The Obligatory The Justin Upton Post


Every year right around this time the hot stove seems to kick it up a notch, and 2010 is no different. Players that were previously thought to be untouchable are suddenly on the market and having their names mentioned in trade talk, and such is the case with The Justin Upton*. “I’m open to listening on anybody,” said new Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers. “We got more hits on Upton and [Stephen] Drew. They’re difficult to move, but sometimes to make your club better, you have to move good players. You never know when a deal might present itself.”

While the D’Backs are indeed listening to offers for their franchise player, it’ll take a king’s ransom to acquire him according to various reports, as it should. Both the Yankees and Red Sox have already inquired, and although their interest appears to be nothing more than due diligence, it’s enough to get everyone all worked up. As Ben explained in his now infamous Carl Crawford post, the Yanks aren’t really desperate for outfield help, but that’s not going to stop us and Upton is a special case anyway.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The very first pick in the 2005 draft, B.J.’s younger brother reached the big leagues a little more than two years later. He was three weeks shy of his 20th birthday at the time. That 43 game cameo in 2007 resulted in just a .277 wOBA, but that was fine. No one expected the kid to come up to the show and start raking two years out of high school. Upton started the next season as the team’s every day rightfielder and more than held his own. He wOBA’d .347 in 417 plate appearances, missing almost two months due to a left oblique strain. Combined with his defense, which was decidedly below average according to various metrics, Upton was just a half-a-win player that season, but again he was just 20. He should have been a sophomore in college, not playing everyday in the big leagues.

The next year, 2009, was Upton’s masterpiece. He hit .300/.366/.532 (.388 wOBA) with 26 homers, and performed well enough on defense to be a 4.6 fWAR player. In all likelihood, TJU would have eclipsed the five-win plateau as a 21-year-old had he did missed three weeks with another oblique strain (this one on the right side). Just 26 players in the history of baseball have performed at a five-win pace at that age, 20 of which are either in the Hall of Fame or will be some day. The kid was that good already, and as a reward the D’Backs gave him a six-year contract worth $51.25M, buying out all of his arbitration years in addition to two years of free agency.

(AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

As awesome as he was in 2009, Upton was just pretty good in 2010. He dropped down to a .349 wOBA and 3.1 fWAR, which is still well above average, but just not up to the lofty standard he had set the year before. A sore shoulder originally suffered on a swing bothered Upton during the season’s final month, and a visit to Dr. James Andrews after the season reveal a small tear in his labrum. He didn’t need surgery and is rehabbing this winter, which brings us to these latest rumors.

Since the season ended the D’Backs have hired a new GM, one affectionately known as the Human Trade Rumor. That’s just how Towers seems to operate, in a very public way. As if putting a package together to acquire Upton wasn’t hard enough already for Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees’ brain trust, it’s made even more difficult by the fact that KT knows their players and farm system better than just about all opposing GM’s after working with the team in 2010. Pulling a fast one with a great stats/meh tools minor leaguer like say, a Zach McAllister before he was dealt to Cleveland, is improbable.

What makes Upton so special is the raw talent and especially the power. When Baseball America ranked him the second best prospect in the game in 2007, they said he “does everything exceptionally well and already has the body and composure of a big leaguer,” noting that he “whips his bat through the hitting zone and has great leverage in his swing, which allows him to sting the ball like few players can and gives him plus power potential.” In his three full big league seasons, TJU boasts a .205 ISO, which is slightly off from the .215 ISO that Robbie Cano put up this year. That’s the kind of power we’re talking here. Take a look at his spray chart below, the power is to all fields as well, especially important in Yankee Stadium. It’s not like he’s pull happy.

Now, as good as Upton is, he’s not without his flaws. He strikes out a ton, once every 3.36 trips to the plate during his three full seasons. Of course there are the injury concerns, namely the shoulder, and he also has a sizable platoon split (.388 wOBA vs. LHP, .343 vs. RHP). Upton has also been much better in hitter friendly Chase Field (.384 wOBA) than he has been on the road (.326). Remember though, we are talking about someone that didn’t turn 23 until this August; Upton’s more than two full years younger than Ramiro Pena and just a month older than Brandon Laird, for example. The fact that he hasn’t fully figured out how to consistently hit on the road and against same-side pitchers yet should be no surprise.

