Five potential trades for Justin Upton
July, 12, 2012
By Jim Bowden | ESPN.com
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesTrading Justin Upton is not impossible. It'll just be really expensive.
Let’s clear up some things about Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton and the rumors he might be traded.
First, understand that general manager Kevin Towers is always willing to listen to trade ideas when other GMs ask about Upton, his best position player. Of course, that doesn't mean Towers is going to trade him. The fact is he isn’t close on any deal involving Upton right now.
Rumors have swirled about a potential deal to the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the reality is Towers has had very few conversations with the Pirates. GM Neal Huntington did call Towers, as he has every other general manager as he seeks a young middle-of-the-order bat. However, the fact is the two teams don't match up well, and a third team probably would need to be involved for the Pirates to have a chance to trade for Upton.
Despite a slow start, Upton remains one of the best right fielders in baseball, and I can't imagine Arizona actually trading him. He's just a year removed from being an NL MVP candidate and leading the D-backs to an NL West title. At 24, his prime years are ahead of him, and his potential of hitting .300 with 35 home runs and 120 RBIs undoubtedly will be realized in time.
Further complicating matters is Upton's limited no-trade clause to four teams. The teams change from year to year, and ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reported that the no-trade clause centers on big-market teams, and almost certainly includes the Yankees.
Nonetheless, where there is smoke there is usually fire, and these trade rumors are not completely without merit. With that in mind, I thought I would try to find five potential deals that might make sense for the D-backs to trade Upton. Keep in mind that these are simply deals I think would make sense for both parties, not necessarily deals that are on the table.