Former #1 overall pick and current Arizona Diamondbacks All Star OF, Justin Upton, has been on the trading block for over a year now. He seems likely to be dealt now, more than ever. The Diamondbacks have great OF depth at both the major and minor league levels as well as a great farm system in general. The fact that Upton is signed to a very reasonable deal for the next few years also makes him an attractive buy for opposing teams. The only kicker, as the Seattle Mariners found out last week, is that Upton has a partial no trade clause which can block a trade to certain teams, Seattle being one of them.
The Mariners reportedly offered relief pitchers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, infield prospect Nick Franklin, and one of three pitching prospects; James Paxton, Danny Hultzen or Taijuan Walker. That’s a very nice package that Arizona stood to receive but when you have a player of Upton’s caliber, age and contract, its going to take an offer just like that. The type of prospects and positions Arizona stood to receive could be a glimpse into what they are looking for. Given the fact that they are already stacked in the outfield and the left side of the infield, relievers, a catcher and starting pitchers are probably what they will look for from any team.
Even though he is just 25 yrs old, Upton has already played in five full major league season due to the fact that he was drafted as a 17 year old high school senior with the first overall pick in 2005. Most, if not all, MLB teams are interested in Upton. The key will be getting a package together that the team feels wont significantly impact their minor league system, while satisfying the Diamondbacks. The Cubs and Mets were both engaged in discussions for Upton but recently cut off talks due to Arizona’s demands. The Cubs are one of the teams on Upton’s no trade so its odd that they would even discuss specifics of a deal since he would veto the trade anyway. Buster Olney reported earlier via twitter that several teams have become frustrated with Arizona because they cannot get a response from Arizona and therefore, the trade talks go nowhere. In my opinion, that sounds like they have a select few teams that they’d like to deal with due to certain prospects on those teams that they would like to acquire or they simply aren’t sure if they want to trade Upton. The former is more likely than the latter due to the fact that technically, Upton has already been traded once, only to have the trade vetoed.
Diamondbacks position players report to spring training on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. That doesn’t mean a deal needs to be completed by then, but it would certainly appear that Upton will likely be reporting to a new team for spring training this season.