D’Backs Tried To Acquire Ace Pitcher

5:33pm: The Diamondbacks were indeed working to acquire Garza today, Olney reports (on Twitter).

12:58pm: Lefty Patrick Corbin has been scratched from his start for Arizona's Triple-A affiliate, tweets Chris Gabel of the Reno Gazette-Journal.  Magruder has been told Corbin will not be moved, but says he guesses things could change in what Kevin Towers likes to call the "lightning round."

12:46pm: The Diamondbacks are not currently discussing a deal with the Cubs involving Upton and Garza, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.  It was only Olney's speculation in the first place.

12:31pm: The D'Backs are "working hard on something big," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  Olney feels that an Upton-Matt Garza framework makes sense for the Cubs and Diamondbacks.  Upton does have the Cubs on his no-trade list, notes Olney.

10:56am: Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick dismissed talk of acquiring Lee, Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports (Twitter links).  "He is owed $100MM. If they want to keep $90MM" Kendrick said. "Really problematic to move him."  Arizona would still like to acquire a starter, but Kendrick says we should not expect front page news.

8:37am: The Diamondbacks are one of the teams to which Lee can block a trade, notes Rosenthal.

8:08am: The Diamondbacks say Upton is definitely staying and there is no truth to rumors of Lee or Hernandez, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  That, of course, does not make Rosenthal's report of the D'Backs seeking an ace pitcher untrue.  Meanwhile, Nightengale notes that the club is likely to trade shortstop Stephen Drew today.

3:59am: The Diamondbacks are trying to swing a blockbuster for an unknown ace starting pitcher, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  One rival executive "received indications that the Phillies and Diamondbacks had discussed a deal involving Cliff Lee and Justin Upton," but that scenario is unconfirmed and it is not known whether the D'Backs are among the 21 teams to which Lee can block a trade.  Plus, Kevin Towers and company would need serious assistance covering the $95.1MM guaranteed to the Phillies' lefty through 2015.

Rosenthal notes that the Mariners inquired on Upton earlier this month, but talks failed to progress.  Given that club's repeated comments on and off record, we can probably forget about Felix Hernandez.

Rosenthal did not mention the Marlins' Josh Johnson, who is reportedly expected to stay put through today's deadline.  It's difficult to name another ace-like starting pitcher on whom a team might listen. 

109 Responses to D’Backs Tried To Acquire Ace Pitcher Leave a Reply

  1. Bigj48 3 years ago

    boom, who wants jup more, phillies or mariners.

  2. Andy Forrester 3 years ago

    Man On A Mission: Kevin Towers continues to try to trade Justin Upton!

    Seriously though, neither pitcher make sense for the Diamondbacks. Both cost way too much, and looking at Lee the team might as well try to trade for Justin Masterson as a starter in comparison with Lee’s stats this season.

    • Marvin Marshall 3 years ago

      Felix’s contract would be offset by moving Upton & having both Drew & Saunders off the books after 2012. And unless Philly eats a lot of Lee’s money owed, I don’t see Lee in an AZ uniform.

      • Andy Forrester 3 years ago

        And the Diamondbacks open up a huge hole in their lineup by trading away Upton. They platoon Chris Young and Gerardo Parra in CF for a reason, and you don’t give prospects like AJ Pollock or Adam Eaton the responsibility to fill his void when he leaves.

        • mmiller54 3 years ago

          Wrong. You can’t say it opens up a hole for this year’s team when Upton hasn’t performed for this team. Parra has 6 HR and JUp has 8 HR. Parra hits .291, JUp hits .271. This year, it’s easy to argue that Parra is an upgrade, especially with his better defense.

          • Andy Forrester 3 years ago

            By trading Upton we put Chris Young back into the lineup, forcing him to hit against right handed batters. Let’s face it, the Diamondbacks made Parra and Young platoon partners for a reason, Young can’t hit right handed batting. Justin Upton is also having a down season, one year removed from his 31 homer year which resulted in him being rated 4th in the MVP voting.

            Think of it this way, should the Dodgers have traded Matt Kemp after his poor 2010? You don’t sell low on potential superstars if they’re having one down season.

        • Fred Ricardo 3 years ago

          CY is .217 hitter from either side of the plate, Parra a .290 hitter can play everyday and will gone if he is not played more.

