In a report for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal says D-Backs OF Justin Upton is more likely to be traded than either outfielders Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra.
Yesterday, the D-Backs sent OF Chris Young to the A’s in a three-way deal with the Marlins, who sent reliever Heath Bell to Arizona.
Though D-Backs reporter Nick Piecoro said yesterday that Upton would likely stay put, Rosenthal believes Upton can still be had for a starting pitcher. Rosenthal also thinks it’s still possible the A’s could deal OF Coco Crisp, who hit .259 with a .325 OBP, 11 home runs and 46 RBI and 39 stolen bases in 2012.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I think it’s only a matter of time before we start hearing rumors connecting the Mets and Arizona, with names including Upton, Jon Niese, Lucas Duda and others. But, for the Mets to consider a deal like this, it’s going to depend on what happens with RA Dickey, and I’m not totally sure the group in Citi Field knows yet how to handle their ace. Interestingly, I think part of what happens to Dickey may hinge on what happens with Niese. To move Niese for a established bat means the Mets are expediting their future, and so keeping Dickey for three or four years becomes more of a short-term play. However, to keep Niese and patch together the outfield… again… probably means delaying the future, in which case it would make more sense to trade an affordable Dickey for two or three position prospects.
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.
Upton just completed the third year of a six-year, $51.25 million contract he signed with the Diamondbacks before the 2010 season. He earned $6.75 million in 2012, will earn $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.5 million in 2015.
To read Michael Baron's thoughts on this topic, click here.
Michael Baron, Contributor
So, the Diamondbacks have a young and dynamic outfielder who is potentially available, and the Mets have starting pitching to barter with…
There’s no denying Upton’s talent level. He had a subpar year in 2012 by his standards, but he’s young, right-handed, and comes with a combination of both power and speed the Mets badly need. The thing is, while Upton is the most attractive outfielder Arizona has, they don’t need to trade him right now, and so they could ask for the moon for him and hope a team bites. In the case of the Mets, I’d be hesitant to deal substantially more than one starting pitcher (not named Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler) to get Upton right now, especially since they need to add significantly more than that to the roster this winter. Perhaps he can be had for a deal centered around Jon Niese or even R.A. Dickey, should the Mets not come to terms on a new contract with Dickey.
Of course, the issue with dealing a starting pitcher is the Mets have to consider acquiring more depth for the rotation. If they were to deal a starter to get an outfielder, they could non-tender Mike Pelfrey and sign him back on a Minor League deal. They don’t have anything to lose if they go down that route. Bringing Pelfrey back would also allow him to continue and finish his rehab in a facility and with people he is familiar with, and the Mets could see how he progresses as he gets closer to being ready to pitch, which should be around May 1 or so.