Justin Upton trade rumors
This past spring, I wrote a short piece praising the Arizona Diamondbacks for signing young star outfielder Justin Upton to a 6-year, $51.25 million contract. At the time, Upton was coming off a strong 2009 campaign, where he batted .300 while hitting 26 home runs, driving in 86 runs, and stealing 20 bases in just 138 games.
Upton regressed a bit during the 2010 season, but the 23-year old still had a fine season, batting .273 with 17 home runs, 69 runs batted in, 73 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases. Upton’s numbers dropped in most major statistical categories (Upton’s walk rate rose, which is a good sign, however.), but they weren’t drastic enough to warrant any kind of panic.
When news first broke that the Diamondbacks were willing to discuss dealing Upton, it seemed like nothing but a rumor. Perhaps it was just the Arizona front office, saying those things to let everyone know that no one is safe, warning players to not get too complacent.
But on Wednesday, Jayson Stark confirmed that Arizona GM Kevin Towers is indeed willing to discuss deals that would move the face of the franchise, saying that the Diamondbacks are “genuinely open” to moving Upton.
But why? Why consider trading away a young outfielder who appears to have the kind of tools to build a team around? It makes very little sense, having a young outfielder that is the caliber of Upton, who is signed to a very team-friendly contract.
The chances are slim that Upton is moved, as reports indicate that Arizona is looking for a very large haul of top of the line prospects who can help them both now and in the future, but there is still a chance that the younger of the Upton brothers gets moved.