Justin Upton Reportedly Rejects Trade to Mariners

Dave · January 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

It has been pretty obvious that the Mariners were talking to the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, as their hunt for a right fielder drags on. The Diamondbacks and Upton are headed towards a break-up; the only question is when, and where Upton lands as a result. If we assume that this report is true, then that means that the Mariners and Diamondbacks agreed on the pieces in a deal, because Upton wouldn’t have been asked to accept a trade that wasn’t agreed to. The D’Backs price for Upton is known to have been extremely high, which is why he isn’t a Texas Ranger right now, despite their pursuit of him all winter. The fact that the Mariners were able to make an offer that Arizona would accept is a pretty big first step.

The second step, of course, is getting Upton to agree to the deal. As of right now, that seems to be a problem, and I know a lot of people are going to say that Upton will never change his mind. Pitcher’s park, losing team, blah blah blah. Yes, you can convince yourself that the Mariners can never have nice things and the world is ending and life is terrible and Howard Lincoln is the devil and all the other things you guys like to believe. But I wouldn’t be too sure that Upton won’t end up in Seattle before all is said and done.

No-trade clauses are generally put in place for two specific reasons:

1. A player is committing to an organization for the long term and wants to put down roots, and the no-trade gives him the security of knowing that he’ll be able to play in the same city as long as he wants. Often, this is related to a player choosing a team for geographic locations. Carlos Lee, for instance, used his no-trade to stay with a dreadful Astros team for years because he has a ranch in Texas and didn’t want to leave. These are usually blanket no-trade clauses, and are given to a select few players.

2. A player’s agent negotiates a limited no-trade clause, with the player being able to select a handful of teams that they don’t wish to be traded to. These lists can usually be changed each off-season, and they generally are adjusted for leverage purposes. Agents stay on top of the rumor mill, and they figure out where the most likely destinations are for their client if he is going to be traded, then choose those organizations as the teams to block, giving them the most amount of leverage possible. Despite what you might suspect, players generally don’t just choose “bad” teams that they don’t want to play for, because bad teams are often rebuilding and are unlikely to trade for high priced talent to begin with. The goal isn’t to be able to block a trade, since that’s not possible to begin with, but to have as much say in the process as possible.

Clearly, situation #1 doesn’t apply here. Upton isn’t staying in Arizona long term, and there’s no desire on his part to stay in Phoenix for the long term. Given how often they’ve tried to trade him, you can imagine that he’d be thrilled to get a fresh start somewhere else. Upton is a classic example of no-trade situation #2. The fact that the Mariners are on his no-trade list is not proof that he has no interest in playing for Seattle – it’s proof that his agent realized that the Mariners were one of the most likely teams interested in trading for him.

Want proof? Here’s an article from July detailing the four teams that were on Upton’s no-trade list for the 2012 season: the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, and Cubs. Clearly, he’s not just picking long time losers, nor is he eliminating teams that play in pitcher friendly ballparks. It’s a leverage strategy.

So, if the Mariners want to continue pursuing Upton, they have to decide how much more they want to give up to get him. They’ve already settled on the players going to Arizona – now the question is how much cash will change Upton’s mind. That could be in the form of a contract extension, but for a player in Upton’s situation, he might not want to sign a long term commitment before getting a chance to play in his new home, especially since he’s on track to hit free agency after his age 27 season. Instead of an extension, perhaps the Mariners best bait is to either shorten the commitment, or to give him a player option.

Right now, Upton is under contract for the next three years, with guaranteed salaries of $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.5 million in 2015. The team could potentially offer him a player option for 2016 — likely valued in that same $15 million range — or offer to convert the 2015 portion of his guaranteed years into a player option, allowing him to opt out and become a free agent a year early if he’s not enjoying his time in Seattle. By making that kind of concession, the Mariners would essentially be giving him his choice of an extra $15ish million in guaranteed money, or by giving him the chance to pick his next destination earlier than he would if he went somewhere else.

Maybe the Mariners aren’t willing to make that kind of offer, since they’re presumably surrendering a good amount of talent to get him in the first place, and this will all die off as the team turns to Plan B. But, just because Upton said no to accepting a deal without compensation doesn’t mean that the Mariners can’t change his mind. Especially if Arizona tells him that they’re not trading him to one of his preferred destinations, leaving his options between staying with an organization that openly talks negatively about him or to going to a team that actually wants him.

Upton isn’t a free agent. He doesn’t get to pick where he plays next year, but he can use his no-trade clause to get himself into a better situation. Now, it’s up to the Mariners to see if they can convince him that Seattle is a better situation. They have tools at their disposal to try. Don’t be surprised if they use them.