Dave Cameron figured that based on his contract, Upton has an excess value of $70M if he develops into merely a very good player (3.5-5.0 fWAR) and over $100M if he turns into a superstar (4.5-6.5 fWAR). Both totals seem a little outrageous, but let’s roll with it since the legwork is already done. Towers is a smart fella, so you can bet he’s going to market him as a superstar. A trade with the Yankees would unquestionably start with Jesus Montero, and even then you’re adding two or three quality pieces. Including guys like Laird and Eduardo Nunez and Ivan Nova won’t cut it. Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances will have to be involved, maybe Brett Gardner, and then even more. Players of Upton’s caliber don’t come cheaply, especially when they’re this young and signed at a below market rate for the next five years.

I’m a big Justin Upton fan and he’s the kind of player you move mountains to acquire, so I hope that talks with Arizona progress from due diligence to legitimate discussions. It’s sounding more and more like a trade is possible, too. As solid as the Yankee outfield is now, Upton makes it better and he instantly becomes the centerpiece of the offense going forward, a surer thing than Montero because he’s shown he can do this and this in the big leagues (seriously, click that first link). It’s a long shot, and it would be extremely costly to make it happen, but man, The Justin Upton in pinstripes would make the Yankees demonstrably better both now and in the future.

* In case you’re wondering, the The Justin Upton nickname came about from a reader typo in one of Keith Law’s ESPN chats like two years ago. TJU is a great nickname, so it stuck.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Nick! says:

    Joba and AJ Burnett should do the trick.

    • podjoe says:

      Didn’t anybody ever hear the expression, “Jesus Saves” ????

    • podjoe says:

      I’d worry about Upton’s shoulder problems. I tore my rotator cuff over a year ago ,have had every conceivable treatment and I’m still unable to use it,I’m not even a pro athelete. For Arizona to just be considering trading him tells me that maybe they know more about his problems than they’re letting on. Usually ,when trading for someone injury prone,you get burned (ever hear of Nick Johnson) , then you end up paying for two players and using an extra roster spot. I’d steer way clear of him.

  2. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    how did he get a hit over the fence in foul past first base? dude has SKILLZ

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I assume that’s either a ground rule double, or a misplaced dot. Of course, it’s tough for a right-handed hitter to put the ball there.

  3. C. Roy says:

    In everyone’s opinion would there be any interest in a Brackman, ManBan, Romine plus something along the lines of Nova and Nunez? In that case you keep Jesus and send an OF somewhere for a quality P.

    • bigjuan says:

      Nah. They don’t need to move Upton, so why would they do that unless you were getting a top prospect like Montero back? That’s just my opinion though. I don’t see anyway of trading for Upton without giving up Jesus.

      • C. Roy says:

        Very good point. I’d just hate to see Jesus go.

        • bigjuan says:

          Like many have said, if it was simply Montero for Upton, you probably have to pull the trigger. But when it’s Montero on top of the guys you listed then it’s tough to convince me.

          • C. Roy says:

            Yea you’d have to do a deal like that because Upton is more proven.

            • Kyle Litke says:

              Yeah but you have to factor in position too. If Montero can stay at catcher, that’s tremendously valuable, especially for the Yankees. If Upton is replacing Gardner (since every rumor claimed they’d need a replacement outfielder, and the others don’t really fit), is he better? Absolutely. But is the difference from “Gardner to Upton” greater than the distance from “Montero to…umm…who’s even available at catcher now?”? That, I’m not so sure.

              Not saying I wouldn’t do a straight up deal, but I think the positions make it a more difficult decision. And I wouldn’t trade Montero plus top prospects plus probably Gardner.

  4. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Meh…I think if the Nolasco/Morrison rumors are true (which is especially stupid since Chasefield would do this (NSFW) to Ricky Nolasco) The Yankees could probably package Gardner, Romine, Joba, Brackman, and Nova to get it done, maybe. That’d give the D-Backs two guys who could probably start next year, an outfielder to play in Upton’s place that had a much better season than he did last year, and a high ceiling young arm. Plus a future backstop. Either way, it sounds like he’s the back up plan if they have to deal an outfielder for a starter.

    • C. Roy says:

      I might be looking to far into this but the way Pettitte’s quotes sounded he’s leaning towards retirment. In that case we would gun for Lee hard and try for a second deal for the back end. Thats why I’d be hesitant to include an OF that could be traded for that back end pitcher.

