Justin Upton Rumors: Thursday

With the Diamondbacks in "active discussions" about Justin Upton, there has been no shortage of trade buzz about the former No. 1 overall draft pick.  While the Braves and Yankees are reportedly not interested in Upton, teams as the Red Sox, Rangers and Rays are, though the Rays ironically can't make a serious push until Justin's brother B.J. rejects Tampa Bay's qualifying offer, though he is expected to do so by tomorrow.

Here's the latest about Upton from around the league, with the newest items at the top of the page…

  • With input from rival executives, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic lists the Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers and Braves as the top five possible suitors for Upton, with the Pirates and Royals as darkhorse candidates.
  • D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro) that despite some rumors to the contrary, he has had "zero issues" with Upton from a character standpoint.  Towers is in "no rush" to make a deal for Upton and said that a potential trade won't prevent him from making other offseason moves.  With starting pitching at such a premium in the game, Towers doubted the Snakes would be able to obtain a top pitcher "even in an Upton deal." (All links are to Piecoro's Twitter account.)
  • The Rangers aren't willing to include either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a deal for Upton, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link), which will likely end trade talks between Texas and Arizona.
  • The Red Sox are currently on Upton's four-team no-trade list, though he is willing to waive that protection in Boston's case, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (Twitter links).
  • The D'Backs would take a "good young starter" as the "centerpiece" of an Upton trade, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • The Tigers are doing background work on Upton, tweets Nick Piecoro, though the Tigers may not have yet "talked specifics" with the D'Backs.
  • "Don't expect" the Blue Jays to acquire Upton, tweets Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.


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167 Comments on "Justin Upton Rumors: Thursday"


Josh Gedert
2 years 8 months ago

D-Backs need a “young pitcher” and third base. Tigers have to be the favorites with Castellanos and Smyly, right? Though, the question is if the Tigers would pull the trigger.

The Data
2 years 8 months ago

Middlebrooks, Webster, Brentz

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

I wouldn’t send them Middlebrooks and Webster. I would send them Middlebrooks in a trade, or I would send them one of the top pitching prospects (Barnes/Webster/RDLR) in a trade, but I wouldn’t send them both. Boston’s biggest issue is-and-has-been starting pitching, so they really need to hang on to all of the good young pitching they can. If that means they don’t get Upton then so be it, but I’d value their young pitching more than I would outfield help – even elite young outfield help like Upton.

The Data
2 years 8 months ago

I’m surprised the Dbacks want pitching at all. Who would you be cmfortable packaging with Middlebrooks and Brentz?

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

Where’d my comment go?

Anyway, I’d add anyone outside of their top five prospects other than Henry Owens, even if it meant sending two of them instead of just one. I’d also consider sending Middlebrooks and Doubront even though Doubront is a good young pitcher because he doesn’t have the upside that guys like Webster, Barnes, and RDLR have.

I also kind of wonder about the idea of sending Lester or Buchholz as part of a trade for Upton and Bauer together.

Rangersalchamps
2 years 8 months ago

Dude you’re not getting Upton without Boegarts going to the D-Backs. Doubrant, Middlebrooks? C’mon man. I’m 100% sure Upton will take a step foward after this year. I’m thinking Boegarts, and a few lower level guys with upside. It would take profar from the Rangers. If you’re not offering that than Upton is staying put.

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

Maybe, but I still wouldn’t give them Bogaerts for him.

The Data
2 years 8 months ago

Those are just claims.

2 years 8 months ago

Maybe Cecchini, Brentz, and Ranaudo. If its those 3 the Sox would walk for sure.

The Data
2 years 8 months ago

Those are borderline prospects.

2 years 8 months ago

Cecchini was on Sickels’ midseason Top 120, Brentz profiles as a 20 HR hitter even with his high K rate, and Ranaudo is a project but still has a high ceiling.

It’s probably not something AZ would want but they think Upton is worth more than he is. That’s why Texas has no interest in trading Andrus for Upton.

