Justin Upton Rumors: Sunday

Yesterday, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told reporters that he spoke with Justin Upton about the trade rumors surrounding him and said that he would let him know if a deal is near.  Could a trade for the outfielder be around the corner?  Here's today's news on Upton with the latest up top..

  • There's "nothing serious" with Upton, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman also hears the Pirates are "probably not a fit" because they will not include Cole or Taillon.
  • The Yankees are scouting the Diamondbacks and Cubs this weekend, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • The Pirates‬ have a scout watching Upton in Chicago this weekend, tweets Morosi.
  • The Pirates are serious about Upton and are sending signals they could include Starling Marte in an Upton deal, but not Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
  • The Athletics were on Upton's no-trade list at one point but are no longer one of those four teams, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The Yankees are now on his list but the other three clubs are not yet known.  Oakland may not be a perfect fit for Upton but Rosenthal expects GM Billy Beane to inquire on him.

71 Responses to Justin Upton Rumors: Sunday Leave a Reply

  1. “Hey, we want your awesome 24 year old MVP-caliber player, but we refuse to give up either of our two best prospects.”- A crazy person

  2. FelixFan 3 years ago

    If the Pirates hope to get Upton in a package led by Marte, I hope the M’s make an effort to get Upton in a package led by Nick Franklin (16th overall in Sickels’ midseason list).

  3. I don’t understand how the Pirates are considering moving Marte as if their LF situation is all set.  Tabata’s a headcase; Presley’s a tin-man; Hernandez has no bat; Sutton has no place in the OF; nobody else at AAA is ready.  AA outfield is weak too.  Upton would basically be a stop-gap for Josh Bell, supposing Bell has zero setbacks in his development when he finally comes off of the Low-A DL.  I’d rather see Marte in LF, batting lead-off; with a Jones/Sutton RF platoon than Upton batting clean-up for the Bucs.

    • Smrtbusnisman04 3 years ago

      1) Tabata gets traded for another headcase/ non-upside prospect.
      2) Jones platoons with McGhee at 1B
      3) Alex Presley is backup outfielder or starting LF
      4) Gorkys Hernandez gets sent down.
      5) Josh Bell is the Pirates’ LF in 2015

      What more do you need?

      I hope Alen Hansen, Luis Heredia, and Clay Holmes are also on that no-trade list. The Pirates have a plethora of starting pitching at the AAA level.

      Sutton assumes his old role as a utility infielder.

      • paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

         How about move the Jones/McGehee platoon to right field and make a slightly less ambitious trade than is being discussed and get LaHair from the Cubs to play first?

    • walnutfalcons 3 years ago

      When Upton was Bell’s age, he was putting up better numbers in the majors than Bell has in the south atlantic league. 

      It’s perfectly fine to believe in the upside of Bell.  But to think that ANYONE would just be a “stop gap” for him, as if he were anywhere near the majors, is naive.  He’s about to turn 20 and has 15 pro games under his belt.  He’s essentially lost this entire year to injury, and even when he was healthy he was striking out like Adam Dunn and walking like Starlin Castro.

      •  I meant as a financial stop-gap – the Bucs wouldn’t stand a chance of keeping Upton once he hit FA.  I suppose my point is mostly that for Pittsburgh especially, having more years of offense under more long-term control make more sense to me (Marte).  The Pirates need a middle of the order RF’er to push the Jones/McGehee platoon, but I think a guy like Torii Hunter or Carlos Quentin fit the bill better.

        • Kirk Weaver 3 years ago

          I totally agree with your McGehee and Jones observation and I’d take it one step farther and play Jones everyday and use CM as a utility IF or trade him. As for Upton 3 1/2 years of control is a win win for us

          •  Just had a thought that maybe despite his early struggles, maybe the Bucs FO is really high on Robbie Grossman.  A Marte trade would surely get him a promotion to AAA.  I suppose he profiles well as a lead-off guy in 2014?

        • walnutfalcons 3 years ago

           Ah, gotcha.  That makes sense. 

    • disqus_LDSpfXdZZR 3 years ago

      Marte shouldn’t be going anywhere. He could very well end up being an Upton type player, minus the whiny, combative attitude. I wouldn’t trade him or any other players for Upton. That dude is a bad omen. Pass.

      • paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

        The talk of Upton reminds me of all the heated chatter about Hunter Pence last year.  Two guys playing in hitter friendly parks who while certainly aren’t bad ball players but no where near matching the hype surrounding them.

        The Pirates need to look at the home/road splits of every right handed Pirate hitter present and past not named Andrew McCutchen and understand what PNC Park does to guys who lack the power to consistently clear the left center field wall and avoid acquiring more of them.

    • paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

      Personally, I’d rather see Sutton at SS and Barmes at home fishing the rest of the season.

      Sutton would definitely out hit Barmes by a ton and seriously doubt his defense could be any worse at this point.

      •  Barmes has no place on a contender’s roster – I don’t care how good his glove is.  As iffy as the Bucs’ offense is, they can’t afford to give up two outs (including the pitcher) every time through the line-up.  At least Jack Wilson could hit .240 and lay down a bunt here and there.  Josh Harrison hasn’t looked bad at SS (outside of that relay throw into the bleachers).  If Sutton can’t handle SS, Harrison should be starting there w/ Sutton available off the bench. 

  4. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    As much as Upton is awesome and his stock is down this year, I’d rather Billy stick to the whole “rebuilding” thing which has oddly been working this year and not mortgage our future that’s under control for 5+ years.

    Plus outfield is now a position of depth, I’d rather them go for a position of weakness.

    If that means not getting Upton, so be it.

    • pretty sure that Upton could count as part of a rebuild. 

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Nothing wrong with what Oakland currently has in Reddick and cespedes and they can’t really move Crisp. Reddick, under control VERY reasonable for 4 more seasons. Why give up anything for Upton?

        • melonis_rex 3 years ago

           because if we’re talking true talent, upton is a far better player going forward than anyone the A’s have in the OF.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             You get no arguments out of me there :-)

            I really don’t see a problem with the A’s OF tho when they have needs at so many other places. Upton they won’t be able to afford in another couple years anyway, right? Why mortgage the future for a position where they actually are good at when they have so many holes at others?

            That does not fit beane’s mold at all.

            Reddick and Cespede’s are (to me) the 2 guys most feared on the team. Why not try and find a few lower cost people out there if Beane wants some help.

            Upton is going to hammer the A’s system, cost more to acquire than what they got in return for Gio.

          • I don’t understand why the D-back would trade him unless there is a big over pay for him.  There is no fit with Oakland unless its a 3 way deal. 

          • JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

             There has to be something they know that nobody else does.

    • ZAK
      ZAK 3 years ago

      Come on, even from the other side of the bay fans Upton over Seth Smith is such a no brainer, that turns he A’s from a wannabe to a legit contender. Toss in Choice and you’ve got the start of a package that could get him. A’s already fleeced the Dbacks once with the Parker + Cook, no reason to stop now.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      i won’t lie, i’m totally conflicted about the A’s and Upton.

      First and foremost, Upton is awesome. Upton on the A’s is more awesome.

      but i agree with you, 3B and SS are much, much bigger needs where the A’s don’t really have an answer at all (and 1B if/when the platoon regresses).

      edit: also, prospectwise, the a’s and dbacks don’t match up at all.

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        The best chips the A’s could send the Dbacks in terms of need are Pennington, Green, Parker (of the Stephen variety) and Hicks. Not quite enough to get him….

  5. Battlebacks 3 years ago

    Why would we even trade Upton for another OF? We need an upgrade at 3B. That position must be the centerpiece of the trade or Upton is wasted. We already have Kubel/Young/Parra and Pollock, Eaton waiting under them.

    • Kirk Weaver 3 years ago

      Instead of Marte we’ll throw in Casey McGehee

    • Wilsonl 3 years ago

       Well you guys do have Matt Davidson and Bobby Borchering down in your system.

      • Battlebacks 3 years ago

        I agree with you. From what I’ve read though Towers is trying to trade Upton for Major League caliber players who can help right now. If they can’t get that, they should just hold on to him. 