    • Tune in next time for everyone’s favorite show….

      *crowd, in unison*

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        I fail to see how Nolasco/Morrison is demonstrably better than Gardner, Joba, Romine, Brackman, and Nova. I don’t think I’d deal that package for Nolasco and Morrison.

      • rbizzler says:

        Thank you for this.

        The Justin is obviously nasty, but Towers is no fool and it is going to take a bundle to get him to even pick up the phone. Upton may not have blossomed into the full-fledged superstar that everyone expected yet, but he has been excellent considering his age relative to the league. Obviously, you would like to see him lower the K%, but that is just picking nits.

        • The only reason he isn’t a superstar is because he plays for a small market team that has been awful during his tenure there. On a playoff team in a big market, at his age? Instant super-status.

          • rbizzler says:

            Agreed. I am still waiting for The Justin Upton awakening that is going to happen one of these years when he puts up a 340/400/550 line.

      • C. Roy says:

        Everyone keeps saying the “Your trade propsal sucks” line and then deals like the uggla trade go down. Even the Haren trade package would have got that line. Truth is no one ever really sells the farm like is predicted.

        • bigjuan says:

          True. We can never know what a GM will actually settle for. However, I feel like more often than not, the deals that we tag as one-sided (like the Haren deal) happen at the deadline when a team has more urgency to move a player.

          In this case, Arizona has no urgency. Thus I would expect Towers to hold firm on getting exceptional value back.

        • The reason for the line is because any shmo can say “x plus x plus x for y, get it done Cash” and even if it’s plausible, the chances it gets done are actually slim to none. What’s the point? It’s fun to speculate and all that, but it just gets tiring to read unrealistic trade proposals over and over again.

          • C. Roy says:

            Yea it’s annoying but I’m sure every person who makes a trade proposal gets kind of exciting to see what fellow fans have to say about it and it doesn’t hurt to say something more like “I don’t see that getting it done.” Not everyone realizes player value. My brother seems to think that Darnell McDonald is some kind of center peice but he truely thinks that becuase of ignorance.

            • “I don’t see that getting done” is not snarky enough, obviously. Snark is my middle name, so I use “Your trade proposal sucks” and its infinite variations.

              Ross Snark Jersey, that’s me.

          • Jimmy McNulty says:

            The “get it done cash” is the same as “/anything’d” here just another stupid meme, at least the people that say “get it done cash” don’t misunderstand the usage of the slash.

    • bigjuan says:

      I don’t see Romine as a valued piece to Arizona. They have a good young catcher already.

  5. bexarama says:

    I love The Justin Upton a lot. He’s already a beast who will likely only get better, and even if he doesn’t he’s already a really good player. Thing is, I think Arizona’s waiting to be blown away by someone who gives them either a serious elite young talent RIGHT NOW or basically their entire farm system + pretty good major league talent. If the price was Montero straight-up, I think I’d actually do it. But the price won’t be Montero straight-up. It’ll be Montero plus likely Hughes and others.

  6. Granderslam says:

    The only things I would not want to include in ManBan and Montero. Imagine Upton and Montero in the same lineup?

  7. Sweet Dick Willie says:

    The price is too high for a position the Yankees don’t need to fill.

    If the Yanks trade those players for Upton, what happens if they don’t sign Lee? They will then have fewer quality players to offer for a needed pitcher.

    As good as Upton is, I say pass.

    • Rick in Boston says:

      This. The DBacks don’t have to trade Upton, so they can leverage whatever they want from teams. It’ll cost the Yankees too much both in the short-term (prospects) and the long-term (inability to use those prospects to fill other holes).

  8. NYYROC says:

    The NYY have a good OF, don’t need Upton just because he’s available. They should save their trade chips in case they need a ss or 3B in the next 2 or 3 years (due to moving Jeter or ARod to a new position). OF are easier to replace than ss or 3B.

  9. j_Yankees says:

    I heard Arizona is nice in the summer. You’ll love it there, Jesus.

  10. Johnny O says:

    I wish someone other than Towers was Arizona’s GM. While it might give us an advantage (he’s more comfortable with NYY prospects than anyone’s besides SD, who probably won’t be in the running), it also hurts in that he’ll probably really want quality prospects at Mike mentioned in his article.

