While the trade rumors continue to simmer regarding Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, his full no-trade clause and pending free agency are making talks between the Mets and trade suitors sticky. As a result, Rays center fielder B.J. Upton is emerging as an alternative trade target, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
The Giants, considered one of the leading candidates to land Beltran from the Mets, are among the teams now showing interest in Upton. The Indians, too, are interested, and the Braves, Phillies and Rangers could be, according to Rosenthal. Though Beltran is the superior offensive player of the two, Upton is better defensively and under team control through 2012, and the Giants or other suitors would therefore be more likely to part with a top prospect for him.
San Francisco is using Nate Schierholtz as its primary right fielder presently, so Rosenthal speculates that the addition of Upton to center field could lead to a platoon between Andres Torres and Cody Ross, players with complementary batting splits, in left field.
Earlier this evening, we learned that Beltran has privately told the Mets he will not accept a trade to an American League team, so between that and Upton apparently being made available on the trade market, it would seem Beltran's value may be taking a hit. The Nationals have long been rumored to be interested in acquiring in Upton, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote today that the Nats are considering "offering the moon" for Upton.