Let the Justin Upton rumors begin anew

Those on-again, off-again trade rumors regarding Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton are on again, this time with Arizona GM talking with reporters about it at baseball’s GM meetings. He’s telling reporters they aren’t shopping Upton, according to reports, but they’re listening. This time, maybe the Tigers have a better reason (and a better case) to try for him than they did before.

Nick Piecoro, who covers the Diamondbacks for the Arizona Republic, reports Towers saying there’s “a lot of interest” in Upton. He also relays word on twitter that the Tigers were doing their “due diligence” and “background work” on Upton, though it isn’t clear whether the two sides have had any talks.

On the surface, there’s a fit for Upton in Detroit. The Tigers are looking for an upgrade in one of their corner outfield spots, they’d like to have another right-handed hitter to improve their lineup against left-handed pitchers, and they’d like to add some athleticism to their offense. Upton, who has posted at least 17 home runs and 18 stolen bases in each of the last four seasons, fits the mold. He’s just 25 years old and he has still has three years before he’s eligible for free agency.

Those same reasons why Upton would appeal to Detroit, of course, are reasons for him to appeal to a lot of teams. They’re prime reasons why Towers would listen on him, because he can demand a lot in return and still shed a contract that will pay Upton $38.5 million over the next three seasons.

It’s not hard to see how Upton would fit in Detroit. It’s how the Tigers would obtain him that’s the tricky part. They have talent they can offer, but it’s whether they have better talent to offer than other clubs (remember how many clubs are reportedly looking for outfield help, including the Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox) do.

Whether the Tigers have a lot to offer depends on how untouchable their minor-league prospects are. It would be a shock if Arizona didn’t ask for Nick Castellanos as part of a package in return, given the look of their lineup. Avisail Garcia could be another prospect of interest coming off his impressive postseason. Detroit’s sudden drop in top pitching prospects could be a factor unless the Tigers could be a factor, though the Tigers will have six candidates for five rotation spots (with Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly at the end) if they re-sign Anibal Sanchez.

Re-signing Sanchez and trading for Upton brings the team payroll to an unprecedented (for this club) level. It would also be a rare win-now move that would actually not make the team any older.

64 Comments

Garcia? they already have Gerardo Parra, a GG winner,.and Kubel They would trade one of them or Upton to clear and overpopulated OF. I found at SI that they would be looking for a SP.,a left handed reliever( the Tigers hoarded them and have almost none now) and a 3b. And MLB ready for that.
Porcello, and Peralta ?

Maybe Porcello and Castellanos is what they’d want?
From what I hear, Upton would need to be seriously vetted by Detroit. And here’s a nod to Leyland, a guy like Upton might flourish under Jim.

A non related note:”Manager John Farrell says the club is thinking about hiring two hitting coaches and would even prefer it, I think it’s evolved into more than a one-man system. We’re going in that direction”
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com
So the Tigers were trend setters?

I have to wonder if Victor had more of an impact on the other hitters than people might think. He would certainly hand out advice when asked. One of the smartest hitters we’ll ever see.

I brought the Upton idea up a few blogs ago, but I’ve had time to reflect, again. Any combination of Porcello, Peralta and/or Castellanos would be an awful lot to give up for a guy who has possible character issues and is only slightly younger than DY. Upton averages 24HR, 80RBI and.278BA over a 162 game season, per Baseball Reference.com. By comparison, DY averages 16HR, 89RBI and.284BA. Chances are this guy will be as frustrating, if not more so than DY. And, if that is the case, why not just resign DY and put him on the “Miggy diet?” Then Peralta and/or Porcello and/or Castellanos can either be used and/or moved for better options.

Or just pass on both Upton and DY and go for someone like Choo, who is very serviceable.

Choo averages 19 HR, 86 RBI and .289BA over a 162 game season per Baseball Reference.com. And he can run, throw and catch the ball.

Oh yeah, and resign Sanchez, if at all prudent.

Choo vs LHP:249/.338/.358/.695

Choo made $4.9M in 2012 and is an Arb3 guy in 2013. Upton is at nearlly $10M this year and will be at almost $15M by 2015. As Kathy said, he is too expensive in contract. Upton will also cost too much in talent to acquire. Spend the saved money on re-signing Sanchez or trade additional talent for a Masterson/Choo combo. And maybe consider Perez and/or Cabrera in a Cleveland mix.

