Morosi: Yankees willing to meet asking price for Justin Upton


Via Jon Morosi: The Yankees are willing to meet the asking price Justin Upton, but they don’t want to absorb the three years and $38M left on his contract. Morosi floats the idea of trading Curtis Granderson to the Mariners for prospect to free up cash, but that is just his speculation.

Upton, 25, used his no-trade clause to block a deal to Seattle last week. He’s exactly the kind of high-end, cornerstone position player the Yankees desperately need to add to their lineup, so this nonsense about not being willing to take on that contract is frustrating. Trading Granderson to free up cash for Upton is a swell idea in theory, but it would be a lateral move for 2013, not an upgrade. The Yankees should be looking to add Upton to Granderson, not use him as a replacement.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Countryclub says:

    Lateral move for 2013 but not for 14 and 15 because we all know that Granderson isn’t being resigned.

    • JU says:

      It’s not a lateral move for 2013 either, regardless of what mike thinks. Upton is a better player than granderson. It also shifts Gardner to CF which improves defense in CF and RF.

      • Laz says:

        Debatable how much it would really help. Granderson has actually been a better hitter over the last 3 years if you want use WRC+. Also YS isn’t really better for rhb than chase field unless you are a dead pull hitter.

        • JU says:

          I would debate that Upton is a superior player in every facet of the game except for power. Factor in granderson playing in probably the best stadium he could possibly play in to fit his game, and upon playing in Arizona – I don’t see how u could call this a lateral move. Forget about the money factor, trading 1 year of control for 3, uptons youth, and the residual effects on the outfield. This is a no brainer

  2. Blake says:

    It’s 8 million in AAV….if the luxury tax is what they care about then this is not a big deal considering they just gave Youkallis 12 million and Ichiro a 6.5 million AAV contract…..

    If they can move Granderson for good value then sure

    • Sexy and Cano It says:

      Youkilis is on a one year deal so that $12 million AAV doesn’t affect the cap next year. The Yankees don’t need to clear $189 MM this season. Hal’s goal is to do that next year.

      Ultimately, Upton is going to cost the same (or less) than Granderson would in ’14 and ’15 if the Yankees somehow found a reason to re-sign him. Upton is a talent upgrade, and a better option in terms of contract as well.

      Absolutely no brain. Cashman needs to pull the trigger on this now. Eat the excess salary this season. Let Granderson walk next year and go forth with an outfield of Ichiro/Gardner/Upton.

  3. jjyank says:

    Well now this is interesting. I realize I’m probably on the bullish side of the spectrum when it comes to Upton, but I would love to see this happen. Of course, I make that statement under the assumption that the asking price isn’t insane.

    Not sure I get the absorbing the contract thing. I feel like 3/38 for Upton is a bargain.

    • Austin Aunelowitzky says:

      Just a negotiating tactic. “We agree on prospects but not on his contract” means we want you to drop your prospect demands, no?

      • Jamey says:

        Going off Hal’s comments this week I don’t think the hangup over absorbing his contact is a negotiating tactic. They’re either dead serious about the luxury tax or trying to rile up the MLBPA/agents to take care of it for them at next CBA expiration.

        • TomH says:

          Hmmm, that latter point is an interesting speculation. There must be a lot of players unhappy to see the Yankees playing at being paupers.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            The MLBPA agreed to this CBA. Doubt they missed the implications when they did so.

            • Ed says:

              Considering they Yankees have been paying the luxury tax for a decade or so, it’s not unreasonable to think that they expected the Yankees to still be ok with it.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                They knew it would discourage teams, including the Yankees, from spending over $189 million.

                • Sexy and Cano It says:

                  I think Cashman is looking for the Dbacks to throw in between $2-5 million per year for ’14 and ’15 before showing 100% interest. The problem is that despite only making $10 MM this year, the cap hit is the AAV which for Upton would be $13 MM in 2014 and 2015 and that makes getting under $189 MM a bit difficult.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Why wouldn’t they be serious about the luxury tax? It’s a real incentive that rewards them tremendously for staying under the threshold.

