Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfielder Justin Upton blocked a trade Thursday that would have sent him to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for four players, infielder Nick Franklin, relievers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, and one of three pitching prospects: Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen or James Paxton. Upton, had a no trade clause in his contract prohibiting him from being traded to just four MLB teams: 1) Seattle Mariners 2) Toronto Blue Jays 3) Boston Red Sox 4) Chicago Cubs
I don’t get it? There are 25 other teams the Diamondbacks could trade Upton to that are not on the no-trade list and they tried to trade him to one of the four he specifically already told them that he would go to? What the heck, didn’t they read his contract?
That’s not the only problem here. This isn’t the first time Arizona has tried to deal Upton. They’ve been trying to get rid of him for well over a year. In fact, all the talk of trading the young kid was partly responsible for his sub par season last year. After his stellar 2011 campaign, Upton was one of the front runners for the 2012 NL MVP, however, last season his performance was less than spectacular.
The D’Backs have a glut of outfielders on their roster, they are carrying Upton, Jason Kubel, Cody Ross, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton, so I can see why they would want to trade one. But Upton is the best one! In fact, Justin Upton is one of the very best young players in the game!
At just 25-years old, Upton is already a two-time All-Star, has won a Silver Slugger Award, and is just one season removed from finishing 4th in the MVP voting. The young outfielder is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons. At an average of less than $13 million per year, for the production Upton can provide, he’s a steal! This kid would be in the $20 million per year range if he were a free agent.
Exactly why is it that GM Kevin Towers is dead set on getting rid of Upton? He was the top pick in the 2005 Draft, and fast tracked to the Majors in just over two years. On top of that, in large part he’s performed like the stud prospect they expected him to be. You can make an argument that Upton was the best player on two division-winning teams in Arizona that has a team in the division, the San Francisco Giants, that has won the World Series two out of the past three years…
Justin Upton obviously prefers to be in Arizona, he has a team friendly contract, he’s durable, young, now has experience and is in the prime of his career. Did Justin offend a member of Kevin Towers’ family? Did he befriend a member of Towers’ family? Something is not right here because Towers is spending time making efforts to trade Upton to places he knows Justin doesn’t want to go before he starts the negotiating the trade!
There is not a team in baseball that Justin Upton would not start for, not one. Either news is going to come out that there is something in the closet, some news about Upton that is not good, or some other GM is going to take advantage of a very poor decision by Kevin Towers.