Now that BJ Upton has signed with the Braves there is a dearth of right handed bats left in the free agent pool. So if the Phillies are going to acquire one it will have to be via trade and the player at the top of my Christmas wish list is Justin Upton. Unfortunately it might just be a wish unless Reuben Amaro is Santa Claus.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have made it clear that Justin Upton would be traded for the right price. Arizona has some depth in the outfield even after trading Chris Young to the A’s. As of now they have Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, and Adam Eaton (Not that Adam Eaton). Eaton is not yet a proven big leaguer but I guess he has played well enough in the minors to make the Diamondbacks feel comfortable to dangle Upton.
CEO Derrick Hall said “We’ve always said that if a team wants to talk about any of our players, including Justin Upton, that we would listen,”. GM Kevin Towers wasn’t shy to talk about trading Upton either saying “I think we’ve said it’s probably unlikely we end up doing something with him, but if somebody is willing to step up and we think it’s a deal that’s going to make the Diamondbacks better next year and going forward, we’ll talk about trading him.”. Upton would fill both offensive and defensive needs of the Phils since he plays right field and he has 30 homer run potential from the right side of the of plate. That’s two holes the Phillies are desperate to fill and I think Upton is eager to fill their two holes (what?!!). Plus Justin is only 25 and is signed through 2015. Even better he is only owed $38 million over the next three years which breaks down to 9 million in 2013 and 14.5 million in 2014-15. That’s not too much for a player with his potential. Especially since he is better and younger then his bother who just signed for more money per year then that.
That being said to get a young relatively cheap player you will have to give up a lot and I’m not sure the Phils have enough to get the deal done. Arizona has said they would be interested in a top of the rotation pitcher or young short stop. They have inquired about the Rangers short stops Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. I would trade Rolens for Upton but they are looking for a young short stop and I don’t think Freddy Galvis is exactly what they are looking for.
What the Phils do have a lot of is young arms. If any deal could get done it have to include some combination Jon Pettibone, Jesse Biddle, Trevor May, Brody Colvin, Ethan Martin, Adam Morgan or Tyler Cloyd. The problem is that the Phillies are missing an attractive major league ready piece and it’s hard to imagine that any combination of the players I previously mentioned get Upton here on their own. Others players that could be involved would be Dom Brown or Vance Worley. Both are young and cheap players but Brown hasn’t developed into the player the Phils had hoped he would be and wouldn’t command as much as when he was an untouchable prospect. Worley had a bit of sophomore slump but that could have been due to injury.
The Diamondbacks want a ton of talent for Upton and I don’t blame them. I named a lot of players and I wonder if there is some combination of them would work. I’m not sure if the Phillies have what it takes to get that deal done but Ruben has been awfully quit so far and I wonder if he has something up his sleeve. What I would like to see him pull out of that sleeve is Justin Upton.