And Now Things Get Interesting

Dave · January 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Every time the Justin Upton rumors came up over the last few months, I tried to note how the Mariners weren’t a great fit, because the Diamondbacks were dead set on using him to acquire a shortstop, and the Mariners didn’t have any shortstops to trade. Well, things have changed. The Diamondbacks ended up using Trevor Bauer, not Justin Upton, to land their prized shortstop, and then they went and signed Cody Ross, further crowding their outfield. So, now, assuming Olney’s correct about this, Upton is available and a shortstop no longer has to be part of the package going back to Arizona. And they’re newly short one pitching prospect.

Hmm – I wonder what kind of team could use Justin Upton and could build a package around pitching prospects…

Of course, none of this means the Mariners are going to get Justin Upton. The price has always reportedly been too high, which is why Upton has never been traded. But, for those fretting about how the off-season is nearly over and the Mariners haven’t done anything yet, I’d say stay tuned. The odds of the Mariners landing Justin Upton have probably gone up in the last few weeks.

Addendum: It’s worth noting that the Mariners are reportedly on Upton’s no-trade list, but those are often simply strategic decisions made to give a player leverage in case a trade happens, and can often be avoided with some financial compensation. If Upton is really tired of Arizona trying to trade him, he won’t block a deal to a team that actually wants him, especially if that team is willing to give him something to make it worth his while.

Comments

56 Responses to “And Now Things Get Interesting”

  1. kinickers77 on January 3rd, 2013 2:02 pm

    I’ve always felt the Upton brothers were overrated. It would then make sense for the Mariners to go after one of them.

  2. nickwest1976 on January 3rd, 2013 2:08 pm

    If overrated equals WAR totals of 4.8 (2009), 3.0 (2010), 6.4 (2011) and 2.5 (2012) then sign me up! Not to mention he is only 25 years old.

    I think this is a great time to get Upton. He has MVP type talent and upside and had by his standards a bit of a down year last year. But he has an average of 4 WAR over the last 4 years and as mentioned, is only 25 years old.

  3. stevemotivateir on January 3rd, 2013 2:16 pm

    I’ll ask an inevitable question….

    Should we be alarmed by Upton’s road splits? He obviously hasn’t hit as well outside of Chase Field, but he’s put up pretty good numbers at Petco, which is as tough as a place to hit as there is, so I’m not terribly alarmed myself.

  4. Rusty on January 3rd, 2013 2:28 pm

    I kept my hopes up throughout this off season that the M’s might land Upton. I hope Jack Z can pull this off.

  5. shortbus on January 3rd, 2013 2:58 pm

    Upton’s being paid like a 2-3 win player through 2015. I’m not really high on him because his home/road splits are atrocious and even mini-Safeco is going to take a big bite out of his stats. He has a career 96 wRC+ away from home. He’s being paid like a 2-3 win player for the next three years, and I don’t personally think we’d see a lot more value than that. I doubt the D-Backs would take what I would offer for him. Probably just Paxton or Hultzen and one of our better major league relievers.

  6. kramerica60887 on January 3rd, 2013 3:17 pm

    Bottom line is he’s better than any player we have at any outfield position in the organization. Even if he takes a step back at the plate he’s still a significant upgrade over anyone else on the team. Furthermore, looking ahead to next year’s crop of free agents, there’s nobody better than him available. Ellsbury is the only player with comparable stats and he’s injury-riddled. So if not Upton then who? What hitter is going to significantly enhance our chances of scoring runs and come cheaply at the same time?

    At this point I’d take Felix, Zunino, and Walker out of the discussion and give the DBacks their pick of any three or four players in our organization. Wilhemson, Franklin, and Hultzen for Upton? I’m down. Heck, even throw in Erasmo Ramirez.

    I’m tired of watching the M’s score two runs a game.

  7. Mini Mogul on January 3rd, 2013 3:27 pm

    Wow, seriously….over rated…that’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Justin Upton?!?

    How many hitters in this game are better than him? Not all that many! You can poke a hole in any player as we’ve done the past few years (Fielder = fat and won’t age well, Hamilton = injury prone and relapse potential), you can tear down any player in the game. As Mariner fans we are good at that because we are so darn frustrated which leads to our blinding skepticism. How many M’s hitters are even in the same universe as Upton? Zero, the answer is zero!