The Data
2 years 8 months ago

Not that you’re cherry picking and obfuscating at all…

Cecchini is a legitimate prospect (even though sickles is rubbish), but Brentz and Ranaudo are filler. Yes, they have upside. Just like every prospect ever. That doesn’t make them valuable trade chips.

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

Brentz is more than filler, but he’s not anywhere near good enough to make that trade work.

dc21892
2 years 8 months ago

Could Boston build a package around Doubront? I know pitching is the area they need help in, but if you can get Upton I think you have to do it. He’s on a pretty fair deal, with the potential to make that salary look like a steal.

TBRays3
2 years 8 months ago

They want a frontline starter not a backend guy

dc21892
2 years 8 months ago

I’m pretty sure Doubront is young, has potential and is affordable. Oh yeah, and he’s big league ready. But hey, it was just my two cents.

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

“Good young starter” is a pretty vague statement. Would a young lefty who pitched like a #3 in the AL East be considered a “good young starter?” In the most basic sense, yes absolutely, but is that what the D’Backs are looking for? Who knows.

TBRays3
2 years 8 months ago

they have plently of #2 #3 guys they need an ace and Big Game James fits the bill perfectly

dc21892
2 years 8 months ago

He’s not an ace, though. Very good, but not an ace.

TBRays3
2 years 8 months ago

An ace keeps you in the game, delivers lots of innings, has an excellent K/BB ratio, gets GBs, and has good overall stats. Now tell me what an ace exactly is?

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

A guy who is consistently in the conversation for being among the best in the game and would be the best pitcher on almost any team in the game. Mark Buehrle was an ace this year by your definition.

TBRays3
2 years 8 months ago

Mark Buehrle could be considered an ace but I’d love to hear your definition of it

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

Well, if you read the comment you responded to you’ll see my definition of it. And Mark Buehrle is most certainly not an Ace; If Buehrle is an Ace so are half the pitchers in the game.

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

No he doesn’t, he’s not an ace (he’s not even a #2 half the time), he’s not young, and he has less team control left than Upton does.

dc21892
2 years 8 months ago

Exactly my point.

Jeff Ball
2 years 8 months ago

Would a young lefty who pitched like a #3 in the AL East be considered a “good young starter?”….. WHAT.. Pitched like a #3?! 4 Walks per 9 and 9 Hits per 9.. 1.44 WHIP and a 4.86 ERA.. Young and Lefty are the only things you got correct. He is almost below average lol. Not even close to a #3.

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

Right, I forgot how awesome ERA and WHIP were…

He had a 4.37 FIP (101 FIP-), a 3.81 xFIP (92 xFIP-), and a 3.84 SIERA so by those he’s average or better, and he had the 4th best K/9 in the AL. By definition a #3 starter is a league average starter.

Jeff Ball
2 years 8 months ago

League average is 4-5 starters ..Not a #3 And his K/9 this season were better than anything he has put up in the minors. Could this be that he has improved? Of course, or is it that hitters were unfamiliar? Possibly.. I guess next season we will find out. All I know is that Felix Doubront is NOT a #3.

MaineSox
2 years 8 months ago

Well according to scouts #3 starter means league average, so if you disagree you should take it up with them I guess. Plus, all of his peripheral stats suggest that he was at least league average (FIP- and xFIP- use 100 as average and anything lower than 100 is better than average, so a 101 FIP- is only 1% away from average and 92 xFIP- is 8% better than average; also his 3.84 SIERA is better than the league average SIERA of 3.92), so if you really want to say he’s not league average you’re going to have to do more than give an opinion.

2 years 8 months ago

Nats still in the conversation?

Natsfan89
2 years 8 months ago

Doubt it, though I think they have the pieces to get a deal done.

LongGone6
2 years 8 months ago

I pray to the baseball gods my Tigers don’t sell Castellanos and a package for Upton. There’s so many FA options for OF right now. And something like Castellanos + Smyly/Porcello + Garcia + another minor league player is just way tough, especially after giving up the packages for Sanchez and Fister in the past two years.

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

Absolutely. What I would give up for Upton would in no way be what the D’backs would accept. I’m just fine with moving on earlier rather than later with Upton.