Update: Jerry Crasnick reports that Upton’s no-trade list for this year is BOS, TOR, CHC, and SEA. So, basically, they swapped out the Yankees (known to not be committing to more than one year deals) and Indians (were strong reported to be off-season sellers) for the Blue Jays and Mariners, two teams who had a ton of salary coming off the books and a strong desire to add offense. For those of you clinging to the idea that this is all about the park, Toronto is one of the best places in baseball for a right-handed power hitter.


90 Responses to “Justin Upton Reportedly Rejects Trade to Mariners”

  1. Slats on January 10th, 2013 4:48 pm

    It would be very interesting to know what the ‘package’ of Mariners prospects were involved.

    I still think there is a good chance Seattle can get Upton and as Dave said – it’s going to come down to how much more money the M’s are willing to offer.

  2. georgmi on January 10th, 2013 4:51 pm

    The obvious question is, why didn’t the Mariners investigate what it would take to get Upton to waive the no-trade clause before this?

    Given that Zduriencik and company *aren’t* idiots, and have to be as tired as everyone else of hearing that the Mariners suck, have always sucked, and will always suck, the answer must be some kind of tampering rule, right?

    In that case, the invocation of the no-trade clause not only doesn’t mean the end of the process, but it’s a necessary step along the way.

  3. Dave on January 10th, 2013 4:54 pm

    You can’t talk to another team’s player. They couldn’t ask Upton if he would accept a deal until there was a deal.

  4. Miles on January 10th, 2013 4:55 pm

    Why would Upton want to come to Seattle and play half his games in Safeco for 3 years knowing those numbers will directly affect his next contract?

  5. georgmi on January 10th, 2013 4:56 pm

    That’s the only conclusion that made any sense. Thanks for confirming.

    For the record, the NCAA recruiting rules confuse the hell out of me as well. : )

  6. Slats on January 10th, 2013 4:56 pm

    According to Fox Sports:

    Upton’s rejection of the Mariners could be an attempt by him to leverage the Diamondbacks into sending him to a more preferred destination. The D-Backs, meanwhile, could be telling Upton that Seattle is his only option if he wants to leave Arizona, and for that reason it’s always possible that a deal could revive.

  7. ireportyoudecide on January 10th, 2013 4:57 pm

    Well that’s what about 25% of the people on this predicted would happen. Can’t say I blame him, his stats would go down, it’s farther away from Virginia, and it’s not like we are winning anytime soon. Sucks though, he would be someone to actually go out and watch other then Felix, plus the added payroll would have shown maybe the Mariners really are trying to compete.

  8. diderot on January 10th, 2013 4:58 pm

    Seems like Towers is the key player here.
    If he tells Upton it’s Seattle or nothing, Upton’s got to choose what we offer or continue being miserable in a crowded Arizona outfield.
    On the other hand, if Towers feels another team’s offer is almost as good as Seattle’s, he can just move on.

  9. MrZDevotee on January 10th, 2013 4:58 pm

    Ahhh. I was (for no reason) thinking that if the story is released about him using his no-trade clause that any negotiations between the Mariners and Upton had already happened and failed.

    So this is actually GOOD news, then. Based on who was on his earlier “no trade” list, it’s not who he doesn’t want to play with, it’s who he thought were most likely to come after him.

    Now it’s up to us and his agent to work out compensation that would cause him to drop his NTC? Is that how it works?

    And does Arizona still have the ability to say “no” even after they’ve agreed already to a trade?

    I was really sad when I first saw the news on MLBTradeRumors, but now it’s kinda exciting.

  10. _Hutch_ on January 10th, 2013 4:59 pm

    I’ve got a bad feeling that the trade was based around Walker.

  11. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 5:00 pm

    Interesting the idea of reducing the contract to two years plus a player option. I’m just not sure if the M’s would offer that? I would think they’d offer money this year say 5 million bonus or extend him for 3 more years at a high salary say 25 million a year.

    To get Upton they would have to offer atleast two of their top four prospects, based on what Shields and Dickey returned and Upton is worth atleast as much as those pitchers.

    If it becomes a two year deal then the prospect price likely is just too high. Toronto only gave up their two future stars when they got Dickey for 3 years.

    I’d be concerned that two years is too short of a period to make the playoffs in but if they are still awful in 2014 Felix will be gone so yeah I don’t like losing the year on Uptons contract but it maybe worth it.

