- Doug Mittler, ESPN Insider
Just because a deal that would have sent Justin Upton to the Seattle Mariners fell apart, the Arizona Diamondbacks haven’t given up on the idea of trading an outfielder. ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday the Diamondbacks continue to weigh offers for Upton and Jason Kubel, and they want to deal one of them “sooner rather than later.”
Olney adds the D-backs have a better chance of getting suitable value for Kubel because of a more reasonable salary. Upton will earn $38.5 million over the next three seasons while Kubel will make $7.5 million this season, plus an option for 2014. The Tampa Bay Rays, currently in search of a designated hitter, could be a nice fit.
General manager Kevin Towers said that if something is going to happen regarding a trade, it will take place before pitchers and catchers report in three weeks. Towers told the Arizona Republic last week he wouldn’t lower his demands for Upton just to make a deal. Unable to find the suitors necessary to complete a blockbuster, it makes sense that he be more open to a deal for Kubel.
Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported earlier Tuesday the Diamondbacks and Rangers have not revived talks on Upton since Arizona’s failed trade with the Mariners. One source told Rosenthal that the two sides simply have agreed to “move on.”
Olney has more on how the D-backs need to handle the outfield surplus:
"The Arizona Diamondbacks want resolution with their outfield surplus, sources say, and they want it sooner rather than later. They've got to deal at least one of their veterans and believe they could find a landing place for Jason Kubel, if they chose to go that route; one rival official sees the Orioles as a viable spot, if Kubel is the guy who gets dealt. But if Kubel is traded, that probably means that Justin Upton will stay, and the Diamondbacks want to know if their relationship with him can be repaired. They want to know if he can be happy playing for them, and given all that has happened -- two straight offseasons of effort by the team to move him -- it may be that he just wants out. Some interested teams feel as though they can put together a good package of players to land Upton -- although the Diamondbacks say haven't seen an offer that would match the proposed Seattle deal that Upton rejected."