    Montero would certainly have to be included since TJU arguably is more valuable than Halladay or Lee due to being a position player, in his prime, cost, and years of control.

    • He also has added incentive to make sure the Yankees look like they didn’t come out of the deal as clear winners, because if it came off like he gave his former employers some kind of discount, it might hurt his credibility with other teams. Imagine if San Diego gave the Red Sox a sweet deal for Gonzalez? People would flip because the GM has past ties to Boston. Same kinda thing.

    • Thomas says:

      I remember when Hoyer was hired, people felt the trade with the Red Sox would happen, since Hoyer knew the Sox prospect so well and would like some of their lesser ones more than a team he hasn’t seen much (ie he’d take a deal centered around Lowrie, Doubront, and Bowden for Gonzalez).

      Now with Kevin Towers, it is the opposite. He know the Yankees prospects, so he wouldn’t want the lesser ones.

      The grass is always greener mentality.

      • rbizzler says:

        I always thought that Hoyer going to SD decreased the likelihood of Boston getting Adrian on the cheap. Hoyer knew that system better than anyone and wasn’t going to take Theo’s pupu platter of slop that he likes to foist on other GM’s.

        I think that the same now goes for the Yanks with Towers. While there may be some hidden gems that Towers covets, there is no way he takes over-hyped spare parts back for an elite player.

  11. Monteroisdinero says:

    Can we just not trade Montero?


    • bexarama says:

      Upton is the kind of player it’d be worth trading Montero (JUST Montero, mind you) for.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        In a vacuum, yes.

        However, The Jesus plays a position the Yankees need to fill, whereas The Justin plays a position the Yankees don’t need to fill.

        • Thomas says:

          From all reports, Montero also plays that position very poorly.

          Justin Upton plays a position that the Yankees don’t need, unless they don’t view Gardner as an every day player (they think this year is a fluke).

          While Upton isn’t really a need, he is a good enough player that you are willing to ignore that.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            Posada has been an adequate, at best, defender for most of his MLB career, but the Yankees put up with it because he could rake.

            If Montero is Posada defensively, that fills the Yankkees needs more than an elite outfielder.

            • Thomas says:

              If Montero is Posada defensively

              It doesn’t sound like he is. Scouts seem to think Montero is worse now than Posada is now. From the little video I’ve seen on him, Montero looks incredibly stiff and slow in his pops and blocking.

              • Shaun says:

                I’ve spoken with people who have seen him first hand and they said he was decent; no where near as bad as everyone believes. I think this is like the rumors with Cano, the groupthink creates a perception and no one can change it. It’s said that he has improved a ton (I’m not talking about Cashman and his people saying it either)

        • Section 39 says:

          That is assuming Jesus can actually catch at the ML level. That has yet to be seen. I see Jesus more as a FT DH, but unfortunatley, the Yanks have a that already taken care of (Posada this year, AROD afterwards). Getting someone that doesn’t need to occupy the DH spot could be an advantage. We have catching prospects, maybe not as good of hitters as Jesus, but true catching prospects (Romine/Sanchez).

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      .300 avg with 26 HR’s was his masterpiece? in the junior circuit? Meh. Montero will “whip his bat through the hitting zone and has great leverage in his swing too”

      I like our outfield. It’s our pitching that needs the most help, followed by catching and our aging left side of the infield third.

      • Steve H says:

        The next year, 2009, was Upton’s masterpiece. He hit .300/.366/.532 (.388 wOBA) with 26 homers, and performed well enough on defense to be a 4.6 fWAR player.

        Don’t skew the statement by providing just a very small hint of the point.

      • Steve H says:

        In 43 interleague games Upton is hitting .355/.456/.586 against AL pitching. The AL-NL difference isn’t that big of a deal for hitters.

  12. JGS says:

    That home run (the first link) went 442 feet. He had had hit another 442 foot shot just two days earlier, and those were very impressive.

    But check this out (from 7/6/08)

  13. Steve H says:

    Upton is the type of player that if they are available, even if they don’t fill a need, you make the call. I think the cost will be way to much to consider, but if you don’t make the call and he goes for a bag of balls, you’ve failed as a GM. Just because the Yankees have 3 good outfielders already doesn’t mean you don’t consider a player like Upton when he comes along. In a way it’s similar to trading David Wells to get Clemens. Sure they could win it all with Wells, but Clemens was special (coming off two monster seasons in Toronto. If a special talent is truly avaiable you have to kick the tires.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying Cashman shouldn’t inquire.