          • Andy Forrester 3 years ago

            Actually, you’re quite wrong. Chris Young hits .177 RHP and .297 LHP. Maybe you should look up splits before making statistical comments?

  3. Tyler Sekula 3 years ago

    this is why i am still up..

    • philliesfan123 3 years ago

      same. Waiting for Ruben to pull off something crazy.

      • Gothapotamus 3 years ago

        If there’s one thing we know, it’s Ruben’s penchant for a blockbuster. Something big beyond the Blanton, Vic and Pence chatter is going to happen today, my RAJdar senses it.

  4. Jay212033 3 years ago

    Upton for Tommy Hanson and Julio Teheran

    • George Hareras 3 years ago

      keep dreaming

      the braves already have Bourn Prado and Heyward…
      maybe in the offseason bc Bourn is probably gonna hit the FA market.
      Hanson will definitely stay, but I wouldnt be mad if Teheran is involved in a deal for Upton

      • George Hareras 3 years ago

        Also Beachy is having TJ, Sheets has been a nice surprise but i dont know if he can be good for next year, Hudson is pretty old and maybe 1 year left… the rotation cant afford to lose Hanson

        • Jwick22 3 years ago

          hanson needs to get some control over his 88 mph fastball. dont know has happened to this kid but hope he can get that power fastball back and stop walking so many batters. he was suppose to be the ace of this staff for years and now he is just 4-5 guy

  5. Garza? Beckett?

    • Dustroia15 3 years ago

      Upton for Beckett, Iglesias, Brentz or Kalish and $12.75M.

      Red Sox essentially paying Upton
      2013 – $14M. 2014 – $18.50M. 2015 – $18.50M
      DBacks essentially paying Beckett
      2013 – $11.50M. 2014 – $11.50M. 2015 – $11.50M

      • Dustroia15 3 years ago

        Just realized Beckett is only signed through 2014. I could see the Red Sox throwing in up to $15M to get Upton, essentially paying Beckett less than $10M a year.

        He is decent in the AL East even during a down year and would easily be front on the rotation in the NL, $9M a year is a steal.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      Neither one is an Ace, but unless they are attempting to trade for someone who isn’t expected to be available the only real Ace on the market is Lee.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        A shocker could be Lester moved to the DBacks in an Upton deal, along with some prospects. Granted, lester has only been a very solid #2 from 2008-11, but if he regains that form in the NL he had.. About as close to an Ace as one can get and not a high salary either through next season.

        Boston could really do without him if they had to this year in the rotation and could somehow swing a deal for Upton. the prospect mix along with him would be tricky and yes.. Realize management *said* they weren’t going to move him, yet we have all heard that before.

  6. Jeff Miller 3 years ago

    If this deal were to happen there is about $50M separating the guaranteed remaining money from 2013-2015. If the Phillies throw in $21M-$24M ($7M-$8M/year over 3 years) that might move talks along. This would probably also have to be a straight up deal that doesn’t involve any prospects unless its also a swap of prospects taking too long to develop. Like Domonic Brown for Alfredo Marte.

    • Catztradamus 3 years ago

      That makes no sense for Philly, though. That essentially makes Upton a 25mm OF. The only reason they’d trade lee is to loosen the salary constraints and have the ability to shift the money around.

  7. Joel Peterson 3 years ago


  8. Joel Peterson 3 years ago

    Is Halladay available? If he is I think the cards could make a nice package offer.

    Miller, Jay, Cox, Kelly and Cleto for Halladay and Victorino.

    I think it would cover a lot of the phils needs long term, cheaply, while giving the cards an ace who fits into the plan of competing legitimately for sure until the end of 2013.

    • shysox 3 years ago

      I doubt Halladay is available, but that deal seems adequate for Lee and Victorino.

      • Joel Peterson 3 years ago

        Cards just cant take on Lees salary. If the phils wanted Matt Carpenter I think he could be worked in with Polanco and money coming back.

        If the phils are willing to trade an ace like Lee I dont see why they couldnt trade Halladay. They may not get the salary relief they want directly but they would indirectly with Miller, Kelly, Cox/Carpenter and Jay filling their needs.