        One of the best trades might simply be: not to trade him at all. 😉

        I think if they do trade him for Marte, it will be because we fall out of the playoff picture…. and getting swept by the Cubbies just now doesn’t help.  😉

  6. Ausome7 3 years ago

    Justin Upton has great moral integrity. #yankeesonhisnotradelist

    • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

      No really.  It just means that dealing him to the Yankees will require added financial compensation for Upton to agree to waive the no trade clause. Many players add the teams to their no-trade list that they and their agents feel are the most likely to be dealt to.

      • Ausome7 3 years ago

        Or it means Upton doesn’t want to sell his soul

        • JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

          I didn’t realize that playing for a respectable, first place team requires selling your soul.

        • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

          Kind of like Cliff Lee.

  7. BeatEmBucs 3 years ago

    Every sportswriter in Pittsburgh wrote that Marte would be playing for the Pirates by now. Kovacevic quoted a high ranking Pirates official as saying “It’s time” to bring him up. Yet, he still isn’t in a Pirates uniform. It would seem like they’re exploring options that involve him as trade bait. Plus, Upton can’t be dealt until after his bobblehead night on the 28th, right? haha

    What if the Pirates got a little creative here? Include Hanrahan in a deal and let Grilli close games. Hanrahan, Marte, and one of the AAA lefties for Upton.

    • Smrtbusnisman04 3 years ago

      The only reason he’s not in the big leagues is because Keith Law keeps criticizing Marte’s plate discipline. And every word Keith says is LAW.

      • Kirk Weaver 3 years ago

        How about Presley and Tabata’s plate discipline? Can Marte’s be any worse? Marte is a 5 tooler the other 2 aren’t even close

    • Kirk Weaver 3 years ago

      Although I would be for it I don’t think they’ll trade Hanrahan, but if
      they acquire Upton our playoff and pennant chances increase
      dramatically, something beyond all our wildest dreams 2 years ago 

    • bigpat 3 years ago

       If they trade Hanrahan, they lose their 8th inning setup guy by bumping up Grilli, what would that accomplish?

      • BeatEmBucs 3 years ago

        Just thinking outside the box. Cruz is capable, and Lincoln has the makeup of a late innings guy. He has the stuff where he can come in and just let it rip for an inning.

  8. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    Is putting a team like the Yankees on your no-trade list a tactic?

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       It is for one of 2 reasons:

      1) You want money to approve the deal (some players like this tactic for large market teams)

      2) You don’t like the city.

      • Red_Line_9 3 years ago

        Or…in the case of Roger Clemens…there are no excellent golf courses in the metro area.

    • Kirk Weaver 3 years ago

      Yeah its a polite way of saying you don’t want to play in NY

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        no its not. its a polite way of saying yes i’ll play for you but pay me more

        • JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

           No trade clauses are easily waived when a fat extension is given. :)

  9. craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

    I thought Towers wanted ML ready along with prospects?  If it only takes the latter, PIT will have competition in landing him for sure.  

    • Kirk Weaver 3 years ago

      Marte is ML ready and other than trade talks i can’t see why Drew Sutton is keeping Marte in AAA

  10. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    You won’t get Upton without giving up an elite prospect, KT isn’t THAT bad.

  11. What ails the Pirate lineup most isn’t what Upton is going to bring to the table. Neither will Marte for that matter. They need a legitimate leadoff hitter with  discipline and OBP. As well as they’re playing, there are still only a couple of guys that could be considered disciplined hitters. Could you imagine the damage Cutch would do if he had two solid OBP guys in front of him? (And that’s if you count Walker here.) I’m all for the Pirates making a splash with a big trade but it needs to be for the right reasons. The Pirates have two primary needs if they make a trade: *disciplined* leadoff hitter and corner OF defense. Marte could learn, sure… but he’s not there yet. Victorino is the better fit if they can swing it. Veteran presence, great discipline and terrific OF defense in LF.

    • paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

       Ahhhh, I see it differently.  The Pirates already have a legitimate leadoff hitter, perhaps the best in the game.  Unfortunately he’s hitting third due in part to the absence of a true middle of the order guy.

      If the Pirate’s hit McCutchen leadoff, Walker second against RHP, McGehee against LHP and could acquire a 60+ walk 35+ home run guy to hit in front of Alvarez and then Jones… their offense would be outstanding.

      I wonder what it would cost the Pirates to get Edwin Encarnacion?