          That said, Hal’s comments were actually that they’re sticking to $189 million UNTIL they are no longer a serious contender. That would mean… you know… if they fall out of contention they may exceed $189 million. Mike twisted them around. People need to step back from the ledge. Unless you take these actions now (one year deals, not taking on long-term deals), staying under is not an option. This way they keep their options open. See how things develop (their 2013 roster, their prospects, the trade market, the 2014 FA market).

          The CBA expires in 2016, I believe, so that’s not going to do much good.

      • jjyank says:

        You could very well be right. I hope you are, actually.

  4. trr says:

    If it’s true…wow!

  5. Blake says:

    If they could acquire Upton then trade Granderson to the Braves for maybe (Delgado and Ahmed) or the mariners for (Montero!)…,,that’s be cool

    • Alkaline says:

      Where would Montero go? People tear apart that trade now, but realistically, he had no place on this team. 1b? We have Tex. C? If he can’t catch the majority of the M’s games, what does that say about his catching ability? Actions are louder than words. DH? We need to keep that DH spot open for Arod, youk, Jeter, etc. I think the fact Grandy and Raul (until the end) slowed down a bit last year is how many games they were forced to play due to the injuries.

  6. Greg says:

    Problem is the 2014 contract. Only way they get to 189m is to dump Grandy. Step backwards to add Upton.

    • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

      Grandy has nothing to do with $189, he’s not under contract next year.

    • mitch says:

      189m is next year and grandy will be gone then anyway. 3/38 is exactly the type of contract that will help keep them competitive while staying under the limit. Shane Victorino just signed for 3/39.

      This is clearly just a comment to try to lower the asking price

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Good point on Upton versus Victorino.

        That being said, this article seems like a load of shit to me.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          While Upton is younger, Victorino has outproduced Upton historically according to fWAR.

          Outproduced over 1, 2, or 3 year horizon, and produced the exact same over a 4 year horizon. It’s not like there’s an upward trend for Upton or much of a downward trend for Victorino.

          Perhaps people are right and Victorino will decline sharply going forward, but I think fans on this site really underrate Victorino as a player. To get him on the open market for what Upton got as a arb-extension seems like a good deal to me.

          That’s not to say that Upton is expensive. I agree with those who say it’s probably a negotiating thing, if it’s even true. Clearly they do have the money if they want to make the room, so it would mean they don’t want to make room for Upton over other players. Which isn’t that surprising, if true, given his inconsistent performance.

    • Laz says:

      They can handle 189M with Granderson. Kuroda, Pettitte, Youk, Mariano is already $50M and if Cano gets $25M that is only a $10M raise. So still leaves $40M. Granderson is making $15M already, how much higher would price go?

      • Sexy and Cano It says:

        The problem with this math is that the Yankees are currently over $189 already. You have to look at it in terms of this year vs. next year if you are going to compare like that.


        2013: $200 MM

        2014: MINUS Kuroda, Pettitte, Youkilis, Granderson, Mariano = -$65 MM

        2014: Start = $135 MM

        Add Cano ($25 MM): = $160 MM

        Add Upton ($13 MM): = $173 MM

        So that leaves only $16 million to work with, not $40 million. It’s a hell of a lot tougher to fill out the remaining 30 roster spots with that type of money.

        Plus, you have to factor in arbitration raises and that compounds the problem further. Cashman and Hal have their hands full, that’s for sure.

  7. TheOneWhoKnocks says:

    It wouldn’t improve us for 2013 if we turn around and trade Granderson, but if that’s the only way they’re willing to take on the salary then I’ll live with it since it gives us a long term fix.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Part of the question is whether it gives you a long-term fix. You’d be trading several long-term pieces to get him, and he’s pretty inconsistent himself. Signing a FA (Granderson or someone else) provides less $ value, but might provide more value when you consider prospects.

