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.


56 Responses to “And Now Things Get Interesting”

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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