The Mets have reportedly had on-and-off talks with the D-Backs about outfielders Justin Upton and Jason Kubel through this off season, however reports continue to suggest Sandy Alderson is unwilling to meet Arizona’s asking price.
Last week in a conference call with reporters, Alderson said the Mets are not yet in a position to trade their best prospects.
The Rangers, Orioles, Padres and Braves have reportedly all shown interest in Upton and/or Kubel, though follow-up reports indicated all four teams were also unwilling to meet Arizona’s asking price.
Jan. 13: The Mets are more interested in Upton than Kubel. Arizona has known since before the Winter Meetings that Alderson will not part with Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey in a deal for Upton. The Mets will gladly get involved if the price drops, but talks will never pick up if Arizona continues to want Wheeler, Harvey or Travis d’Arnaud (Cerrone, MetsBlog.com).
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Jan. 11: Arizona initially wanted the Mets to give up a combination of top prospects (Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, etc.) and big-league talent (Harvey, Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, etc.) in a deal for Upton; while Kubel will likely cost just two upper-level pitching prospects (Cerrone, MetsBlog.com).
Jan. 11: Upton used his no-trade clause to block a deal that would have sent him to Seattle for four of the team’s top 10 prospects (MLBTR). The Mariners were ‘clearly overparing,’ and they’re fortunate the trade fell through, said a team executive (Crasnick, ESPN).
Contract: 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.
Stats: Upton hit .280 with a .355 OBP and .430 SLG with 17 home runs and 67 RBI and 121 strikeouts in 554 at-bats in 2012. In his career, Upton has hit .307 with a .937 OPS, 67 home runs and 219 RBI in 1297 at-bats at Chase Field, while hitting just .250 with a .731 OPS, 41 home runs and 144 RBI in 1366 at-bats on the road.