      • Laz says:

        I agree. Granderson has actually been a better hitter last 3 years. If you can get him $48m/3 or close that is a better deal than trading for upton at $39/3 if you think you can still get $9M of value out of your 3 top prospects it probably costs.

  8. Kevin G. says:

    I love Grandy but if the Yankees had to do what Morosi suggests in order to acquire Upton I would do it in a second.

  9. Brian says:

    God knows we have nowhere to dump A-Rod, so I say trade away Grandy and let’s get this done!

  10. Yankee Insider says:

    Trade grandy for prospects to mariners and then trade for upton or make three team trade where we give grandy to mariners we get Upton and D backs get prospects from m’s and d backs eat some of uptons salary.

  11. Yankee Insider says:

    Trade grandy for prospects to mariners and then trade for upton or make three team trade where we give grandy to mariners we get Upton and D backs get prospects from m’s and d backs eat some of uptons salary.

  12. The Moral Majority is Neither says:

    I was under the impression that the $189M for 2014 was an accounting game to avoid sharing money with the league. If they have an opportunity to get Upton and are worried about the 2013 budget then I would be a bit frustrated. We’ll see, I guess.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I have no idea about the accuracy of the report, or even Mike’s recount of the report. The Yankees have historically operated with a budget according to reports, though, and Cashman has had to convince management to surpass it. At times he has, but I think there have also been reports where he went to them and they were not convinced (or at least it’s certainly possible it’s happened).

  13. Marc H says:

    If we trade CG, we better get back a quality prospect at the very least. The guy has lead the league in hrs last 2 years. In addition, yanks should not trade Sanchez in package for JU.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I actually slightly agree on the Sanchez part. He shouldn’t be untouchable, but he’s the least touchable to me, at least. If the team can do this while only trading one of Slade/Austin/Williams, and Sanchez is left alone, they should.

  14. LK says:

    If they can’t absorb the money on a below-market-value contract, this is starting to get kind of pathetic.

  15. Robinson Tilapia says:

    That salary line really doesn’t make a ton of sense, so I have to question the truthfulness of that. There’s not really a reason why 3/$38 would hold back the franchise from taking on a solid cost-controlled guy where they need him.

    I’m actually more concerned about asking price. With a lot of holes to fill, how much of the farm system should go for anyone really should be asked.

    • Blake says:

      Right….the money shouldn’t be a problem (shouldn’t ) but it just depends on if the player price would be counterproductive given the budget and how many spots they need to fill going forward…..

  16. Elton Cod says:

    I don’t see why the Yankees would want to acquire Upton. I think they are fine exactly as they are. Yes, there are lots of ungrateful entitled negative nellies who can’t see that as clearly as I can. But really, they are fine, there is no reason for them to make any moves, they are pretty much guaranteed to be as awesome as they were last year.

    • Brian says:

      Acceptable? Yes. Awesome? That’s pushing it.

    • LK says:

      Even if a team upgrades from the previous year, they’re still not guaranteed to be as awesome as they were last year. Between age and a few key losses in free agency, I don’t see any way the Yankees haven’t downgraded from last year.

      Some people are being far too negative, but don’t be a pollyanna.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Not guaranteed to be “…awesome as last year” at all.

      They should be the same to slightly better at P, IF is old, the RF has a noddle-bat, and C position is a joke. The OF “D” should greatly improve if CGrand moves to a corner.

      Upton would make it about a push, IMO, to last years team going into the season but if his costs are high end prospects or players & they need to eat the 38M$, I can understand the issue. Slade, Phelps, Logan & Nunez/Adams in a NY minute. 2-3 of our top 4, I would likely pass.

  17. Endlessjose says:

    The yankees biggest advantage is taking in money.They don’t have the major prospects so the Yankees can’t play cheap.

  18. stu phillips says:

    Yankee fans forget it. All they want to do save money!!!they must of killed george sr again.

  19. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    Well Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Ivan Nova and David Adams, it’s been nice knowing you.

    • Blake says:

      If that’s the deal then they should do it….keep Sanchez and Heathcott and add a 25 year old potential cornerstone

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I wonder how we could swap Austin out of that.