      The real shame of all this is, had Neal Huntington been just a bit more creative/aggressive in the offseason and spent the money he wasted on Barmes, Bedard and Barajas and made offer either Beltran or Willingham couldn’t refuse, the NLC race would already be all but over.

  12. What does it take to get Upton… an A prospect and a few B prospects?

    • mmiller54 3 years ago

      I’d say one A, one A-, and a few B’s. My opinion only.

  13. bigpat 3 years ago

    Also, with the way Upton is playing this year, I don’t think it’s guaranteed that Upton will have a better season than Marte if he were to be called up. With as good as he’s supposed to be, I think it would be a major disappointment if he were to put up numbers that Upton has put up in the first half.

    I would certainly welcome Upton on the Pirates, but I’m a little wary about it as it’s no guarantee that he goes back to hitting 30 HR’s and being a .300 batter. Just because he’s had two strong seasons at a young age does not automoatically mean he’ll keep improving on them. Marte can be very good for many cheaper years, so I think if they were to offer him in a trade for Upton, it would be a great starting point.

    • paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

       Many seem to forget that Upton is playing in Arizona which is a pretty hitter friendly park.  His home road splits are terrible, .130 OPS points 2009-2011 .120 this year, and probably the only other place he hits 30 hrs is Colorado.  Outside Chase Filed he’s a mediocre hitter at best and as a right hander he’s less than that at PNC.

  14. Has anyone heard why Starling Marte didn’t play today in the Indy Indians game against the Columbus Clippers?

  15. Bucn24 3 years ago

    where did you see that

  16. bigsweens38 3 years ago

    i hope not

  17. Jeff Snedden 3 years ago

     what is your source?

  18. paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

    If the Pittsburgh Pirates acquire Justin Upton at any price it would be a terrible trade for them.  He’s a worse hitter than any outfielder he could potentially replace and as a right handed with little home run power an absolutely horrible fit for PNC Park… it would be a lateral move for offense at the very least and could potentially be a big step backward.

    If they trade Cole or Taillon to acquire him the line for Neal Huntington’s lynch mob starts behind me.

  19. leachim2 3 years ago

    Not a lot of RBI?!?! They should just cut him immediately.

  20. TheLoLgen 3 years ago

    As soon as I read “Doesn’t have a whole lot of RBI”, I stopped giving your opinion consideration.  Also, a career OBP of .356 is actually pretty decent, ESPECIALLY for a 24 year old.  He IS capable of stealing bases, and his success rate hasn’t been too bad until this year.  I could almost guarantee he will improve.  Position players reach their primes when they’re around 26-29 years old.  Upton is 24 and has already had fantastic seasons.  He is capable of hitting .300, he’s done it before if you hadn’t noticed.  He’s also capable of hitting 30 homers, and if he would be having more seasons above this mark, the D’backs wouldn’t consider trading him.  Nearly everything you said to try and balance your statement that Upton isn’t an MVP-caliber player was either wrong, irrelevant, or a matter of opinion.

  21. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

     you’ve out done yourself this time.

  22. Ausome7 3 years ago

    I believe the Tigers would trade Castellanos and other players for Upton. However I think the tigers would want hill in the deal and a Upton Hill trade seems highly unlikely 

  23. Actually, Kemp isn’t a a bad comparison for Upton.

    Kemp’s age 21-24 seasons:
    .299-.346-.480-.826, AB: 1658, HR: 61, 2B/3B: 100

    Upton’s age 21-24 season:
    .285-.362-.486-.849, AB: 1908, HR: 81, 2B/3B: 125

    At this point in their careers, Upton has shown better plate discipline and more power than Kemp.  Kemp also had a down year in his age 25 season in 2010, .249-.310-.450-.760, and he followed that up with MVP caliber seasons the last two years.  This might be the only chance teams have at trading for a truly elite, cost controlled young superstar and you wouldn’t trade a pitcher with an ERA over 4.00 in A ball for him? 

  24. paulinpittsburgh 3 years ago

    Except that Upton plays his home games in a very hitter friendly park while Kemp plays in one of, if not the most, pitcher friendly park.  Upton’s home road splits show him to be nothing special outside of Chase Field and of even greater concern to the Pirates should be that PNC Park is especially tough on right handed hitters with Upton’s profile.

    Not a good fit for the Pirates at any price.

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