    Justin Upton has the potential to be a top 10 bat for the next 8-10 years. If he’s a bust, he’ll still be a top 30 hitter…do we currently have a top 30 hitter? No, the answer is NO! I would give Dave’s left nut to get Upton (sorry Dave, sometimes you’ve gotta take one for the team).

    To get him it’s gonna make some of us puke, it might take Ackley, Paxton, and Miller….or Montero, Capps, and Paxton. Maybe it takes even more (I’m puking a little in my mouth right now just thinking that Walker might have to be in an Upton trade) but if you can get a guy with the ceiling of a Super Star, and a floor of “The BEST Hitter On Your Team”, you make that trade!

    * If I’m choosing one I’d rather Stanton over Upton, even if I’m paying more for Stanton but his availability is much more in question and I don’t think the M’s should wait around on him if they could get Upton now.

    ** Just had a shot of Jack Daniels to wash out the taste of that puke! Pull the trigger Z, you can have the rest of the bottle, you might need it!

  8. _Hutch_ on January 3rd, 2013 3:28 pm

    The home/road splits are a little worrying, but I’d have a hard time passing on a 25-year-old two-time all star because he happened to hit better when playing in an extreme hitters park. Those things fluctuate year to year and weren’t much of an issue in 2011 and were non-existent in 2010 and 2009. 2012 was obviously a freak year with nagging hand injury and he still would have been the third-best player on the team. He’s signed to the sort of contract you’d give a 2-3 win player, but 4-5 upside and only through 2015 (the so-called “Felix timeline” of contention.) If the team wants to prove that it really intends to compete, this would do it.

    My only fear is what it will take. I don’t think Paxton/Franklin is going to cut it, especially if Texas steps in.

  9. cnote on January 3rd, 2013 3:28 pm

    I admittedly thought this post would be about Mike Jacobs… I should’ve known better.

  10. Hooligan on January 3rd, 2013 3:32 pm

    Whenever someone is mentioned in trade rumors, people go to Fangraphs, cherry pick some stat that shows potential problems with that player, then post that they’re concerned with those risks. With Upton, it seems to be road splits.

    Tell me, which perfect player should we sign? Trout is unavailable, and Bonds retired. I think we’re stuck picking amongst the flawed.

    If you aren’t interested in a 25 year old with HOF potential and all-star downside, I don’t know what you’re looking for.

  11. _Hutch_ on January 3rd, 2013 3:37 pm

    This sort of thing is going to be such a kick in the gut when we end up with Jason Kubel.

  12. Miles on January 3rd, 2013 3:41 pm

    Justin Upton HOF potential? LOLOLOL I wet my pants. He had 20 RBIs on the road last year. He’s already in decline. He could very well be a .750 OPS player from here on out and if you bring him to Safeco, that could very well be a .725 OPS kind of guy. He doesn’t want to come to Safeco because that would ruin his chance at the one big contract when his current one was up like it did for Beltre.

  13. kinickers77 on January 3rd, 2013 3:43 pm

    Sorry, I should have explained more. I do think Upton is good. But I do think he’s overrated. He’s been hyped as a once-in-a-generation type of talent (Griffey-like) and everyone talked about him and his potential before Trout and Harper came along.

    His best year was 2011 with a WAR of 5.7 (career avg of 2.2 WAR). When I watch him, I see the talent but not the desire. He just looks arrogant, like he thinks he can ride on his “potential” for his whole career. I don’t think he’ll ever live up to it because he doesn’t have the drive or work ethic or hasn’t shown it yet at least. I’m concerned he’ll end up with a career closer to his avg WAR than that of 2011 and I think the top guys we have in our farm are worth more than that.

    I would trade for him if it cost Paxton and Franklin or something like that but I’m afraid because of his hype, he’ll cost more, like Walker, Franklin, and Zunino. And letting go of that much for him would make me nervous.

  14. amnizu on January 3rd, 2013 3:57 pm

    > I don’t think he’ll ever live up to it because he doesn’t have the drive or work ethic or hasn’t shown it yet at least.

    Maybe Raul can help out with that.

  15. stevemotivateir on January 3rd, 2013 3:58 pm

    @kinickers

    You really gotta provide evidence to convince anyone he has no drive or work ethic.