LongGone6
2 years 8 months ago

amen

James Attwood
2 years 8 months ago

And this is why it is a pretty safe bet that Upton remains a Dback. Profar and Andrus are off the table in Texas. Castellanos would have to be a part of a package coming from Detroit. Or Middlebrooks would almost certainly have to be the centerpiece coming from Boston. Understandably though, teams are afraid to part with the high calibur talent in their farm systems.
KT and Co. are not going to be accepting a package of mrginal or even “decent” prospects. They are going to be looking for “impact” in return.Right now, in this environment, that is simply more than anyone is willing to pay.

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

Exactly. I’d rather take the risk of my prospects not turning out than giving away my entire farm system for one player. There will be others that are available that I’d be more willing to do so, Upton just doesn’t quite make it for me.

EightMileCats
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think Garcia would be included. AZ has a full outfield.
If the Tigers do it… I’d expect Castellanos, Smyly/Porcello, Rondon, and maybe another prospect in AA or A ball

EightMileCats
2 years 8 months ago

Not saying I’d do it

LongGone6
2 years 8 months ago

here’s hoping DD does more sensible things like back up the truck to re-sign Sanchez, sign a left handed corner outfielder, try and trade Porcello for IF/RP and kick the tires on a Jhonny trade… but who knows.

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

With the terrible SS free agent class we need to stick with Jhonny. He’s shown that he can be pretty good us.

Lloyd Parsons
2 years 8 months ago

Does “Don’t expect” the Blue Jays really mean the opposite?

jaysfordays14
2 years 8 months ago

It’s Elliott after all………..

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

Intriguing. But I don’t know that the Tigers quite have what it would take to get him away without, yet again, completely killing our farm system — not that it’s super strong as it is.

EightMileCats
2 years 8 months ago

It’d have to be gutted. Deal would have to include Castellanos… And either Porcello or Smyly. Probably Rondon. Maybe another lower(in the minors) prospect

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

Yup, exactly. And not what I’d like to see. I’d be fine with losing Porcello, but I in no shape, way or form would give up Castellanos, Smyly or Rondon for Upton. Does not seem at all worth it to me.

EightMileCats
2 years 8 months ago

Issue might be Illitch. He may push for something like this given his advanced age and desire for a WS title

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah, that’s true. But I don’t think Illitch is that much of a fool…. If Upton was a free agent, I wouldn’t be shocked in the least to see him shell out the cash to get him, but I don’t know that he’d be worth the price of players we’d have to give up.

AY
2 years 8 months ago

Homer Bailey and Didi, let’s go.

Brandon Stubbs Calvert
2 years 8 months ago

Jacoby and middlebrooks for J up?

JerryTheScholar
2 years 8 months ago

They are looking at trading Upton because of OF depth, I doubt they’d want to take on Jacoby in a trade for Upton. Doesn’t make sense.

metsfan08
2 years 8 months ago

niese for upton?

vtadave
2 years 8 months ago

ah Mets fans….

Catztradamus
2 years 8 months ago

The fact that everyone is talking Detroit or Texas and no one is mentioning Philly, leads me to believe Ruben is going to sell the entire organization for J-Up.

bavasisabum
2 years 8 months ago

Whos gonna headline that deal?

vtadave
2 years 8 months ago

There really isn’t anyone on Philly that can headline that deal.

Phillies_Aces35
2 years 8 months ago

There could be a three way deal involving Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, or someone like that. It really doesn’t make sense for the Phillies to trade either of those players though.

Prospect wise, our best prospect is Maikel Franco. He’s got superstar ceiling but he comes with a lot of risk. He’ll be in A ball next year, AA in 2014 and so on. Conservatively he wouldn’t be ready until 2016, which doesn’t help the Diamondbacks out.

Trevor May, Jesse Biddle, Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone, and Vance Worley are young arms who could interest the Diamondbacks and are about a half season to a season away (besides Worley). I don’t really think there’s anybody the Diamondbacks would consider as a fair return.

bavasisabum
2 years 8 months ago

Maybe Hultzen could headline a package. They were expected to pick him over Bauer before the M’s grabbed him. Texas makes alota sense tho

Eric
2 years 8 months ago

Get on it AA!!