        If the phils were to trade Pence what about Allen Craig? Craig, Kelly, Cox, and Carpenter for Halladay, Victorino and Polanco and money. Maybe sub in Miller for Kelly if push came to shove.

    • Catztradamus 3 years ago

      Your not getting that past rube without ncluding freese.

      • stl_cards16 3 years ago

        That’s a pretty darn good package for a pitcher with some pretty serious health questions.

  9. GO DBACKS! Get King Felix for J Up!

  10. Okay trading Upton for Lee would be really dumb. Like really, really dumb. 33 year old pitcher on the decline with a huge contract? No thanks. Upton for Felix makes more sense, we’ll see though. Kubel, Parra, Young and Eaton could man the OF. They’ve had no trouble scoring runs with Upton deciding to take the year off anyways.

  11. FamousGrouse 3 years ago

    Hmm…David Price?

    • javywoz 3 years ago

      No way on Price (Rays have said Price and Moore off-limits). Hellickson a possibility, but don’t think he fits into that “ace” designation yet. Plus Rays-Diamondbacks don’t match up on this. Rays already have Jennings – BJ Upton – Joyce in the OF. BJ is likely gone after this year (would be funny to replace one Upton with the other), but doesn’t make sense for them this year.

    • Peter Genova 3 years ago

      or James Shields? The Rays need a SS, and the D’Backs are trying to move Stephen Drew. The Rays’ asking price would be too high though. They would probably want Wheeler as a future 1B and another arm in return.

      • Wheeler is expendable though.

      • FamousGrouse 3 years ago

        Yeah James Shields seems more realistic. Still there are some nice minor league players that could help out the Rays.

  12. notsureifsrs 3 years ago


  13. mets322 3 years ago

    Upton for Johan? don’t think it really works, but what the heck!

  14. qudjy1 3 years ago

    A rival executive received indications??? Im not putting too much stock in that source.

    • Dave Traverso 3 years ago

      Can AZ even afford Lee’s contract? I don’t see the Phils eating a large portion of it

  15. qudjy1 3 years ago

    I bet AZ talked to MIA about Josh Johnson. Its really the only thing that makes sense.

  16. primi_timpano 3 years ago

    Have the feeling the Sox-Rangers-Beckett rumors are related to an Upton trade.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      Beckett to the Rangers, Upton to the Red Sox, and prospects from the Rangers and Sox to the D’Backs would be fun, but it wouldn’t give the D’Backs the pitcher they are looking for.

  17. qudjy1 3 years ago

    Upton is staying. Thank goodness for AZ.

  18. mgsports 3 years ago

    They Trade him to Cubs or Red Sox who them flip him to like the Dodgers or Rays or White Sox or Rangers.

  19. Fred Ricardo 3 years ago

    I would trade a bat boy for Upton to get rid of him.

  20. Ausome7 3 years ago

    Max Scherzer and Nick Castellanos for Upton

  21. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    Man Looks like my Padres are going to make 0 moves, good Luck AZ getting that Ace

  22. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    Upton for Garza would be a steal for the Cubs! Matt Garza is currently banged up and not as good as advertised. This would be the biggest trade of the Deadline and one that goes in the Cubs favor. Castro, Rizzo, Upton is an amazing young offensive core.

    • I wouldn’t expect Castro to stay

      • DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

        Regardless of the rumors, he will stay for sure. He is far to valuable.
        Edit: Looks like Olney was just speculating. #GrainofSalt

  23. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    Kevin Towers is the worst

  24. I wonder if it’s David Price. The Rays could be persuaded if it’s really a “blockbuster” like reported.

  25. Brandon Stubbs Calvert 3 years ago

    Unless Castro is in the deal Im going to be a very disapointed Dback fan

  26. Sully65 3 years ago

    Lester for Upton ??? or Beckett and Bard for Upton

    • DerekJeterDan 3 years ago


      • Sully65 3 years ago

        Why? Both Lester and Beckett are better than Garza.
        Not to mention both are healthy and signed for a longer period of time. Throw
        in an Iglesias or like minor leaguer and it is a discussable start to a deal

    • lol I would hope not for Kevin Towers’ safety.