They need a RHB. Upton is way better than DY. The Tribe wont trade to the Tigers anyone with real value.
He had issues with Gibson. As Rich pointed , JL would do the trick

Upton has speed and the Tigers need it

DING DING DING eltigre nailed it: he doesn’t hit LHP. that’s why i say “boooooo on choo”

Hitting coaches won’t matter if you have guys that won’t believe they can use the help.
Upton would look real good in LF. I would not trade either Castellanos or Garcia for him though. Garcia might just end up being an impact player. Castellanos would look good at 3rd and Miggy at 1st in ’14. I almost don’t care whether Fielder stays or goes. He has qualities but IMO, his Laissez Faire attitude is counter productive. I’m not sure he will excel on a team that has a superstar that shines so much that it is hard to see the Fielder “glow”. His play defensively simply has to improve dramatically. It is just not good enough at all.
We have a couple of guys that will be very attractive trade bait. Boesch, Peralta and Porcello.

Not to pile on Delmon Young but that whole trial thing was a joke. maybe not “above the law”, but certainly “beside it”. Celebrities can seemingly have the courts postpone their cases to suit their own convenience. Granted, this was a comparatively minor (not meaning to offend anyone here) offense but shouldn’t a court case be determined by something other than the accused’s schedule?
Best of luck to DY. He had some good moments for the Tigers.

Lawyers get involved and things drag out. I think that may go for anyone. We don’t have the most efficient legal system here.

trial schedules are, and have always, been set to accomadate the judge/lawyers and yes even the plantiff/defendents

No thank you to Upton…..

when i read the headline, i thought it was going to be about verlander and kate upton.

You know, you’re right. Justin Upton indeed. :-)

DiGiovanna reported the Tigers are still interested in Hunter, along with the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies. He also noted the Angels have not given up hope of retaining him, but did not say how that would happen. DiGiovanna added that Greinke is asking for 6 years at $25M per.

On a lighter note, there’s this “thank you” video from the Baltimore site. I don’t know why the Orioles are always wannabe musicians, but this is worth a look:
http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?tcid=mm_bal_vid&c_id=bal

Love it, love it, love it! Thanks for the link, Rich. What a bunch of happy campers!

Rosenthal posted that the Tigers are a darkhorse on Upton. He noted Castellanos and others such as Garcia, Smyly and Porcello could be offered for him.

Morosi reported the Red Sox are after Choo and Masterson. Other unnamed teams are showing interest in Perez and Cabrera according to Axisa.

No–do not get rid of AG, NC or Smyly for Upton. Ga and NC may define this franchise in a couple of years. Smyly is Wyly. with a good left arm. We need that.

Axisa reported that the Red Sox are now also in on Sanchez. They originally signed him out of Venezuela.

Be nice to keep this guy though it would mean compromise elsewhere. Nice to see a pitcher with good arm, good brain, good repertoire and a good fielder.

The $150m question is what budget DD has available.
Don’t like any of the offensive big $$ OF free agents or trades or possible trades being discussed thus far.
We need to outlay for Sanchez. Our starting pitching stock looks rather minimal beyond Smyly and no way we can go thru another season with no serious injuries amongst the SP’ers.

Oh my….really Upton. We need someone who can get on base. We dont need to waste prospects!!! DO NOT let Castellanos or garcia go for Upton. If I were in Dombrowski’s shoes, I would look into Melky Cabrera. Sign him 2-3 years for 15-16 million. If not, look into Choo as the next option. Would cost a little more but would fill the need we are looking for.
Next. SIGN ANIBAL SANCHEZ!!!
Next. Address a bullpen need. Soriano,Soria,Madson,Adams,Burnett, as options (remember, were wont be taking on Uptons salary).
Last, and living on a prayer. see what it takes to get Cabrera from Clevland. A longshot but worth a look.

The Tigers have $98.2M in salary commited in 2013, with several players arbitration eligible as well as an unsigned Sanchez.

If there’s one person in the Detroit organization I trust to do the right thing, it’s Dave Dombrowski. He will have us a good team on the field come spring without mortgaging the future. I’m sure he will sign Sanchez if at all possible and, if he doesn’t, we will probably agree that it wasn’t feasible to do so. The more pitching we have, the better our chances when taking into account the makeup of the rest of the players, manager, and coaches at this point in time.

To keep the current payroll , the Tigers have 6 mm available to sign free agents. Based on projected raises.

