Sep. 29, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton (10) stands at bat during the game against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Could Jays Be In on Justin Upton

The erstwhile and bow-tied Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports is reporting that the Arizona Diamondbacks are in “active discussions” with other teams involving the availability of right fielder Justin Upton.

The Diamondbacks continue to shop him, despite a club-friendly contract with 3 years and $38.5 million remaining on the deal. That is probably more likely because it jumps from $9.75 million in 2013 to $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015, which may be a tough nugget for the small market D-Backs to swallow. By shopping him now, they can maximize value of any return trade from any interested teams.

Could the Toronto Blue Jays be one of those teams?

The Blue Jays do have an ample supply of solid prospects in which to deal from. However, if Anthopoulos is going to use any of his prized pitching chips, it is going to be in a deal involving the return of a front line starter. They do have prospects in Anthony Gose or Jake Marisnick that could be worthwhile in a deal for Upton, but it may not be enough to entice Arizona to make a move, especially when Arizona has ample outfield prospects of their own.

There is also the discussion of whether Upton truly fits in Toronto. Here, he is another right-handed power bat in a line-up that badly needs something from the left side of the plate. He is also a right-fielder by trade and it is hard to tell if he could transition to left field, where the Jays would truly need him.

Still, there are not too many 25-year-old players that have 6 seasons under their belts, let alone two All-Star appearances and a fourth place finish in the MVP balloting (2011). Justin Upton happens to be one of those players. Upton is a .278 career hitter with 108 home runs and a career OPS of .832. He is also just a season removed from a 5.7 WAR.

It may be worth an exploratory call, but Kevin Towers is not going to get a highway robbery deal from the Blue Jays.

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  • Vivek Bhatt

    I was thinking of Justin Upton when this article comes along…

    I am about to propose a complete “fantasy” which will be very interesting…
    I think the Jays should trade Jose Bautista + Edwin Encarnacion for Mike Trout

    There I said it… Big trade. The reason is that Joey Bats & EE are not going to be playing when the Jays super pitching arrives in the big leagues…

    This is the perfect trade for both teams, as the Jays build a nucleus with Trout and Lawrie.

    Now to get Justin Upton, if the Mike Trout trade falls through, the Jays have an opening at RF… Rasmus + Escobar + JP Arencibia/Travis D’Arnaud + Deck McGuire/Chad Jenkins should be enough for Justin Upton…

    The Jays have now got a really young outfield… But wait, we can make up for the loss of Bautista by adding Josh Hamilton…

    The Jays sign Jeff Keppinger to play 2B…

    They add Justin Morneau via trade… (for Joel Carreno…)

    Jays Line-up is built for the future & has present power

    Mike Trout
    Brett Lawrie
    Josh Hamilton
    Justin Upton
    Justin Morneau
    Adam Lind
    Jeff Keppinger
    JP Arencibia/Travis D’Arnaud
    Adeiny Hechavarria