    By the way, Zunino can’t be traded. Doesn’t have the time yet.

  16. bookbook on January 3rd, 2013 3:59 pm

    I tend to be skeptical of analysis that sees the black guy as naturally gifted/lazy, partially because it plays into stereotypes and partially because we don’t get to see all the offseason work or the Inseason training and work and struggle–for anyone.

    I believe Justin Upton is worth trading for. In a competitive bidding situation, whoever gets the trade is probably paying top “dollar”. Turning pitching prospects and MI-types into OF helps reshape the M’s roster (face it, the team hasn’t an OF prospect of great merit, and is supposed to play three of them at the major league level!) to be more competitive.

    A small overpay in talent to get an OF and concentrate the value could be very worthwhile.

  17. Mini Mogul on January 3rd, 2013 4:00 pm

    HOF potential…I have to agree. He may not end up anywhere near that but is there legit potential in a 25 year old who’s put up some big numbers, clearly yes. Having a down year that’s still very solid doesn’t mean anything, amazing players can have off years.

    Sounds like Miles has a bladder problem.

  18. Mini Mogul on January 3rd, 2013 4:02 pm

    Stevem….

    Zunino can be traded! He would be included as “a player to be named later” and after his year expires then they’d name him.

  19. Westside guy on January 3rd, 2013 4:22 pm

    Even with his home/road splits, I would not complain about the Mariners acquiring Upton… at the right price. That price should reflect said splits though.

    And that’s one area I’m still fairly comfortable with Z. My frustrations with him tend to be related to non-acquisitions, or with the logic behind particular acquisitions. He generally seems to be on the money regarding value (which may be why we ended up not landing Hamilton).

  20. Miles on January 3rd, 2013 4:28 pm

    Yes, I sure do have bladder issues. HOFers at age 25 are getting better every year. Miguel Cabrera was OPSing in the .900s every year (except his first year in Detroit with the crazy 450 foot left field fence). Cabrera is a HOF player. Upton will never be close to that type of bat. A good ball player? Yes. HOF? I better go change my shorts.

  21. shortbus on January 3rd, 2013 4:38 pm

    Upton has been a great hitter at times, but mostly at home in a park with big park factors for HR, 2B and 3B. He’d be coming to play half his games in a park that may become slightly below average for right-handers after reducing its dimensions. There is good reason to believe that we won’t ever see 5+ win Justin Upton in Seattle for that reason.

    Quibbling over the exact package we’d give up is pretty pointless, but as some others have mentioned we’re not bidding in a vacuum and the price we’d have to pay to outbid the other teams is very likely to be too high. I’d give up a ton of players for Stanton, but less for Upton.

  22. kinickers77 on January 3rd, 2013 4:43 pm

    Dave, what’s your belief on Upton’s value? Is he closer to the 5.7 WAR he held in 2011 or his career avg of just under 2.2?

    @bookbook I said nothing about him being black. Didn’t even think about that. Don’t turn this into something about race.

    @stevemotivateir You’re right, I got no evidence. Just a feeling when I watch him play. And the fact that ARI is looking to move him shows they may not be too keen on him either. Z would never trade Felix, right? It’s because he has great talent, plays hard and is a positive clubhouse presence. Same reason why TEX won’t deal Profar (even though they are overloaded at SS). When a guy has those 3 things, you don’t trade him. My guess is Upton is missing one or both of those 2nd two things because the talent is there.

  23. shortbus on January 3rd, 2013 5:02 pm

    Dave wrote this article a couple of years ago.

    Since then Upton’s had a couple of less-than-elite years so according to this estimate he might be a 4.5-5 win “good-but-not-great” player. There’s still extra value there over his contract, but I think his sky-high potential has taken a dip.

  24. the tourist on January 3rd, 2013 5:05 pm

    “Is he closer to the 5.7 WAR he held in 2011 or his career avg of just under 2.2?”

    Where are you getting your WAR numbers from? 2011 saw him having a WAR of 6.4 and his average is far higher than 2.2. He averages 3.8 WAR per 162 games currently. To put things into perspective, the Mariners haven’t had a position player with a WAR of 3.8 or higher since 2010 Ichiro nor a hitter with 6.4 WAR or higher since 2004 Ichiro.

