I hate Justin Upton. You should hate Justin Upton.
Yes this is JAYS journal so you might ask why should any Jays fan hate Justin Upton. It’s because you’re a Blue Jays fan that you should hate Justin Upton.
When Upton was still a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks he had a no trade clause in his contract that let him block trades to certain teams. One of those teams was the Blue Jays.
If Upton didn’t have the Jays on his no trade list I feel very safe in saying Alex Anthopoulos would have been ALL OVER HIM.
After all Upton is a 25 year old star owed less than 40 million until the end of 2015. Players like that don’t become available every day.
It might sound arrogant to assume AA would have been able to land Upton but it would have been nice to know the Jays could have at least participated in the trade sweepstakes.
We know the Atlanta Braves gave up Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and 3 non-blue chip prospects for Upton and Chris Johnson in late January. By that time the Jays had already made the Marlins trade and acquired R.A. Dickey so maybe they don’t have the players to acquire Upton? Especially since the Braves gave up Prado and the Jays don’t really have any expendable Prado caliber players on the big league roster. But with AA you never know how he would have tried getting Upton and again it would have been nice to at least have the opportunity to participate in the Upton sweepstakes.
Then there’s the difference Upton could have made to the Jays if they were able to land him.
For starters Upton could play right field which would let Bautista and Encarnacion split time between 1st base and DH which would keep Lind on the bench. Lind on the bench would be addition by subtraction.
Then there’s the little matter of how he’s started this season or in other words the re-fueling of my hatred.
He has a 415 on base percentage, 7 homeruns, 2 doubles and 2 stolen bases in TWELVE GAMES! Obviously that’s a ridiculous pace he can’t keep up but at 25 years old it’s a safe bet he’s going to have 3 great years with the Braves. Probably more because you’d assume they’d extend him before they let him get to free agency.
If the Jays got Upton they’d have an even scarier middle of the lineup to go along with Bautista and Encarnacion. Upton would probably be able to put up even bigger numbers playing for the Blue Jays because of all the hitter friendly ball parks in the AL East including Rogers Centre. Brett Lawrie and Jose Reyes could have stay injured for the rest of the season and it probably wouldn’t slow the Jays offense down as much.
It might sound irrational to hate Justin Upton for having the Blue Jays on his no trade list because they might not have been able to acquire him anyways. But it sure would have been nice to at least have the opportunity.