  12. asuray on January 10th, 2013 5:02 pm

    While we, as fans like to think that players are interested in winning first and foremost, the truth is that most of them are interested in their paychecks above all else. I don’t know why this surprises people given that most employees care more about their paycheck than the company they work for. That being said, a player isn’t going to waste one of a handful of no-trade slots on a team just because they aren’t winning. They’re going to spend those slots on teams that will make it worth their while to waive the clause. No doubt that’s what Upton’s agent did here. Everyone knew that the Mariners would be players in the Upton trade market, so why not give yourself a little bit of leverage in the negotiations?

  13. Mariners2620 on January 10th, 2013 5:02 pm

    If you think you are an elite talent, should it matter what park you play in. Churchill is reporting that it is a deal he probably wouldn’t have made for the Mariners. Like Dave has alluded to, Upton and even more likely his agent is using this as leverage. It’s all about the money.

    To me, you are pathetic if you refer to yourself as a young premiere talent, and you are afraid to play in certain parks. That is a cop out.

  14. kinickers77 on January 10th, 2013 5:09 pm

    My question is how often do trades get rejected by players like this? And even more pertinent, how often do players reject a trade and then change their mind? Seems uncommon to me, but I’ve never paid that close attention, I guess.

  15. Liam on January 10th, 2013 5:09 pm

    Unless Upton really wanted out of Arizona, wasn’t this to be expected? Why have a no-trade clause if you’re just going to waive it for free?

  16. ck on January 10th, 2013 5:10 pm

    I am happy to see the M’s try to improve. The Snakes probably do not want an outfieder in return, so if Upton, Gutierez, and Saunders are playing most days, what about Ibanez, Wells, Bay etc? Morales / Smoak / Montero / Ibanez have First and DH covered. If this move goes through, other dominos must fall…

  17. Mariners2620 on January 10th, 2013 5:12 pm

    Liam- Exactly. A whole bunch of sense wrapped up in a couple of sentences. You aren’t going to waive it for free.

  18. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 5:13 pm

    Toronto paid Syndergaard and Travis t’A to get Dickey, the same value would be Walker and Zunino. Toronto only paid that much for three years of Dickey.

    So yes if the M’s do get Upton the price will be extremely high in terms of future potential.

  19. abun24 on January 10th, 2013 5:13 pm

    Rejection of the trade is only evidence that he may be leveraging the no trade clause for more money, not proof. Its not clear the mariners’ offer to waive the no trade clause wasn’t already rejected. There isn’t a rule preventing someone from announcing a rejection of the trade after an offer to the player was rejected.

    Still, i like that Jack is remaining silent-more evidence that its not dead.

  20. abun24 on January 10th, 2013 5:17 pm

    Seattleken, not sure if you are suggesting it, but Zunino is not elegible to be traded.

  21. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 5:19 pm

    Yes you are correct we couldn’t trade Zunino I was just trying to express the quality that would have to go back based on current prices of stars for prospects.

  22. thedude1987 on January 10th, 2013 5:25 pm

    since we can not talk to other teams players how are we supposed to negotiate a deal with him. can we talk to him now that he rejected the trade and flash some money at him?

  23. Gibbo on January 10th, 2013 5:27 pm

    I guess he has to reject the trade for us to then be able to negotiate with him to waive the clause – Right? Or do they think he has said no way regardless?

  24. msfanmike on January 10th, 2013 5:29 pm

    It was a brilliant tactic on the part of Upton and his Agent to add the Mariners to the no trade list. They did a great job reading the tea leaves and understanding the process. Give credit where credit is due.

    It’s not over until the fat lady sings or until the bald man speaks, so If option A does not work, I am sure there will be an option B (some other player) to consider. Maybe not from Arizona, from some other team or FA.

    Again … Kudos to the Agent. He is doing his job – and apparently doing it well. Upton has been smart enough to stay quiet throughout all the rumors of the past and during this offseason. This team needs smart guys with talent. I hope they can work something out.

  25. Dave on January 10th, 2013 5:29 pm

    The Mariners still can’t talk to him directly. Usually, what happens in these situations is that the two sides get the commissioner’s office to open up a 72 hour window to negotiate, with the dealing being completed if they agree and it being nixed if not. Of course, we don’t know when Upton nixed the deal, or if that window has been requested.

  26. justinh on January 10th, 2013 5:31 pm

    Giving Upton a 2015 Player Option is ridiculous. Worst thing I’ve ever heard from Dave, besides the ripping of Gillick and saying Bavasi has to “clean up his mess”. Walker and more for two years of Upton would be a waste and we would be kicking ourselves in 2 years. At least if we have him for 3 years we would have a shot to contend in 2015, maybe 2014.