  25. kinickers77 on January 3rd, 2013 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the link shortbus. Good article. To me, the telling paragraph is the last one:

    “And in the end, I expect Arizona will come to the realization that they should probably just hang onto their young right fielder.”

    If they’ve come to decide just the opposite, they must not have confidence Upton will move into that superstar status so trade him while others still think he will.

    So, I think if the Ms have to give up the kind of pieces to land a superstar, don’t do it. If they can give up the pieces to land a “good-not-great” player, then I say pull the trigger. But I have a feeling ARI is asking for a superstar price. But I also trust Z not to fall for it.

  26. Choo on January 3rd, 2013 5:19 pm

    People (George Steinbrenner) have been saying the same thing about naturally gifted, even-tempered athletes (Dave Winfield, Darryl Strawberry, Roberto Kelly, this list would go on forever) for as long there have been athletes. Everybody is wired differently. If an athlete doesn’t outwardly project desire or intensity or grit or whatever it is we are squinting at, assume those attributes percolate inside of him until evidence suggests otherwise. They can’t all be Paul O’Neill.

  27. terryoftacoma on January 3rd, 2013 5:22 pm

    The Mariner’s fan in me would love to get Upton if the price wasn’t too high.

    However, standing back and looking at this I have to ask myself a couple of questions: If I was him would I rather hit in Texas(add maybe Atlanta) or Seattle? Seattle’s already on his no trade list.

    My fear is we’re being used to drive the price up. Assuming Z is bidding seriously for him what would it cost?

  28. ireportyoudecide on January 3rd, 2013 5:54 pm

    I wish, but it’s not going to happen. Even if the Mariners did offer enough Upton would block the trade. No 25 year old player wants to play in Safeco, with this lineup for 3 years leading up to free agency. Not a lot of RBI chances when our #1 and #2 hitters will be hovering with OBP% around 300.

  29. MrGenre on January 3rd, 2013 6:32 pm

    Is it just me, or are a lot of commentators throwing up or messing their pants in this thread? Take it easy, guys! It’s just baseball!

    I’ve been secretly hoping all winter that Upton would be our move to “get things done” this offseason. I’d love to see him in a M’s uniform.

  30. stevemotivateir on January 3rd, 2013 6:53 pm

    @mini

    Do you really think that would happen?! I wouldn’t bet on Zunino wearing anything but a Mariner uniform to start his MLB career.

    @kinickers

    I’ve never heard Arizona come out and say they’re looking to move him. I think it’s more of them being open to offers. There is a difference.

  31. msfanmike on January 3rd, 2013 7:47 pm

    Well, at a minimum – Jack is making it appear as if some of his prospects could be headed in one of any three potential directions (LA, Arizona, Miami). Even as remote as “Miami” is, other teams cannot be certain that discussions aren’t taking place.

    In that regard, Jack may be creating leverage of his own.

    I sure hope so, anyway.

    The Ethier plus a pitcher rumor seems to be gaining some steam. I would rather see the team acquire Upton, but either one would be a huge improvement. Wells would be an ideal “platoon” partner to help mitigate Ethier’s split issue – if they do get him – IMO

  32. Hooligan on January 3rd, 2013 7:47 pm

    Anyone who says that Upton doesn’t have a shot at the Hall has no credibility. None.

    No one is saying he’s a HOFer. But his talent is unquestionably at that level. If he puts it together, he’s a superstar. If he doesn’t, he’s better than average.

    Miguel Cabrera is a horrible comp. Upton is an outfielder, he has range with consistently good (not great) UZR, he runs the bases well…

  33. Jopa on January 3rd, 2013 8:01 pm

    As someone wrote above, Safeco would be career suicide for this guy. He gains nothing by coming here and he stands to lose tens of millions of dollars on the 8-10 year contract he’s going to sign in three years. He and his agent can’t be that stupid.

    Whatever couple of million the M’s might offer to get him to waive the no-trade clause pales in comparison to what he’ll lose in his next contract.

  34. kinickers77 on January 3rd, 2013 8:10 pm

    @tourist
    I got my WAR avg from his ESPN career stats page. I just took the avg of his 6 years in the League. Is that a bad approach? I don’t know a ton about WAR.