        • Blake says:

          Probably Heathcott….heck that package might not be enough….they’ll have to at least give 2 of those 4 top position guys to get him Id think

        • Elton Cod says:

          What? No. Let’s face it. They were awesome last year. They didn’t finish below .500. They didn’t struggle just to make the wildcard. They didn’t fade and finish 3rd in the division. In fact, they finished 1st, in a very tough decision. How many fans have teams that do that? Not only did they do really well during the regular season, they almost made it to the World Series! Really, let’s think about that, we don’t think about this enough. They were four games away from THE World Series. Not just a series, or some series. THE World Series, the Big One, the games we all dream about as kids. Our team was almost there last year. That’s pretty awesome.

          They resigned all the people that made that happen. Catcher doesn’t matter – are we forgetting how bad Russell Martin was at the plate most of the year? Chris Stewart was BETTER than Russell Martin at the plate most of the year. Yes, I know Chris Stewart is not very good at the plate. But Russell Martin was even worse than him. And we still won. That’s pretty awesome. I think it bodes well for next year.

          They added Youkilis. That will help enormously. He is right-handed and he is good. It will mix up the batting order.

          They lost Swisher, true. That will hurt in the regular season. But it won’t matter if we are so lucky as to be blessed with a team that makes the playoffs again. Because Swisher has a bad habit of disappearing it the playoffs. It’s too bad. I love the guy, his goofy hijinks, his smile, his salute, his positive attitude. Sometimes people underestimate the value of positive attitude – positive attitudes make base hits happen. Still, with the way he played in the playoffs, we just had to let him go. That and the $189 cap, which I understand completely. It hurt a little but it made sense and I don’t think it will actually affect us that much.

          So Swisher and Youkilis pretty much cancel each other out. We’ll have both Gardner AND Ichiro in the outfield all season, so the defense will be flawless. Also, having them in the lineup will be really helpful. They can get on the bases, make things happen, put the bat on the ball, etc. All that stuff we were missing sometimes down the stretch. (Not that last year wasn’t great and we weren’t lucky for it. Just saying, sometimes we were missing a thing or two. Nobody’s perfect.)

          The pitching will be at least as good if not better. Mo will be back. Mo! The greatest closer ever! Rafael was great, but nobody can show up in the playoffs like Mo. We will have Pettite all season. Andy Pettite! Also see what Pineda has to offer. It might be so-so, might be good, might be great. Who knows? But it can’t be any worse than Freddy Garcia, amirite? LOL!

          All in all, I am looking forward to next year, Upton or not. I am tired of this negative ninnyhammer absurdity “If we don’t get Upton then this team can burn in hell, it’s embarrassing”. Get over it, don’t be ridiculous!

          • Elton Cod says:

            I don’t know why this comment ended up down here. Crazy comment system! I meant for it to go a few comments up, in response to your accusation that I was attempting “satire”.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            All in all, I am looking forward to next year, Upton or not. I am tired of this negative ninnyhammer absurdity “If we don’t get Upton then this team can burn in hell, it’s embarrassing”. Get over it, don’t be ridiculous!


            No one is saying that but they are once again asking players past their prime or with injury histories to once again take them through the season. They are caring a certain amount of risk.

      • CS Yankee says:

        Keep Mason, trade Slade.

        Do to needs & injury concerns, I would likely not offer Sanchez & would trade 1-2 OFers if needed, but the first to be shown the door would be Slade..

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Seattle’s package included two relievers, so I’m not so sure about that.

  20. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Strong recommendation to read the actual Morosi article. Really questionable stuff there.

    I see the words “could,” “seemingly,” and “apparently” as qualifiers to just about every point Morosi is trying to make. Not something that sounds like it comes from any sort of team info, and more like the type of fan fiction we see in comments here, only from someone with a soapbox.

  21. emac2 says:

    If they don’t want to absorb the money they can add more young talent to the return package in exchange for some cash but I think the money excuse is bull.