  27. Mini Mogul on January 10th, 2013 5:33 pm

    This deal is NOT dead at all! When Jack missed out on Hamilton, what did he do?!?? He shouted from the roof tops “I tried to get him and it didn’t work out”. Now we know 100% that Jack got the deal made with AZ….if it was dead and done he’d be back on those same roof tops shouting “I tried but he didn’t want to come here”….instead Jack is silent!!! This deal is still in play and I’m rooting hard that they figure it out.

    *. Giving Upton an option year as his 3rd year would really hurt the value of the trade for the M’s but why not offer a 4th year player option for $20 mil added to his current deal? Could be good and could be bad.

    * zunino can be traded….they just put him in the deal as the player to be named later and then they send him to AZ after his year is up. I don’t think he’d be part of the deal but it can happen by not naming him officially until his year is up.

  28. justinh on January 10th, 2013 5:33 pm

    Window was requested earlier in the week. Per sources in Arizona.

  29. ivan on January 10th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Whereas we are all discussing possibilities that might, or might not, be plausible, given that we have insufficient information, here’s another one to throw into the mix.

    We can accept as given that Seattle wants Upton. We don’t know if Upton wants Seattle at all, and he might not — under any circumstances. At least we have to consider that possibility.

    If that is the case — and of course we don’t know that it is, not at all — is it possible, then, that if Seattle could determine where Upton DOES want to go, The M’s could then trade with Arizona to get him here, then flip him to where he DOES want to go, for value in return?

    It’s far-fetched, and probably not happening. But if it were to come to that, could Seattle use Upton to get value in return that otherwise might be unavailable to them for players they have now?

  30. Mini Mogul on January 10th, 2013 5:36 pm

    If it was requested earlier in the week does it mean the window is over now or could it still be yet to start?

  31. Mini Mogul on January 10th, 2013 5:38 pm

    Ivan I love where your head is at….trade him to Florida and Florida sends us Stanton! Totally way out there on the realistic scale but fun thought!

  32. terry on January 10th, 2013 5:45 pm

    Apparently the deal involved one of the big three, nick franklin, Charlie Furbush, and Stephen Pryor.

  33. l2ider on January 10th, 2013 5:54 pm

    Normally do not post but PLEASE bring Upton to the M’s. Painful if we have to shorten to a 2 year contract; agree with extending a player option for a 4th year would be ideal.

    Go Jack Go!

  34. abun24 on January 10th, 2013 5:55 pm

    zunino could be a PTBNL, but unlikely D-Backs want high value prospect in another teams control for months. but, yes, possible.

  35. Colorado Mariner Fan on January 10th, 2013 5:56 pm

    I wonder who leaked that list of M’s prospects in the deal? Not the M’s I bet. Is someone trying to let other teams compete with the M’s as a stalking horse?

  36. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 5:57 pm

    The Mariners need an star outfielder or shortstop that they can build a lineup around. If they are willing to pay the going rate to get Upton then maybe they can find another match maybe even in July when some teams are out of it.

    I do think they obviously need to improve the lineup if they wish to keep Felix as without improvement and excitement he will be gone as too many teams will want him.

    This off season I expected a major free agent signing using Ichiro’s contract money with a 3+ year outlook. Hoping for Swisher, but was ok with a quality #2 pitcher say (Jackson, Sanchez) and then sell some of the farm for a star hitter.

    Now we the only guys that fit are player who I think aren’t stars but will get contracts that we will regret Bourn, Lohse, Soriano and Napoli. If we pay 13+ million a year to one of them I will be quite sad.

  37. stevemotivateir on January 10th, 2013 6:14 pm

    Zunino isn’t going to the Diamondbacks as a PTBNL. It’s ridiculous to even speculate about that.

  38. Grayfox3d on January 10th, 2013 6:22 pm

    If we trade Zunino I would be outraged! Catchers with his kind of upside arent just laying around in every ones organization.

    I’d be excited to see Upton play in a seattle uniform, I live in AZ and see him play regularly.

    I would still like to get a grasp on what kind of “substantial” prospects were going to be sent to AZ in the deal before I make any rash judgments.

  39. roosevelt on January 10th, 2013 6:24 pm

    Just say NO NO No!!!!!

  40. thedude1987 on January 10th, 2013 6:27 pm

    A package deal of one of the big three, Franklin, Furbush, and Pryor would not be a huge blow to the Mariners by any means. The Mariners bullpen is stacked. Franklin is mentioned in every deal so i don’t really expect him to be a Mariner. Furbush turned into a reliable reliever last year, but the M’s seem to have enough lefties out of the pen. Pryor throws a 100mph but we still have Capps that does the same.

  41. Grayfox3d on January 10th, 2013 6:32 pm

    I heard Hultzen of the big three, any ones thoughts on who you would be ok with losing?