    @stevemotivateir
    What has Z said over and over again about Felix? He’s not open to trading him. It doesn’t matter how you say it. To me, publicly entertaining the idea of trading your biggest asset doesn’t reflect confidence that you think he will become the superstar others think he’ll become (and a cheap one at that).

  35. Mini Mogul on January 3rd, 2013 8:46 pm

    @stevemotivateir

    No, I don’t think there’s any way the M’s trade Zunino…someone above had said that the M’s couldn’t trade Zunino because he’s not eligible to be traded yet. I was pointing out that while he can’t officially be named or change teams inside his 1 year waiting period, often players are traded in principle and listed in the original deal as Player to be Named Later.

    I think trading Zunino would be nuts since it seems clear that Montero is not our future full time catcher.

  36. vetted_coach on January 3rd, 2013 9:42 pm

    Justin Upton won’t come here.

    He doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to, and the price makes no sense for the Mariners. He projects realistically at about 3WAR, not much impact for a team that might win 74 games and lose a couple of top prospects and about 7-million a year in salary. The club won’t consider it.

    He would immediately be our best position player. It makes me chuckle to read about concern over his splits when any player he would replace has mediocre overall numbers by comparison.

    It’s very difficult to reconcile any major expenditure when the team needs 2-3 serious impact bats just to be competitive. Jason Kubel, though laughable, would instantly be our most proven power presence.

  37. johndango on January 3rd, 2013 9:53 pm

    I would be willing to throw just about anything at this trade to make it happen. The idea of him and Kendry together in the middle… it’d take a crash-and-burn situation for the team to not manage to be at least middle of the pack for once.

  38. Mini Mogul on January 3rd, 2013 10:26 pm

    Can’t the M’s afford a line up like this:

    Bourn
    Seager
    Upton
    Morales
    Jaso
    Saunders
    Ibanez/Bay/Smoak/Montero
    Ackley
    Ryan

    (arrange the players however you like best, the exact order is not the point)

    The money for use is thought to be between $30-$35 million after factoring in all the arb eligable players….including Vargas who’s money has now roughly paid for both Ibanez and Morales. I think we should have most or all of the spending money available.

    $9.75 mil for Upton in 2013 and $14 mil the next 2 years.

    Leaves us around $20-$25 million for 2013.

    Bourn gets $15 million a year or so and you could back load it to help get to that new TV contract money coming in 2 years.

    Then we still need another SP which you have $5-$10 million for….Could that get your Marcum?!?

    We’ve also got $8 million coming off the books next year after the Figgins contract runs up so maybe you back load a contract for Lohse?

    Why can’t we do this…trade for Upton, sign Bourn, and grab a decent SP and we’d still have some great prospects coming, which ever ones we didn’t need to give for Upton.

    Someone tell me if there’s something I’m missing (other than “We are the Mariners and we don’t do awesome things like that”).

  39. Jordan on January 3rd, 2013 11:01 pm

    All available information indicates the Mariners have the ability to spend more this off season and it is not out of the realm of possibility that they acquire one if not all 3 players mentioned.

    But, it’s not that “we don’t do awesome things” or can’t or won’t because we don’t know what negotiations are actually taking place from the Mariners side. The missing piece is the other agents/teams/players/cost v. risk/reward etc.

    While I’m sure anyone reading this blog would love to acquire Upton, Bourn and Marcum (is Lohse worth the #12 pick and forfeited slot $) at reasonable costs, we don’t know if the players want to come here.

  40. stevemotivateir on January 4th, 2013 6:07 am

    @kinickers77

    GM’s always listen. Jack will listen to offers for Felix, even if he has no intent to trade him. It’s about leverage and that was my point.

    @mini

    I was the one who said you can’t trade Zunino! And I was stressing that it’s highly unlikely we’d see Zunino in move like that.

    @vc

    Though I’m not as concerned about the splits as some other people, it’s worth noting most Mariners had better road numbers than they did at home last season. So your comment made me chuckle:)

  41. Sports on a Shtick on January 4th, 2013 7:39 am

    Puzzling Trevor Bauer trade aside I will assume Arizona knows what it has in Upton and will charge accordingly.

    Eventually I think the M’s will trade one of the big arms so getting a player of Upton’s current production / potential upgrade is worth exploring for a team that’s sorely lacking in OF talent across the entire system.

    And getting Justin Upton would mean no more Andre Ethier rumors, which are frightening.

