In a special report for ESPN.com, Jerry Crasnick surveyed 22 general managers, assistant GMs, advisers, scouting directors and talent evaluators for their opinions on seven questions that are likely to drive media coverage between now and New Year’s Day.
According to Crasnick’s findings, despite what the team said earlier in the off season, “D-Backs GM Kevin Towers is intrigued by the thought of moving Upton and getting a mother lode of talent in return.”
Crasnick also says that Towers might look to add a young outfielder in any deal involving Upton.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I have repeatedly suggested on this blog (as early as this morning) that Lucas Duda could get packaged up with Jon Niese for an impact bat, and I have to think Upton is the kind of hitter that might warrant such a move. The Mets do not want to trade Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler, who I imagine will intrigue Towers. However, the buzz in baseball is that Arizona is looking for established, major-league pitching, not a bundle of prospects. Niese is affordable, young and under contract, which is why it might make sense to move him for a young, under-contract outfielder.
There is time on this, though, since I bet Arizona first explores the market for Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra, both of whom might also interest in the Mets in the event Towers decides the market for Upton is not rich enough.
Upton will earn $9.75 million next season, during which Niese will earn $3 million. Upton’s salary bumps up to $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015, after which he is eligible to be a free agent.