  42. _Hutch_ on January 10th, 2013 6:38 pm

    I pull the trigger at Hultzen or Paxton, but fold at Walker.

  43. diderot on January 10th, 2013 7:09 pm

    If Nightengale’s right that the D-Backs made one final stab at getting the Rangers involved today before accepting the M’s offer…then any 72-hour clock couldn’t have started until today.

  44. Gibbo on January 10th, 2013 7:13 pm

    For me I would trade Paxton and as for the rest of the deal we are talking about 2 x relievers (good but replaceable) – so is Franklin plus one of the big 3 that really could hurt.

  45. Grayfox3d on January 10th, 2013 7:18 pm

    Supposedly Texas took one shot at getting Upton, the price was to high, and now they are out of the running.

    We just have to sit and wait to see what kind of magic Jack Z has.

    Are you guys ok with losing Nick Franklin? where would he play on our team if he stayed.

  46. terryoftacoma on January 10th, 2013 7:20 pm

    I may be alone but I’ve been there before, I’m against adding Upton. I don’t think he’ll do well here. No reason I feel that way. I just do.

  47. tmac9311 on January 10th, 2013 7:32 pm

    so the reported Walker/Paxton/Hultzen, Franklin, Furbush, and Pryor is fine for me. Alot to give up sure, but it’s a price I would be willing to pay. My only question is Do we carry Raul or Bay as the 4th OF, or do we cut our losses? I’m not familar with the language of their contracts, so are we on the hook for that $4M regardless, or if it’s before opening day do we save that cash.

    Guti/Saunders/Upton would be a good defensive outfield, but I can’t imagine we would be ok with Raul being the outfielder on the bench, you would think you’d want someone who can play the whole field like Wells.

    Hopefully we get that window and make this work, Upton and Morales is a good addition to this offense if you ask me, then we can focus on getting the starting pitching help we need.

  48. Westside guy on January 10th, 2013 7:38 pm

    “Yes, you can convince yourself that the Mariners can never have nice things and the world is ending and life is terrible and Howard Lincoln is the devil and all the other things you guys like to believe.”

    I would argue that these things aren’t mutually dependent – Howard Lincoln could still be the devil, regardless of the rest. :-D

  49. madatms on January 10th, 2013 7:42 pm

    Nick Franklin can play 2nd & SS

  50. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 7:47 pm

    The last quality righthanded hitter we had was Beltre, and he was solid for us. Its unlikely whatever hitter we get is not going to put up monster numbers in Safeco BUT solid a lot better than the numbers we get from the crap we have been putting in our lineups.

    If you look objectively at the Mariners our outfielders simply are not that good. Not one of our outfielders would even crack the Rangers, A’s or Angels outfield.

    So maybe Upton hits like a Beltre did in Seattle with speed say .280 with 25 homers and great defense. We don’t have anyone in our outfield that we can even reasonable hope to put up those numbers.

  51. MrZDevotee on January 10th, 2013 8:01 pm

    Based on the Nick Franklin, Stephen Pryor, Charlie Furbush, plus a “big three”, I’d make that deal, gladly.

    They’re all fairly easily replaceable. Franklin doesn’t have a position (assuming he wasn’t sticking at SS), Pryor and Furbush are from the pile this team stocks most easily, and if you add Mauer, we’ve got 4 young pitchers vying for at most 3 spots, and no reason not to believe we’ll be adding more like them in future drafts.

    We gain at top tier Major League talent and lose nothing irreplaceable from our system.


    And I agree with an earlier comment– it seems that if the ‘Backs were trying to get another team involved just today than the 72 hour negotiation window hasn’t happened yet, yeah?

  52. MrZDevotee on January 10th, 2013 8:02 pm

    When a player invokes their “no trade clause” is that open information to the rest of the league, through the league office? Or was this a leak?

    (Just curious)

  53. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 8:14 pm

    When Franklin was drafted the knock was that his range was not major league quality. The report was that he would end up at second. The M’s disagreed and went for him as a SS, now it seems they don’t see him as a shortstop either.

    Franklins limited to secondbase or maybe outfield. As secondbase he is blocked by Ackley and Franklin wont hit enough to be a good outfielder, I be thrilled his hes the second prospect in an Upton type deal.

    It was the same with Clement scouts said he couldn’t catch, but we wasted a top three pick on what we hoped would be a good hitting catcher (.280 with 20 homers). When we dumped him he was at best a below average firstbaseman.

    Montero we once again paid what seemed like a high price for a very good hitting catcher. But as the Yankees knew, and we found out he is not a major league catcher. So our best hope is he learns to play first and put up average firstbase .290 with 25 homers and isn’t a butcher in the field.