  42. kinickers77 on January 4th, 2013 7:58 am

    @ Mini Mogul

    I would love that scenario. And I’d go for Lohse (he’s worth the loss of pick #12 IMO).

    If we could land Upton for say, Paxton or Hultzen, Franklin and someone like Smoak or Saunders, I would feel really good about it. Heck, throw in Erasmo too.

    And if Zunino, Miller, Walker and whichever of Paxton/Hultzen we didn’t trade are all regulars by 2014, we could be very, very legit.

    I apologize for this rosterbation but it’s just too much fun:

    2014 (in no particular order)

    Bourn
    Ackley
    Upton
    Zunino
    Morales
    Montero (and what if he figures it out – BOOM!)
    Seager
    Miller
    Saunders

    Felix
    Iwakuma
    Lohse
    Walker
    Hultzen/Paxton

    Capps
    Wilhelmsen
    Pryor
    etc…

    I seriously think that if we got lucky and a few of those prospects turned out to be decent and one or two really good, this team could compete in the AL West most definitely.

  43. Mini Mogul on January 4th, 2013 8:32 am

    If we could get Upton for a price like that then it would be great to see a line up like you’ve got for 2014…I think it costs a little more but who knows. Also 99% sure Arizona doesn’t want Smoak, they have Goldschmidt at 1B…just sayin.

    Sign me up, make the trade and then sign Bourn and an SP NOT named Saunders…if we do the fans will have tons to be excited about!

  44. make_dave_proud on January 4th, 2013 8:42 am

    In evaluating all the possibilities here, I think the biggest thing being overlooked is JZ himself. The “Trader Jack” label wasn’t earned because he’s a big spender.

    The last time JZ pulled off a trade for a major player was the Cliff Lee deal. For Cliff Lee, the M’s traded Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez. While Aumont was considered a high-level prospect, Gillies and Ramirez were more second-tier. And none of them were JZ’s guys. This for Cliff Lee, about as solid a lead-pipe cinch as a player coming back could be.

    Now, we have the talented-but-somehow-not-wanted Justin Upton as a potential acquisition. And the expected asking price is going to be a lot more expensive than Cliff Lee.

    I just don’t see JZ going that deep in the pockets to get Upton.

  45. the tourist on January 4th, 2013 8:49 am

    @kinickers77

    “I got my WAR avg from his ESPN career stats page. I just took the avg of his 6 years in the League. Is that a bad approach? I don’t know a ton about WAR.”

    First, fangraphs is the place to go for WAR. Second, by averaging the way you are, you’re counting his 152 plate appearances in 2007 as full equal to his 674 plate appearances in 2011, which is kind of a dufus move. Average it per 150 games, as that is what an average regular starting position player would play. That is much more representative of a “season” than a 43 game sample (or even a 108 game sample as in 2008).

  46. Westside guy on January 4th, 2013 10:12 am

    If you look at ESPN’s war (which is Baseball Reference’s WAR rather than FanGraphs’), be sure to pay attention to the split – in most places they divide up offensive WAR from defensive WAR. So you need to look at both numbers and total them.

  47. shortbus on January 4th, 2013 10:37 am

    @knickers77

    Aside from the fact that I still think you’re giving too much away, I really don’t like the idea of using Erasmo as a “throw-in.” This team is already two starters away from a full rotation. Erasmo has potential to be a 2+ win starter for the M’s for the next several years. We’re really counting on him to produce and would need to replace that production if we just tossed him in to some deal. That’s not a good “win now” solution, especially if you’re already throwing in one of the top level starting prospects.

    Similarly if the team included Saunders in the deal, we’re weakening our outfield overall. Assuming no more acquisitions took place after an Upton deal, the best outfield would be Saunders in left, Guti in center and Upton in right. Trade Saunders and you’re downgrading left field. Again, not a good “win now” move.

    If Arizona would take Smoak, on the other hand, he can probably be replaced at this point.

  48. Mini Mogul on January 4th, 2013 10:44 am

    Why would Arizona take Smoak? Anyone with a good reason they would? If not, let’s leave Smoak out of it lol.

  49. smb on January 4th, 2013 10:55 am

    Meh, not that interested in another RH bat who will strike out about 150 times a year and get caught stealing a little less than half his attempts. As a FA, sure, we have money to spend, go for it…but trading the organizational depth is a big part of what made us perpetually terrible in the first place, and I don’t want to go back down that well-trodden road.

