The Mets have talked with Arizona about acquiring OF Justin Upton, but they refuse to give up Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey to get him.
7:30 am: The Braves and Rangers still seem like the best fit for Upton. Though, teams interested in Upton may hold back and save their prospects for a possible run this summer at Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton (Olney, ESPN).
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
This is the type of action that could lead Arizona to lowering their asking price for Upton or Kubel, assuming they’re hellbent on trading one of the two before the season starts. I think they’d prefer to do a deal now, because teams usually get more for position players in the off season not at the Trade Deadline. However, if you’re a Mets fan who wants Upton (or Jason Kubel) now, root for Michael Bourn to a take a one-year deal with the Braves, and root for teams like the Rangers and others to hold off for Stanton. In that scenario, I suppose it’s possible the Mets could wiggle back in.
By the way, I’ve been told the Marlins have no policy against trading their best players to a team in their division. The goal is always to make a deal that meets as many of their needs as possible, regardless of who they’re doing the deal with.
Jan. 15: Since the Mets are reluctant to give up Zack Wheeler, the two sides don’t see a fit for a trade (Heyman, CBS Sports).
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. His 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.