    We need to change our thinking in our draft picks, we need to draft exceptional defense at short, center and catcher. Because drafting good bats for those positions with iffy range and/or ability pretty much never pans out and their good bats at those positions usually are below average at the other positions.

  54. _Hutch_ on January 10th, 2013 8:52 pm

    Heyman reporting it was Walker in the deal. Eeesh – come on Jack.

  55. ivan on January 10th, 2013 9:10 pm

    “But as the Yankees knew, and we found out he is not a major league catcher.”

    Keep repeating it enough times, and maybe people will think it is true. The guy is 23 years old, has played one full season in the bigs, and is a work in progress. You don’t have sufficient data to make that claim.


    Drayer gives us, in detail, where the team thinks Montero is in his development as a catcher. I don’t claim that he is Roy Campanella or Johnny Bench or Yadier Molina. But there is no hard evidence to say he can’t become an average defender. There’s just a lot of opinion, and a herd mentality.

    Everybody here seems to be in love with Jaso, and I like Jaso just fine, but how much better is Jaso defensively than Montero is? Not much, if at all. Who has more of an upside defensively? Montero, obviously.

    If he becomes Victor Martinez to Zunino’s Alex Avila, DHing most of the time and being the #2 catcher, that’s good enough for me.

  56. thedude1987 on January 10th, 2013 9:28 pm

    walker just seems too much

  57. rfhansen1123 on January 10th, 2013 10:32 pm

    What makes Upton worth all this?

  58. kinickers77 on January 10th, 2013 10:43 pm

    So, if they are able to convince Upton to change his mind, we now know the full package.

    Walker, Franklin, Furbush, Pryor

    Is that worth it to you or not?

    I’d rather Hultzen or Paxton instead of Walker but I think I might still do it.

  59. roosevelt on January 10th, 2013 10:43 pm

    Absurd trade proposal—if true.
    Concerned that Z is concerned about [his] short-term welfare. Selling the future for better very short term results.

  60. diderot on January 10th, 2013 10:50 pm

    “What makes Upton worth all this?”

    One of the top ten outfielders in baseball.
    Our number 3 hitter for as long as we can keep him here.
    25 years old.

  61. 300ZXNA on January 10th, 2013 10:52 pm

    Granted pitching prospects flame out more than hitters, but I thought the whole reason why Upton is so attractive is that the is a bit of undervalued asset due to his poor season. This does not seem like the proper value for a player coming off a down year.

  62. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 10:53 pm

    Upton is worth it because he produced 17.1 WAR in 3030 PA. Thats basically 5 seasons (age 21-25)where he has averaged 3.4 WAR and hasn’t even reached his peak years (27-29) yet.

    The cost is less than Toronto paid for Dickey or KC paid for Shields as the only elite player in the deal is Walker. Franklin is not an elite guy, and the other two are relief pitchers.

    If this deal happens I will be thrilled with the move, as only one guy traded from the farm (Walker) would be in their 5 year plan, and hes a pitcher the one thing they can attract to Safeco.

  63. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 11:07 pm

    Other points:

    1> Upton played hurt from April -July. Then looked like 2011 final 8 weeks.


    2> If the M’s can’t sign him in three years he would bring back a first round pick as a free agent as he’d easily get a qualifying offer. With that pick you can get another top prospect back.

    3> The move would provide the Mariners with a batting equivalent to Hernandez, which they could market.

  64. rfhansen1123 on January 10th, 2013 11:10 pm

    He seems pretty risky. Every other year he plays at a superstar level. But the other years hes above average. How do we know what kind of player we are getting when we are giving up this much. By the time we are ready to compete we will be trading him for prospects. I doubt the Mariners will re-sign him.

  65. terryoftacoma on January 10th, 2013 11:12 pm

    If Dave’s correct above we may not have him for three years but two. Does that make a difference with you? This year and then trade him or lose him next year.

  66. Seattleken on January 10th, 2013 11:15 pm

    If the two years happens then its a toss up in terms of the deal value wise but I would still do it.

    As the M’s have a very weak offense and not much in terms of hitting prospects coming up. I’d hate to lose our best pitching prospect but atleast we have a top quality guy with Hultzen who would be many teams #1 prospect.

  67. Gibbo on January 10th, 2013 11:26 pm

    Hey thought some people that are not on twitter might like this message from David Aardsma….

    Upton missed out big time not going to Seattle, great city, great fans. #doesntknowwhatheismissing

    That is one classy statement from the DA and nice to see a player throwing out some support for us.

  68. maqman on January 11th, 2013 3:12 am

    I’m glad this deal did not happen, Upton is overrated and would be significantly impeded by playing in Safeco, plus the players lost would be too significant by a bunch. This would have been Z’s worst move ever and I really like him.

