Jon Heyman reported earlier today that Arizona is unlikely to trade Justin Upton this winter. Given all the persistent rumors over the past two years, it’s puzzling why the Diamondbacks continue to publicly market Upton and then make no move. While it’s good for assessing and possibly raising his trade value, it also has to be damaging the relationship the team has with Upton. Unless the Rangers are willing to trade Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar, it is doubtful that the Diamondbacks will get the talent they seek in a potential deal.
Personally, I think trading Andrus for Upton makes a whole lot of sense for the Rangers, especially if they’re not bringing back Josh Hamilton in the outfield. Profar appears to be very ready to make an impact in the majors, and pushing Ian Kinsler to the outfield to make room for Profar doesn’t seem like the best idea. As a Mariner fan, I can’t say I want to see Upton as an opponent in our division going forward, though.
The second part of the news story is the one that Mariners fans will be most interested in – Heyman reported that Upton has added Seattle to his no-trade list. Does that mean the dream of obtaining Upton is over? Not necessarily. Actually, it’s fairly common for a player to add highly interested or major market clubs to their list in hopes of getting a bonus to waive their clause. Upton is probably well aware of the Mariners interest and wants leverage in a possible deal. That being said, there obviously could still be a chance that he just has no interest in playing in Seattle.
If you’re the Mariners, would you be willing to give up a package consisting of at least one of Kyle Seager or Nick Franklin to get Upton? What if they wanted Seager, Ryan and some prospects? It might be decent from the Mariners perspective, but the Diamondbacks might be holding out for more elite talent.