2 years 8 months ago

I wish the Yankees would trade for J-ups and leave him in RF for the next 7+Years.

D-Backs get Nova, Banuelos, G.Sanchez, Mason Williams

Yankees get:Justin Upton and T. Bauer.

Major league player, 3 top 50 prospects.

Pronk19
2 years 8 months ago

That’s a horrible trade for Arizona. Bauer has more potential than Nova and Banuelos and they don’t need Sanchez with Montero locked up long term and Williams still has a long way to go. The yanks don’t match up with Arizona

2 years 8 months ago

About Bauer having more “potential” yes true, but he wants out of Arizona..and sometimes it’s not about potential. You get that from Ban, and Nova is a major league ready pitcher. Battle tested in the AL East. A transition to the NL ala Ian Kennedy would do wonders for both.
Sanchez is not catcher long term. Williams does not have a long way to go, IMO.

2 years 8 months ago

Andrus and Upton look like a great fit for a trade, yet almost all I read about Upton talks about the AL East.

James Attwood
2 years 8 months ago

It looks like a great fit, but Texas has been adamant that it won’t happen.

2 years 8 months ago

Yeah I saw that right after i posted this. Kind of surprising. Must mean GMs don’t think Upton really is the star people have come to think his is.

His road splits are a bit disappointing.

2 years 8 months ago

Cubs should give Arizona a call, unless the D-Backs are 1 of the 25 teams they don’t match up with in a trade.

James Attwood
2 years 8 months ago

Cubs were on the no trade list last season, and likely are again this season. Besides, the Cubs don’t match up well talent-wise with what the Dbacks need in return unless Starling Castro is somehow involved and I don’t see the Cubs parting with him, not even for Upton.

VivaJackMurphy
2 years 8 months ago

What exactly is the point of putting a team on your no-trade list if you are going to waive it if you are traded there?

James Attwood
2 years 8 months ago

A player puts a team on the list in order to have leverage. The player can negotiate a better contract with the teams on the list. If they REALLY want the player, they will give in to the increased contract demands.If they don’t want to give in, the player can still say es, or simply walk away and stay put.

2 years 8 months ago

Leverage. You can demand they sign you to a lucrative extension if it’s a team like the Yankees or Red Sox, for example.

mgsports
2 years 8 months ago

The GM said he won’t Trade Upton this year. How about Ryan Wheeler/Upton/Brauer to Red Sox’s for Will Millbrooks/Felix D. and so on. The Diamondbacks have Cliff Pennington as their SS Sean Rodriguez,Elliot Johnson,Tim Beckham,Reid Brignac can also play SS for Rays.

James Attwood
2 years 8 months ago

Pennington is not the Dbacks answer at SS, he is simply the best fit they currently have. That’s why they are so heavily targeting teams with quality SS talent when there are people calling about Upton or Bauer.
The reality is almost certainly going to be that neither Upton or Bauer are moved. The Dbacks are unwilling to sell low, and most teams are not ready to break the bank for either one of those players.

lawrence267
2 years 8 months ago

Young starter? How about Bauer for Upton? Wait a second…

jaysfan1994
2 years 8 months ago

Rays won’t acquire anything, Justin’s contract is far to pricy for the cheap rays, who just paid Sheilds the “most in franchise history” with 12M.

TBRays3
2 years 8 months ago

IF they trade for Upton, Shields will likely be involved

jaysfan1994
2 years 8 months ago

Doesn’t make sense, Uptons got more then 1 year left on his contract.

TBRays3
2 years 8 months ago

then prospects/cash will balance it out a frontline starter is harder to find then powerful outfielders

jaysfan1994
2 years 8 months ago

He had a down year playing in a place where hitting is easy. His value especially long term for the Rays doesn’t make sense. The Rays have a lot of arbitration players looking for raises in the future and bringing in a guy like this only hurts the future of an organization. Not saying he is a bad player, he just has a bad contract.