  69. Bryce on January 11th, 2013 6:14 am

    Bob Nightengale keeps saying on Twitter over and over that Upton was never coming to Seattle so the talks were a big waste of time. That strikes me as a player or his agent picking a prominent writer and telling them that it wasn’t about renegotiating his deal. He just doesn’t want to come here. Seems pretty clear that it’s not gonna happen.

    Oh well, I guess the 2013 Bay/Ibanez pupu platter offense with a $65 million payroll it is.

  70. cebo04 on January 11th, 2013 7:11 am

    I’d be ok with this trade. Though there’s a good chance it is dead in the water, Justin Upton has a pretty high ceiling. What we were giving away wasn’t as valuable as I think we as Mariners fans think. Franklin has been offered up to just about everyone and though Walker is a talent, Dave has said many times that you can’t predict a pitcher’s health. We know what we are getting in Upton and that could be a cornerstone of the offense for years to come…you know, if he were to waive his no-trade clause. I love our prospects and hate to see them go, but I can already see the comments if Franklin or Walker turn out to be a bust or get injured as to how we “could have had Upton.”

  71. ChrisFB on January 11th, 2013 7:13 am

    Bryce – I saw elsewhere that Harold Reynolds (brother of Upton’s agent) also heard that this was a “don’t want to play in Seattle” and not a negotiating tactic. But again, that’s through the grapevine, and not directly from the parties involved, and even if something is from the parties involved, they’re not necessarily giving a straight answer.

    In any trade negotiation ever, you will never know the true conversations or effort unless you’re directly involved in them, reading every text, hearing every phone call, sitting at the table. We’re not there. We’ll never know, so it’s pointless to guess motives or characterize effort.

    And in general I don’t understand the hyperbole around how bad this deal supposedly is.

    They would be trading a middle infielder (of which there are several good ones in the minors and majors), bullpen arms (which have been proven to be findable and a strength of the org) and a promising AA arm (when there’s like 3 or 4 other good starters, at least, coming in the next 2 – 3 years). They’d be getting back an outfielder who is more capable than the entire ML and AAA outfields combined. Upton is a significant upgrade over any of this year’s blue light specials, a significant upgrade over Wells / Saunders, healthier than Guti, better than Thames or Carp will ever be and a quantum leap ahead of the likes of Peguero.

    The team has depth in pitching. The team does not have depth in outfielders. This trade is solid.

  72. built2crash on January 11th, 2013 7:27 am

    We have an idea now what the package looks like. I’m still not convinced it’s a good deal for the M’s, and I have not seen anyone on the blogshere say they hope this happens. Dave is this a good trade for the M’s? were giving up allot of PROSPECTS.

  73. IPAinspector on January 11th, 2013 7:54 am

    I was a little shocked at the amount of talent we were prepared to give up at first, but after having time to think about it have reconsidered. Like many others are saying in this thread, the only piece in this deal that hurts to lose is Walker, and who knows how far he is from MLB anyway. Considering the unpredictability of prospects, especially pitching prospects, this seems like a pretty good deal.

    On the other hand, this is approximately the package I imagined we would try to get Stanton with. Does this mean Stanton would require another premium piece to pry him from Miami?

  74. bfgboy on January 11th, 2013 8:10 am

    Add Carp and Seager, and send Upton to Miami…

  75. Mahoney5500 on January 11th, 2013 8:21 am

    I admit it looks worse than just a negotiating tactic. With that being said, if he is so opposed to Seattle, wouldn’t we be on his no trade list every year? Why just get put in this year?

  76. currcoug on January 11th, 2013 8:28 am

    If the proposed deal included Walker, Furbush, Franklin and Pryor…then Justin Upton may have just saved the Mariners from themselves.

    I never liked Upton, or his brother for that matter. This isn’t the guy to build the team around.

  77. MrZDevotee on January 11th, 2013 9:18 am

    I’m resisting the urge to call him names, but yeah, it seems Upton made it clear to everyone BUT the Mariners that he would never accept a trade here.

    Gee, I’m not sure I believe those “headcase, attitude” rumors about him. Sounds like we may have lucked out, in some aspects.

    Good try though, GMZ. Who’s next? (Any chance Florida looks at that list of players we offered and thinks… “hmmmm…”)

  78. vertigoman on January 11th, 2013 9:19 am

    Sounds like the news on the potential package offered is burning other GMs.
    By leaking the names, it sets the market both for Upton and other trade candidates on his level. Not that it was the Ms doing the leaking.
    There have to be teams frothing at the mouth to get that package plus or minus some names in exchange for their own player/players.
    Bottom line is the cat is out of the bag regarding what Seattle is willing to do to get a premium bat. There is of coarse lots of debate as to whom is exactly a premium bat.