      I think most people are saying the (likely) price is too high for need that doesn’t have to be filled.

  14. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Dave Cameron said he’d trade Felix Hernandez for Upton.

    • Tom Zig says:

      That’s a tough call. Both are exceptional cases. If you could put Justin Upton in CF maybe I’d do that. Otherwise I’d rather have Felix.

      • Steve H says:

        I can see it if you have injury concerns with Felix going forward. The OF is much more of a sure thing than the SP, especially for a guy with a ton of miles on his arm at a young age. I woudln’t trade Felix for Upton myself, but I could see the argument.

    • Johnny O says:

      very similar elite talents. he’s just in the hitters-are-safer-bets camp. given potential for downside due to injury, i could see that.

    • Section 39 says:

      I think the D-Back would take that in a heartbeat. Does Seattle want Jesus — b/c I’d trade Jesus for Felix straight up. Indulge me as I dream about CC/Felix/Lee… (not happening)

    • AndrewYF says:

      Dave Cameron is known to be slightly retarded at times. This is one of those times. #6org

  15. Danny T says:

    manban, brackman, romine, nova, joba, garder for drew & upton?

  16. Hughesus Christo says:

    The “Need” question doesn’t apply in this case. Upton becomes the centerpiece of the franchise for the next 10-15 years. That doesn’t bow to “need.”

  17. Kiersten says:

    My concern is that the Yankees have a much greater need for a catcher than an OFer. Jesus isn’t a sure thing and certainly not a sure thing to stick behind the plate, but if we trade Montero + half our farm for Upton, then who catches in the next 2 or 3 years?
    Even if Montero winds up being half the hitter Upton is, if he sticks behind the plate, he’ll have more value to us than Upton will, IMO.*

    *Of course there’s a better chance Montero is a better hitter than Upton and doesn’t stick behind the plate…

    • Tom Zig says:

      We can put Upton behind the plate.

    • Section 39 says:

      The more I think about it, the more I think Montero will eventually be traded. If Romine continues to progress, he is who we need behind the plate. Montero would be a monster at 1B or DH, but as I posted before, we have those locked up for years to come. If we could seriously swing Montero for Upton and Drew, without dumping the entire farm, that is something to consider. That would give us Jeter’s replacement at SS, Jeter can move to 3B, Arod to DH (where he belongs). Upton is an upgrade in the OF for sure.

      • Kiersten says:

        Yeah but I think the Yankees need to at least see if Montero could stick behind the plate. If he can’t, then in a year or two, when he’s a ridiculous, young, cost-controlled hitter, you can trade him and a few lesser prospects for a top player who fills a need.

        Just to me, right now, he’s a top 5 prospect, almost major league ready, who plays the position we need filled. The Yankee brain trust knows more than I do, but the only way I’d be content parting with him is if it’s for an elite starter.

        • Guest says:

          But an elite young star like Upton I think is just as valuable (if not more) than an elite starter. The reason? Health.

          Upton’s not likely to blow out his elbow or shoulder anytime soon. And even if he does, he almost certainly comes back without missing a beat a year later.

          Pitchers…not so much.

          • Kiersten says:

            But an elite young star like Upton I think is just as valuable (if not more) than an elite starter.


            • Chris says:

              Just to back that up, Derek Jeter had the most PA of any hitter in the AL (739). There were 35 AL pitchers that faced more batters this season including 9 that faced over 900 batters (including Felix at 1001). Good starters have a significantly larger impact over the course of the season than good hitters.

              • Guest says:

                But elite starters are much more likely to get hurt.

                So while an elite starter might have a higher absolute value, we need to discount for the fact that there’s a much higher possibility that you won’t realize that value.

                Pitchers breakdown inexplicably all the time. (Well, its not that inexplicable. Throwing a ball 90+ miles hour, or 80+ with spin requires pitchers to engage in very unnatural body movements).

                Hitters tend to have career ending/altering injuries far less often.

                So, in a choice between an elite hitter and a comprably elite pitcher, give me the elite hitter everytime (even if the elite pitcher is slightly more valuable when healthy than a comprably elite hitter).

