Mariner's Offseason Targets: Where Are They Now?

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Jun 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) at bat during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton

2013 stats: /.239/.348/.459, 15 HR, 1.6 fWAR

The Mariners actually did acquire Upton during the offseason, but they were subsequently rebuffed when Upton himself chose to invoke his no-trade clause. Upton is beloved by many fans for his raw power, young age, and 5-tool upside.

So needless to say, when he rejected the trade, it got to a lot of us. He was exactly the kind of player we needed, but he didn’t want to play here.

However, he played below those tools last year, largely due to a wrist injury that may have hampered his power. He bounced back toward the end of the year, but still ended with a .785 OPS.

That didn’t stop the Braves from acquiring him instead, and giving up proven major leaguer Martin Prado, along with a couple highly rated prospects. And I doubt they reget that move right now.

Even with a slow May and June (85 and 57 wRC+) Upton currently has a 122 wRC+ overall due to an amazing start to the year. He has cooled down considerably, and doesn’t look like an MVP anymore, but he has still been an exciting and valuable player this year, and likely will continue to be.

He needs to get the K’s down a little, but with his ability to take a walk, and then turn around and mash one 425 feet, he should be a very good player for now and the future.

Man, why did he have to reject that trade? Having him and Kyle Seager flanking Morales in the middle of the lineup would be a big help to this year, both for now and the future.

Those were the guys who the Mariners were most often connected to during the 2012-2013 offseason. They missed out on them, and were forced to go in a different direction that led to them acquiring Morales and Morse. Other than (maybe) Hamilton, they most likely would be upgrades over either of them. Or better yet, in addition to one of them.

But, that didn’t happen, and hindsight is 20/20. To most of us, it was Hamilton or bust. But now we see that it was Hamilton who is the bust. Would it have been awesome if Upton approved the trade? Yes, of course. Unfortunately he didn’t, and the Mariners will suffer because of it.

But we can just as easily look at Hamilton and see how lucky we were that he elected to go to LA instead of Seattle. What does all of this mean? There is nothing that we can do now. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, and even insightful to do so.

 

What do you guys think of this slideshow format that I used? Should I continue to use it when the topic calls for it, or do you prefer a normal column format? Let me know, as your suggestions are appreciated. 

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Tags: Offseason Seattle Mariners