Balester may be a nice trade chip. He is in demand according to Rosenthal.

Or, he might be worth keeping in the event he can harness his arsenal.

Balester is a minor league free agent, trading him is off the table.

Checked…Right you are. No trade chip there.

Morosi reported Sanchez wants $90M over 6 years.

That’s a nice starting point for their side.

Yeah…Conjecture has it Sanchez will go down to CJ Wilson numbers, Like 5 years @ $15M per, with an option for a sixth year. Hopefully less, but the Dodgers could drive his auction price up.

The Dodgers already have $192.8M in salary committed in 2013 and are still shopping heavily.

They are reportedly in the hunt on Sanchez, too.

Am I nuts or does SHANE VICTORINO sound like a nice fit?

Yes and yes.

well why hasn’t anyone said anything about him then?

He is coming from an off year but he has speed and contact. He was mentioned in the comments

oh it looks like Bonderman was offered a contract by the tigers organization. [shakes head]

Good luck, Bondo, and welcome back. (nods head). Try to imagine him coming out of the pen spotting a mid-90s fastball coupled with that put-away slider he’s always had. Not beyond the realm of possibility, and certainly worth a spring training look. What’s to lose?

I agree wholeheartedly!

well – yea i guess you’re right. You guys ARE AWARE he hasn’t pitched in an MLB game since 2010, right?

Yep. He had Tommy John surgery which increases his chances IMO. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t.

fair enough – i’d put more money on Daniel Schlerth going north with the team. just saying.

Upton price-tag would be outlandish. Would also weaken us in the rotation, mainly because Sanchez is a goner. Take this rumor with a grain of salt….. not going to happen.

I take ‘em all with a grain of salt. An entire salt shaker full, in fact.

you’ll need that salt – if you’re still chewing yesterdays lunch.

Victorino? Really? He is a LF and will play next season at 32. Last season, he went .255/.321/.383 with 11 HR, 55 RBI and 39 SB. For that, Victorino earned $9.5M.

choo in 2012 against LHP: .199BA, .318OBP, .286SLG, .605OPS
victorino same split: .323,.388,.518,.906

Well, Choo is much better than what you just posted . In this case, I will beleive my eyes supported by his composition of stats. Choo averages 19 HR, 86 RBI, and .289 BA over a 162 game season, per Baseball Reference.com. And about 2/3 of his AB will be against RHP because that is the way it is. Moreover,Choo has a dynamite arm and speed to both cover and steal. A one or two year deal and then AG will be ready to take his place.

Choo, Masterson et al are looking more appealing to me all the time. Just glad DD is there to evaluate the talent and pull the trigger, as deemed appropriate. He is one of the best.

The Tribe wont deal with another team in the same division.
Victorino is one year apart from AS and a MVP caliber season.
Vs LHP:323/.388/.518/.906
The Tigers are looking for a RH. Choo is not a fit.Too many LH in the OF

Yeah…I hear you, but things change and trades happen. The Tribe is not foreign territory and they do deal in the division. We got a 2011 ASG SS from the Indians and they got a 3B. And. some teams stack and do not fret. How many times have posters complained about JL’s lefty, righty lineup approach? Victorino has less tools than Choo, has lesser numbers for the most part , is older and is more costly. I’m just saying, if DD can get him or anyone like him, why not? Afterall, you recently said the Tigers only have limited $ space until last year’s payroll is matched and Choo looks like he could be a bargain.

I like when loyalty is for someone who earned it like Bondo

In this day and age, age matters less. Get a guy for a year while your farm system evolves.
In that respect, Hunter makes sense. Character, glove , RHB, base-running. Bide your time till Castellanos works
Garcia will certainly make the squad next year
As much of a pleasant surprise that Perlalta provided in the post season was the key word is “surprise” JP cannot give the team the elements we need to compete next year. At best he is a compromise—you need more than that from your shortstop. He actually will have pretty decent trade value. Count your blessings when you have them..
Sanchez will work for some other club next year. His contract weighs to heavily on DD’s budget.
Major decisions for DD–Porcello, Peralta, Sanchez,, Boesch/Dirks.

I still think that EJax would be a great plan B.
I still dont get what they are expecting with Boesch, 2.4 mm in a gamble? Why he was not sent to AAA instead of benching him.
JL thinks Dirks is not an everyday player. And we know that means a Santiago like career
By 2014, Suarez could be in Detroit. He is a GG and can hit

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