And Now Things Get Interesting
Arizona very much open again to talking about trading Justin Upton w/other teams, and not surprisingly, their specific demands have changed.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 3, 2013
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.