    The Yankees should look to add Upton to Granderson? Why even make this statement? Do you really prefer to trade a bunch of extra minor league talent so that we can get one more year out of Grandersons? This is the beginning of a rebuild and wasting prospects for one year of Granderson would be a mistake.

    One the other hand the Mariners aren’t giving us the Upton package for Granderson so we would already have to dig deep.

    I’ll go on record as a fan more interested in long term success than a last hurrah in 2013.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “I’ll go on record as a fan more interested in long term success than a last hurrah in 2013.”

      With this team, it’s always a balance of both, but I would agree with this sentence ten times out of ten.

  22. Ted Nelson says:

    Mike, it’s really time to step back from the ledge this off-season. The blog is getting really depressingly MSM-ish. Taking some journalist’s reporting of GM-speak and turning it into something you have an emotional reaction to is MSM/troll-level stuff. We all know that what a journalist reports can be speculation as much as anything, and that even if it is true it is in no GM’s best interest to go around saying that a realistic trade target is the perfect player that they are willing to give up anything and everything for. This is as likely to be a negotiation tactic as much as anything, if it has any truth to it in the first place.

    Even truthfully, Upton is not the perfect player by any stretch. He is very, very inconsistent. One year you might get an All-Star, but the next you get an average starter. I am by no means against the guy and I see his value, but some blind Upton supporters seem to ignore the every other year nature of his success as if that’s not exactly what’s happened.

  23. Get Phelps Up says:

    How would trading Granderson help at all? He’ll probably be gone by 2014 when the budget matters and they already can put together a package at least equal to Seattle’s. And I don’t buy that budget thing at all. It sounds like a classic negotiating ploy to me.

    • Blake says:

      I think the budget thing is BS in this case because as you say…Grandy will be gone after 2013 anyways.

      However…. If they did get Upton it would give them 4 outfielders…. So if they could take Granderson and turn him in to something else they need (like a 3B, SS, or pitching prospect) then that could make sense……

  24. gageagainstthemachine says:

    I don’t know why…but all I can think to say about any of this is:

  25. Nick_BD says:

    I know most people won’t agree but I’d look to trade both Grandy and Cano. With what packeges you back get for Cano, Grandy and some of are own prspects you could probably get back a couple top young MLB ready talants inculding Upton.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Such a fascination with blowing it up sometimes.

      • CS Yankee says:

        They are a business entity that needs to have a great product to justify the amount they charge their customers (cable, fans, etc). They have likely already achieved that in 2013, and if things arise, I’m sure they’ll address them to please the perception.

        To trade their two best producers is insane, I don’t get the CGrand dump that people have here. He is a incredible player and you cannot easily replace.

        • Get Phelps Up says:

          If you did nothing but turn half of Granderson’s strikeouts into ground balls to 2nd, then I think about 50% of these trade Granderson proposals would go out the window.

          • blake says:

            considering that would still have him hitting .230 with a .320 OBP….that’s still not great….turn some of those K’s into hits or walks and then we are talkin…..he K’d a lot in 2011 too but he also hit and got on base about 40 pts higher.

            Problem was that his 2009 and 2010 looked a lot more like 2012 than 2011…..

            • RetroRob says:

              Not quite. I think Bill James summed up Granderson quite well when he had him ranked #4 CF in MLB going into 2013. The bad luck that led to a career-low BABIP went well beyond that and is unsustainable. He’ll hit better in 2013, while also cranking out another near-40 HR season.

              That said, I hope they move him to left.

    • jjyank says:

      No way. They didn’t spend all the money on Kuroda, Pettitte, Ichiro, and Youkilis just so they can trade Cano. I’m less staunch about that regarding Granderson, though. Depends on the return. I lean towards keeping him though, especially if they’re not getting an Upton-like player to replace him.

  26. CS Yankee says:

    As a team wanting to be below 189M per year, it seems that they need a farm that produces well and fill-in the balance with FA.

