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 PRESSWIREThe 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.