  50. Mini Mogul on January 4th, 2013 11:12 am

    lol, smb….you’d rather we go down the current “we are terrible” road? Don’t kid yourself, we have been terrible and are still at this moment terrible! How have our top talent prospects done so far:

    Ackley – terrible, might still end up being great.
    Montero – is a future DH and didn’t hit well.
    Smoak – all but a bust and the organization has basically given up on him, as they should.

    Oh please please please Jack Z, don’t trade our amazing prospects for a guy who’s actually been VERY good in the Bigs!?!

    These guys could still be good/great but so far, no so much!

    There’s your top 3 all world prospects! So yeah, let’s keep going down the prospect road like KC has been doing and find that alone doesn’t work. You’ve got to trade from the pool of talent to get proven MLB talent. Ever wonder why you have to trade 3 top or very good prospects for 1 MLB player….because everyone knows that 50% of those prospects are gonna flame out!

  51. ripperlv on January 4th, 2013 11:34 am

    I believe the away splits are a red flag (just an indicator). If Upton performed like his away splits at Safeco would you be happy? In 1366 PA away from hitter friendly Chase Field he owns .250/.325/.406 with 41 HRs. I’m not saying he would hit those numbers at Safeco, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. Then what is his value?
    Why do the Diamondbacks want to trade him? Maybe because he is overvalued? Do the Diamonbacks know something we don’t? They have been dangling him for years, maybe the Diamonbacks are determined to get overpaid.
    Of course he’s a good ballplayer, but his true value to the M’s may not be at the All-star level and more of an above average outfielder. I say let the Rangers overpay. If the M’s overpay, let it be for Stanton, a real game changer. Now that guy has some splits…..lol

  52. shortbus on January 4th, 2013 11:35 am

    @Mini Mogul

    Agreed on Smoak. I was responding to knickers77′s suggestion. Frankly, I’m in favor of keeping Smoak at this point since he’s not worth much in trade. Like a stock that’s at near-zero you might was well hang onto to in case it bounces back.

    And frankly I’m not in favor of trading anyone right now. By mid-season we’ll have a better idea if Ackley, Smoak, Montero and Saunders are for real or not. If they are then making some deals to shift to “win now” mode makes sense. What if we trade Franklin now and find out he was our best second base prospect in July? This is not a far-out possibility given Ackley’s performance last year.

  53. Kazinski on January 4th, 2013 4:45 pm

    Which player would you want?

    Player A .247/.306/.432 108wRC+ 21sb 19HR .297babip LD/GB/FB 20.2/45.2/34.6

    Player B .280/.355/.430 108wRC+ 18sb 17HR .327babip LD/GB/FB: 20.6/43.8/35.6

    The big difference of course is the OBP, but other than that they are almost identical. And some of that may be explained by the BABIP. And its worth noting the Player A played half his games in Safeco.

    Of course I would want to have Upton, and of course we could keep Player A, Saunders, and get Upton too.

    But I wouldn’t pay near as much for Upton as I would for Stanton. The Diamondbacks have been shopping him for reason. And whatever package the Mariners put together for Upton, I’d offer it first to Texas for Elvis Andrus.

  54. Westside guy on January 4th, 2013 7:21 pm

    The Diamondbacks ARE shopping Upton for a reason all right.

    That reason is – they have too many outfielders.

  55. Hunter S. Thompson on January 5th, 2013 10:32 pm

    I’d offer what ever package was available for Upton for Andrus as well, I’d also offer it for Harper and Trout, and after the laughter faded I’d offer it for Upton.

    Upton is possibly obtainable, for a decent price because his team is flush with outfielders and Towers has issues with personalities. Andrus has a replacement in system but is a good defensive shortstop with decent OBP and good wheels, he would cost way more then Upton.

  56. The Wheelhouse on January 6th, 2013 11:02 pm

    I just don’t see the huge appeal in Justin Upton. I don’t think he will ever put up MVP type numbers. Is he worth betting the farm on? I’m not so sure. That being said, it would be great to have him, but not for what I have heard.

    I would rather try for a Giancarlo Stanton. I know that is a very long shot, but hey, a guy can dream.

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