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          the only way I’d be content parting with him is if it’s for an elite starter.

          To which I would add, ONLY if the Yanks don’t sign Lee. If they sign Lee, I would keep Montero to see what he can do at the ML level.

      • Those are some pretty enormous “ifs” you have in there. No offense but I don’t think anything you said has any sort of realistic chance of happening.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        So the plan banks on Romine being a servicable catcher?

      • Shaun says:

        Yeah but Romine hasn’t really progressed, he was getting run on worse than montero, and his bat slowed down considerably. I’m far more willing to part with him than Montero, or even Sanchez. Out of the 3 catchers I think he is the weakest link.

  18. o says:

    towers, “if someone wants to overpay, ill listen”

    AZ does not NEED to make a trade.

  19. emac2 says:

    “demonstrably better”?

    Not if Montero pulls it off at catcher and hits like Frank Thomas

  20. Brian getting Greedy Ca$hman says:

    Swisher,Joba,Nova,Brackman,Laird for Upton

    • Tom Zig says:

      The only one of those worth anything for AZ is Brackman and maybe Laird. But that’s it. Not enough.

      • Dan says:

        Swisher fills uptons spot, joba potential closer for years to come, nova potential top starter like brackman and laird 1b for them or OF

        • Rick in Boston says:

          But Nova’s not a potential top-line starter. He’s a mid-to-back rotation starter. Let’s not forget that he had trouble getting through the lineup twice last season.

    • Guest says:

      I’m hoping this is in jest.

      23. Team friendly contract for the next five years. 23. Power/speed/defense. 23.

      Tossing five people who are waaaaaaay less valuable at a team for one of the most valuable commodities in the game will not work.

  21. A.D. says:

    A deal for Justin Upton goes away from the Yankees strength, namely being able to take on money. A team friendly deal is of course nice, and helps free up money elsewhere, but sending the bulk of the teams top prospects of which there isn’t necessarily a ton is giving up something that is scarce (big time prospects) to help save something abundant (money) and get a RF (already have one near term). If Upton was SS, C or even CF, that could make more sense, but we’re talking about a RF.

    Otherwise while Upton does fill the longer term hole of RF and middle of the order bat for years to come, which of course isn’t a short term problem, he doesn’t solve the teams issue of pitching, and it would take top arms to get him, further creating a long term pitching hole something that, personally, I’m more concerned about than a right fielder.

    The asterisk would be that Upton arrival could me the departure of one of our current OF for pitching but the pitching given up for Upton >> the pitching received.

  22. Guest says:

    I don’t think Towers can trade 23 year old…repeat…23 year old Justin Upton for anything other than another team’s best prospect/best young player + a lot more.

    Here’s how it would look:

    Towers: Cash-money. Long-time no speak. So you’re interested in The Justin? Alright, whaddya got?

    Cashman: I’m willing to give you a great package of Gardner + 4 of anyone in our farm system not named Jesu–


    Cashman: Hello? Hello? You there Kevin?…Kevin…I thought we were boys….



  23. Kiersten says:

    I wonder if the Marlins would take TJU for Josh Johnson… I mean, it wouldn’t be the dumbest trade they pulled this offseason.

  24. Andrew Brotherton says:

    I think a Gardner/Brackman/Betances/Romine/Joba/Nunez would get their attention

    • Tom Zig says:

      I don’t think a quantity not quality approach would work.

      Towers probably asks for Montero + 2 of the Killers Bs and then a couple throw ins

      • Guest says:

        Co-sign. (Or maybe replace one of the Killer Bs with Gardner).

        A trade like this is about the headliner, not the quantity. You cannot trade TJU for Brett Gardner plus. Cannot be done.

        • camilo Gerardo says:

          obv. he would, but that doesn’t mean he’d get it. The package would end up being relatively equal to what other offers are presumably on the table if known

  25. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    Hey Kev, Brian here.
    Hey Brian.
    Ok, good luck then.
    You too.

    That’s about as far as I hope these talks go…

  26. Kiersten says:

    The more I think about this, the more it doesn’t make sense. Towers has said that the DBacks would have to clearly win the trade. The Yankees already have a great outfield, great lineup and are already favorites to win at least the wild card. A team that should be willing to “lose” a trade for TJU is a team that needs an outfielder and needs that extra bat to make them a favorite for the postseason. The Yankees are obviously not that team and I’d imagine any trade for Upton would start with Montero and 2 of the Killer B’s, and possibly Gardner to fill their vacant outfield hole. Plus, Upton will be a FA when he’s what, 28? Pass.