    They have 3 solid OFers a few years away & several C & P in the pipeline. They need to bet that one of the Slade/Ty/Mason will turn out, one of the Austin/Murph/Sanchez materialize, as well as, Pinedia/ManBan/Campos. Instead of trading one of them, keep growing them while signing FA.

    The costs of trading will further lead to a bigger issue down the road, Arod/CC/Teix in big time decline while costing close to 100M$ per year with little high-end prospects in the pipeline if they trade multiple high-end guys to acquire one player.

    FA signings are usually better unless they’ll take a bagful of mid-level vets and one high-end prospect (i.e. Montero trade).

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      This is why, no matter the player, I think there’s a limit as to what you give up.

      I am wary, perhaps too much so, of going Sanchez and/or more than one of the outfielders on anyone.

      • CS Yankee says:

        OF position is the easiest to address as there are players even in their mid-late 30′s that are productive and fairly cheap…yes, a Hamilton costs more than Hef’ makes in a year but in general, the easiest to replace.

        The C has to be the toughest, players in their young 30′s are generally done…therefore I would either;
        A) just get a decent caller/ framer
        B) try to develop the complete deal (one that also can hit)
        C) convert a solid to elite bat with a Catcher’s mindset
        D) trade
        E) acquire an out of flavor FA

        They seem to be doing A this year, they have focused on B over the last 5 years drafting/developing, C was Jorge and almost very team tried this & he was the exception but with severe flaws, D ain’t happening unless you do give away everything, and E was Russell.

        The need to stay with the program, Montero didn’t work but they have several others in that pipeline…someone will work, don’t risk trading that asset unless he is almost unmasked in the public (Montero). If Sanchez can stick, they’ll have what very few teams ( maybe 3-5) have & it could make the difference when it matters. I wouldn’t trade him unless I knew he wasn’t the piece I needed.

      • Strat says:

        I agree. There will be too many needs to gut the farm for any single player.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Also, remember to not get too attached to the names. I’d be fine with the pitchers above failing if, say, Nik Turley were to surprise us and overachieve.

      • CS Yankee says:

        No names, Developing a complete MLB Catcher is the priority as it seems to be the rarest thing to do.

        Pitching is job one, however you need 2-3 solid to great to have a chance and catching to me seems to be the toughest to achieve and you get to use that asset 3/4ths of the time.

    • blake says:

      Thing is though that Upton is 25 and could do a couple of things….he helps now and for the future because of his age and also he could give you a little leverage against Cano next winter and he potentially would allow you to shop Granderson or Gardner to fill other holes.

      Without another young middle of the order bat in the lineup the Yanks will kinda be forced to give Robbie whatever he wants next winter unless they just decide to rebuild…..having Upton there would at least give them something should he leave.

      There is risk with Upton….and I wouldn’t trade all the prospects for him….but we have to remember to that he was a 6+ WAR player in 2011 and that the chances that any of those OF prospects are ever even as good as he was last year aren’t very high…..can’t wipe out the farm for him because yes the budget is real and they need to develop cheap players….but if you could get him for a chunk then I think they should

      • CS Yankee says:

        If you actually think that Upton playing well in NY will lower Cano’s payday you are clueless.

        • blake says:

          I don’t…..just think it’ll leave them with a middle of the order bat still should he leave. It won’t lower Cano’s price…..but it could prevent the Yankees from having to chase the Dodgers or whoever over 200 million to keep him…..that was my point.

          • CS Yankee says:

            Ok, but you used the word leverage.

            You mean insurance, or offset or option or something, but not leverage. The only leverage that could be used against Cano is…well, I can’t think of anything as the devil himself is his agent. The same agent hat had Arod go to where no one wanted to play for exactly twice the money (Shaq) that any athlete ever had signed for in history.

            • Blake says:

              Yea….just meant that he would give them the ability to perhaps hold Cano more to a number they are comfortable with and make him leave if he won’t take it…..I wanna keep Robbie but with the budget stuff I don’t want Arod 2.0 either

              • CS Yankee says:

                :::tries to say this respectfully:::
                There you go again, if you think that Cash can mange to keep Cano in a range, that’s absurd.