  79. MrZDevotee on January 11th, 2013 9:19 am

    (Vertigo- we were thinking along the same lines there…)

  80. Paul B on January 11th, 2013 9:33 am

    I’m seeing that the starting pitcher in the deal was Walker. If that is true, then I’m not sure how I feel about this deal. If it was one of the other two, then I think I’d be OK with it.

    Losing Franklin would hurt, as he gives the Mariners the future flexibility to trade Ackley or Seager, assuming he could play second or third. But for 3 years of a good outfielder, I think I’d do it.

  81. Mini Mogul on January 11th, 2013 10:14 am

    I keep hearing some people want Upton and some don’t (I wanted him) but it does look like it’s more than a negotiation tool and that he doesn’t want to come here…so even those of us who really want Upton I think can agree that I now have NO interest in Upton!!! No one is saying that Upton doesn’t have attitude issues and do you really want him here if he doesn’t want to come?!?

    I’ve heard that the Dbacks could tell him they won’t trade him anywhere else so it’s M’s or stay where he’s not wanted….How terrible could that turn out for us if he did change his mind, come here and be pissy for 3 years? I don’t want him here if he doesn’t want to be here!

    I do also LOVE how the names came out in this deal so everyone in baseball knows that when Stanton is on the market, he is ours!!!

  82. Mini Mogul on January 11th, 2013 10:16 am

    Also now that it’s clear Upton just flat doesn’t want to be here:

    SCREW YOU JUSTIN UPTON! Here’s the Bird!

  83. StatBoy on January 11th, 2013 10:28 am

    Thats not clear at all MM, calm down.

  84. Mini Mogul on January 11th, 2013 10:32 am

    It’s clear when the brother of Uptons agent announces that Upton was never going to agree to go to Seattle!

  85. terryoftacoma on January 11th, 2013 10:38 am

    I think even Dave has conceded that this trade is dead in the water.


  86. StatBoy on January 11th, 2013 10:59 am

    Yes but the reason for it not working out is not necessarily because Upton doesn’t want to play in Seattle for emotional or other reasons. More likely to be a business decision.

  87. Mini Mogul on January 11th, 2013 11:05 am

    No not more likely…its been spelled it out clear as day. Don’t be in denial. It’s like when the really hit girl turns you down, it’s not because she’s emotionally unavailable….it’s because you (Mariners) drive a Prius instead of a Bentley. It’s ok, just have to be honest with ourselves. Until we compete for at least a playoff spot, the hot chicks ain’t gonna want to date us!

  88. MrZDevotee on January 11th, 2013 1:16 pm

    I don’t think he was in denial, he was saying it could have been a decision based on he doesn’t want the prime years of his career spent at Safeco Field, ie, negatively effecting his next contract– a “business” decision in THAT sense.

    Denial had nothing to do with it.

  89. ThanatosK on January 11th, 2013 2:52 pm

    I agree fully MrZ. I can understand Justin Upton not wanting to come to Seattle and it isn’t a personal thing or a dislike for our community. It’s purely money. The key is that the Mariners are not likely to be able to give him enough in cash now to offset the risk that he might lose later.

    Basically, when Upton’s current contract ends, he is likely to sign one more big money, multi-year, deal. Depending on how he performs, that next deal is probably gonna be somewhere between the deal Nick Swisher made this year and the deal Josh Hamilton made. If he comes here and hits 90-100 rbi for 3 years…he may get a deal closer to Swisher. If he goes to a better offense (Texas, NYY, etc) then he may hit 120+ rbi for 3 years and get a Hammilton size contract. (Yes, I know there are more things that RBI involved but I’m shooting for a simple example here)

    Obviously there are a very large number of other factors that will come into play but if I was Upton, I would be most concerned about that next contract. The difference very truly could be 50+ million dollars depending on where he goes.

  90. bongo on January 12th, 2013 10:44 pm

    “Selling the future for better very short term results.”

    [Bongo] This trade could be a net positive for at least two years, and won’t really hurt until 2016 when Upton becomes a free agent. If Upton stays healthy and is worth 4 WAR in 2013-2015, the trade should be WAR positive in 2013 and 2014 and neutral to slightly negative in 2015 before potentially looking awful in 2016 when Franklin and Walker have been in the majors for a season or two and Pryor and Furbush have had a chance to mature.

    That bundle of benefits/costs looks good to a GM who won’t be around in 2016 to witness “le deluge” if he doesn’t get a better team on the field very soon.

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