  27. Reggie C. says:

    If Montero must go in a trade for TJU , then Montero must go.

    Montero, Betances, Adam Warren, and the SladeRunner. I’d love to see Towers turn that down.

  28. Tom says:

    Id rather have Upton than Gardner. I wonder if they could do a Romine, Gardner, Nova, Brackman and Joba

  29. dmh08 says:

    IMO heres the deal, if Lee signs were only going to have one rotation spot open for the next 3 yr. Unless they somehow can trade away Burnet thats it till he retires. Only one of these catcher we have is going to stick because were going to have 3 guys that are going to NEED the DH spot in the nest couple yr.

    At some point were going to need a SS, an of when Swisher goes, one starter, and who knows how many relievers. Thats about it in the next 3 yrs. We have a huge surpluss and a guy like TJU could be a cornerstone piece for the nest 10yr and they would all be his prime yrs.

    Imo Cash and the management takes a serious look at what we have and what coming in the next 3 yrs and take advantage of the amazing yr that our farm has had.

    • Are you willing to trade every single player with upside in the farm system for 10 years of TJU? Because that’s likely what it would take, plus someone who’s in the majors already.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        How do you know what it’s going to take? Is there any precedent for a trade involving the ten best prospects from a top 10 farm system plus a quality major leaguer for ONE player? I sort of doubt it…

        At some point the speculation that you have to trade the whole farm and 1/2 the 40 man roster of a playoff team and top 10 system for any one guy because ridiculous.

    • jsbrendog (returns) says:

      2 guys catching tag teaming dh like romine/montero are >>>>> an of imo.

      way easier to find OF than toolsy catchers with bats

    • Ted Nelson says:

      The problem is that you don’t know which guys to hold onto… Farm system depth is key because of the low success rate of prospects.

      Probably need more than one starter due to injury and other unforeseen stuff. You also need a closer soonish and top quality relief guys.

      Say you go forward assuming you only need one starter. You keep the wrong one and trade two or three studs to Arizona… You keep Romine as your C of the future and he continues to be bad like he has been the last two seasons…

      Don’t get me wrong I do want the Yankees to seriously consider it (and I’m sure they are), but there is a downside and you have to consider the specifics.

  30. Zack says:

    If you’re trade proposal doesn’t include Montero, please don’t push Submit Comment.
    Thank you.

  31. John says:

    Joba, AJ, Logan, Nova and Sanchez for Upton.

  32. Thomas says:

    According to Nightengale via MLBTR,

    “The Yankees’ offer for Upton has fallen short but the Red Sox remain engaged.”

  33. Tom says:

    The farm dosen’t play the yankees…If the Yanks get Lee and Upton then the odds of the Yanks needing to sign type A free agents is moderate to low. They will be able to preserve their first rounders for a few years to allow them to rebuild the system. Cash, once he got controll of the system was able to rebuild quickly. I think an Upton type player is a no brainer.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “I think an Upton type player is a no brainer.”

      Depends what you give up… If it costs you twice what Upton’s worth, for example, it is a no-brainer… the answer is no. If you think the cost is worth it, than the answer is yes.

  34. Tom says:

    Plus Arizona hit it pretty well with Kennedy this year. That should give the Yankees farm system some credability in the eyes of Arizona. They might be able to get away with an A- package based on hey look at how well Kennedy worked out. They may be able to save a guy.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Doubt it…

      A. Why does Kennedy’s success say anything about the players coming over? Playing the odds, if you hit once you’ll probably miss the next time.
      B. Towers is a new GM there.

  35. Joe says:

    the only deal acceptable for Upton is Gardner, Joba and Montero, I think that would make Towers pull the trigger, but as a Yankee fan I am not sure if I want to give up Montero…JMO

  36. jimmy says:

    montero, banuelos how ’bout it KT?

  37. Monteroisdinero says:

    So it’s settled. Our Justin for theirs.

  38. jimmy says:

    upton is prime talent which would be cheap for several years…gotta give up prime talent to get prime talent boys and girls!