  27. WrigleyTerror37 3 years ago

    Id love to get upton on a deal around garza, Upton is young and can be apart of the next Contending cubs team! Cubs would have to kick in more tho, what holes do the Dbacks have?

    • Shortstop nudge nudge

      • WrigleyTerror37 3 years ago

        Well we could offer Junior Lake in a deal! tho he is still unproven, good with the bat tho, questionable about his fielding. Times like these i wish the Cubs still had Hak Hu Lee

        • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

          Lake looks like he’s going to be a heck of a hitter. I think he’ll probably end up in a corner OF spot though. Would the Cubs trade Baez instead of Lake if it meant getting Upton?

          • JoeCroninAndRonSanto 3 years ago

            wow there. I want Baez at 3B for the next 10 to 15 years. Easier to find OF’s then infielders.

  28. Koolarrow 3 years ago

    Cubs have been sellers. Why would they pursue Upton? Furthermore, he’s locked in for the long haul and is a reasonable pick without having to extend to a long term/high priced contract.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      I think you answered your own question with the sentence that begain with “Furthermore”.

      • Koolarrow 3 years ago

        Maybe I did or is it the fact NO CUB is worth trading for?

  29. wouldn’t be surprised if its still a Upton-Lee trade

  30. M.Kit 3 years ago

    Buster Olney speculates on a lot of things

  31. Ausome7 3 years ago

    3 team trade
    tigers get Jupton and wade davis
    dbacks get shields crosby possibly rondon
    rays get castellanos and b prospect from d backs

  32. Jim C 3 years ago

    Not talking to the Cubs? Well that only leaves Lee and Shields as ace-type pitchers who were known to be on the trade market.

  33. javywoz 3 years ago

    Shields + BJ Upton for Justin Upton

  34. Patrick Corbin was scratched from his start. Something is happening

  35. Dempsters gotta be goin to Zona’ for Corbin.

  36. Hermie13 3 years ago

    Shields was the name that first came to mind for me. Controllable and not too expensive salary wise.

    Would be interesting to see the Upton boys play together though doubt yhe Rays would take on that much salary.

  37. JP27 3 years ago

    trade Shields for J. Upton & then we get to see the Upton bros in the same outfield

  38. Deftones17 3 years ago

    Of all the pitching prospects the Dbacks have, Corbin seems to be the one (right now) they can most afford to lose.

  39. Brandon Stubbs Calvert 3 years ago

    Corbin also could have just been scratched to be brought up to the big league club

    • Then Miley was traded? No reason to call him up if he’s not starting tonight

      • Brandon Stubbs Calvert 3 years ago

        Craig Breslow was just sent to Boston

  40. Sully65 3 years ago

    In searching the internet it is being suggested that this deal may be Shields for Drew and (Corbin, Bauer, or Skaggs)

  41. Mr_Anderson1017 3 years ago

    Corbin looked really good in his latest big league stint, don’t really want to see him go.

  42. MLB network says “monster deal in the works”

  43. Silence 3 years ago

    Carlos Ruiz and Cliff Lee for Jupton and AA pitcher

  44. I’m betting it involved Corbin and Eaton at least and maybe a lefty reliever was coming with. Do the Cubs still have the worst record in baseball?

  45. corey23 3 years ago

    wait, garza is an ace?

    • mmiller54 3 years ago

      Lol, more like a #2, and an injured one at that. Dbacks may be better off with Skaggs/Corbin.

  46. James Attwood 3 years ago

    If Garza was the big move the Dbacks were in on, then the Cubs must have been asking the moon because the Dbacks have plenty of pieces to have made that deal.

  47. JOHN O'MEARA 3 years ago

    Everbody EXCEPT Olney is saying it was Dempster they were after, not Garza.

  48. thesultanofswingandmiss 3 years ago

    Upton for Lee? Your kidding right?

  49. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    The D-Backs would have to kick in more? ummmm no

  50. you’re kidding, right?

  51. M.Kit 3 years ago

    If anything Cubs would have to kick in more

  52. David C. Ruckman 3 years ago

    That’s ridiculous… If Justin Upton were out for the season and Matt Garza were having a career year, I think Upton would STILL be more valuable. As is, Upton’s value far exceeds that of Garza.

  53. you are undervaluing him. you’re talking about a guy who was an MVP candidate at the age of 23

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