

    I am sure the players Toronto or whoever is considering are similar like players. If you open up three holes to fill one, does that work?

  38. Pass on Reynolds. .330 OBP doesn’t interest me.

  39. Source?

  40. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Sources have told me that Lady GaGa is really a guy.

  41. I heard a rumor that a lot of your posts are bad… but I’ll wait until a legit sportswriter confirms it.

  42. JP 5 years ago

    Or the sub .200 AVG and league leading strikeout totals.

  43. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Doesn’t make that much sense to me. The guy’s K% is insanely high. He can take walks, but his OBP suffers because he can’t hit. His fielding rivals E5’s.

    Pass.

  44. TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

    Okay, you got me: What is the “T.O” media? I can’t remember ever seeing that acronym before.

  45. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    It takes the intelligence of a small person to resort to personal attacks over the internet.

    Wah wah waaaah.

  46. skoz 5 years ago

    See my reply to your comment above, and I’ll add… Do you really think J. Upton has grounds to be insulted here? Honestly? If he (or any other player) is in fact insulted by being shopped without advance notice, then he is as entitled and arrogant as his reputation would lead one to believe. You think a soldier gets to be insulted if he doesn’t get a “heads up” about his deployment?

  47. HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

    He’d lead the league in AMP (awesome moustache points) if he had one half as good as Edward James Olmos in his Miami Vice days.

  48. That is why a deal only makes sense if a team deals from a position of strength/depth. For example, it does not seem like a worthwhile upgrade for Toronto if they have to give up Snider to get Upton. It still only leaves them with one major league-ready OF stud. However, if they give up a couple pitching and/or catching prospects then they trade from a position of depth, and don’t create holes.

  49. MaineSox 5 years ago

    Except it wouldn’t be the same situation as A-Rod in Seattle or Texas, he wouldn’t have to carry the team if he was on the Red Sox he would just be another piece surrounded by other valuable pieces like Youkilis, Pedroia, Ortiz, and in his scenario Crawford.

  50. MaineSox 5 years ago

    The only thing I might disagree with there is the statement that Doubront is an average arm, but it depends on what you mean by average. Not at all suggesting that he is or ever will be as good but he is a Lester type of pitcher and projects as a good middle of the rotation starter and would likely be in the Red Sox rotation right now if it weren’t already overfull. So I guess if you mean middle of the rotation potential when you say average I would agree but if you mean replacement level AAAA type of guy I would disagree with you.

  51. TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

    Thanks, I would’ve never guessed that!

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