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Prime talent replacing Posada age 39/40 next year and Cervelli>>>>>prime talent replacing Gardy/Grandy/or Swish next year

  39. jimmy says:

    no guarantee montero can “hack” it defensively. Upton=know quantity who has mashed in MAJOR LEAGUES I’m not saying I’d make this trade. But I believe Towers would!

  40. Bulldozer says:

    Not interested. Bigger needs and bigger fish to fry. Whatever you traded him for could have been used elsewhere. One of Upton’s biggest assets is that contract. The Yanks don’t need that because the outfield is relatively cheap already. Those player or trade chips will be needed this year and in coming years for more pressing needs.

    Also, I have never been a big proponent of trading blue chips for a corner outfield even if it’s Justin Upton. The Yanks know they can buy low or just buy a corner outfielder. You give up blue chips for up the middle players.

  41. dan says:

    would brackman, nova, joba, and montero get you justin upton ?

  42. B-Rando says:

    The Justin will bring a haul that is for damn sure, but A. Towers will want quality in return, the highest quality the other team can offer and B. The Yankees or any team will not trade all of their #2-10 prospects to land 1 player. It will handicap the team for almost a decade.

    I think Mike’s proposal of Jesus, ManBan, Betances, Gardner AND MORE is overvaluing Upton. I know its very difficult to overvalue a player of his caliber, but that’s a lot of quiche your giving up for 1 player.

  43. Reggie C. says:

    Just read on MLBTR, that the Rays are considering making a run at TJU.

    Wow. That’d be some way to reload an offense likely losing Carl Crawford’s all-around game and Carlos Pena’s power.

    I can imagine it’d cost the Rays : Hellickson, jennings, and Matt Moore…

  44. MrMoss says:

    Trade Swisher to get further pieces to include in trade for Upton.


      Trade Swisher for what, He is pretty cost controlled, so your only going to trade him for a #3 starter would be your best bet, which is exactly what we need

      • He’s a free agent after 2012, at which point he’ll be a 10m/year player. I’m not sure if I’d call that “cost controlled” especially since he’ll be on the wrong side of 30.

        • YankeesJunkie says:

          Nick Swisher is cost controlled if he can put up 4-4.5 WAR, but if he goes back down to 3-4 WAR then he is not quite as valuable. Gardner is the best trade piece in the Yankees OF who has a career high trade value at this point.


          exactly, you have 2yrs of Swisher until he hits his decline, which means if you trade him now its a lateral move for someone of equal value so why not just keep him as he (or his trade replacement) is not going to get you Upton

  45. J says:

    Montero, Brackman, Betances, Chamberlain, Gardner. If they don’t want Gardner we can always make it a three way.

  46. J says:

    Three way trade that is.

  47. Ted Nelson says:

    I realize the guy is very valuable, but I find it funny when people throw out a package that can reasonably be expected to produce like 15-20 WAR in a few years and the responses are “no way that Towers does that, your trade proposal *sucks* dude.” Sure it’s going to take a lot, but people are trading 1/2 the 40 man roster for Upton and the responses are that it’s still not enough. At some point I don’t think it’s worth it to the Yankees to give up like 7 or 8 good-to-great assets just for Upton.

  48. Ted Nelson says:

    One interesting thing is that Cashman is almost as likely to know what Towers thinks of the Yankees’ prospects as vice versa. So Towers may have a hard time pulling “Montero isn’t a C” if the whole time in NY he said Montero would be a great C…

    Or maybe one or both was forward looking enough to plant some false seeds… who knows.

  49. Colin says:

    i would give up anything to get upton and keep montero at the same time (not hughes though). you gotta thing that gardner, laird ,joba, bannuelos and one nunez/romine/nova could get the job done… i know i know, my trade proposal sucks but i think that could get it done. imagine a young core of monter/upton with cano going through his prime plus tex and arod. goddamn.

  50. Tim says:

    That deal dosen’t suck, its what they have to offer. I think a deal of Gardner, Brackman, Romine and either Laird, Nova or Nunez will get their attention. Reports are that Arizona is interested in Daniel Bard and Elsbury…Joba and Gardner cancel them out and our system is better than Bostons. They also have little catching / 1B depth in their system so a guy like Romine would be the best prospect in any package if that is what they are looking for. The Yanks have the players to do it but is it worth it?

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