                If the market dictates a 6 or 8 year deal, they would be wise to treat him like Swish and enjoy the pick. In this business, all it takes is one Tom Hicks (Arod part 1 of FA) to ruin his return to pinstripes. They should have a range (maybe 6 max at 25 per), tell him they want him at 3-5 at 20 per and wait…when Boras says that’s wrong, find out his stance (likely 10), LOL and tell him you are open to moving upwards but need to be realistic…he won’t be left overs like Varitek but unlikely to land a Fielder last minute huge in years deal.

                • blake says:

                  again that’s not what I’m saying…..I’m saying the Yankees may better be able to hold a firm line on a contract number if they know they have Upton in their lineup…..if he’s not then they may feel pressured to just give Cano whatever he wants…..and that wouldn’t be good.

                • blake says:

                  I think there is a fairly real chance the Dodgers just throw out some absurd number for Cano next winter and dare the Yankees to match it…..Boras probably can’t sleep at night thinking about pitting NY vs LA for Cano’s services……he’s going to get his money….my point was that if the Yanks had another young middle of the order bat then it might be easier to let him go if the bidding gets crazy.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Upton has value, but I think you are overstating it. He has been an average starter 2 of the past 3 seasons at arguably the second easiest position in baseball to fill. Yes, he could become his 2011 self consistently going forward. He could also be his 2012 self. Or continue to give you up and down performance.

        I disagree that the chances that any of three top 100 OF prospects ever having a 2.5 fWAR season aren’t very high. (Even if Mason not Slade ever matches his 108 wRC+ from 2012, they’re more valuable in CF at lower offensive production). Any one prospect that’s not really, really elite… sure. I would agree. Three, though, no. Upton wasn’t actually good in 2012, so the bar just isn’t that high.

        I also think you are overstating their desperation should Cano leave. They would have a pile of cash and still have the same prospects they’d have to trade for Upton to either fill in or use in a different trade (maybe even for Upton).

        I am interested in Upton, but just not to the extent of desperation.

        • blake says:

          who said I was desperate to get him? Life will go on if they don’t…..

          Prospects bust all the time…..sure one or all of the (Mason, Heathcott, Austin) group could become a quality big leaguer and have a 2.5 fWAR season or mulitple ones…..but that’s assuming that’s what Upton is going forward…..I think he was hurt and unhappy last year and that affected him.

          Again I wouldn’t trade the whole farm for him…..I wouldn’t even trade all 3 of those prospects for him…..but I’d trade a good amount for his upside at his age and to help bridge the gap to the other kids should Cano decide to go to LA or wherever.

          And if Cano should leave…..sure they’d have some money to spend…..but there isn’t anybody like him set to hit the market next year to replace him….teams are locking up there position players much more often than they used to/

          • Preston says:

            Agreed, Upton has been worth 16.7 WAR the last four years, making him the 26th most valuable position player over that time. I think it would be silly to view him as a 2-3 win player going forward, he had a broken thumb last season. He’s only 25 and it’s pretty likely that his next three years will be better than his last four. As he ages he will probably gain more power, patience and consistency. If he doesn’t he’s still worth the salary. The opportunity to grab an elite talent like this doesn’t come around all the time. The Yankees should be willing to sacrifice two of their top four at the very least.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Great, but no one did that. Blake just made that up. I responded directly to Blake’s comment that the chances that any of the 3 prospects would reach even Upton’s 2012 level was not high.

              Taking the year-to-year risk of Upton and just saying that it averages out might not be as clear cut as you’re making it out to be, either, though. People are saying that there is value in game-to-game consistency these days, let alone year-to-year. I’m not so sure about the game-to-game, but there certainly might be something to year-to-year. If the Yankees lose the division every other year with Upton, that could cost them a lot relative to a lesser, but more consistent, talent.

              • Preston says:

                Well a lesser more consistent talent was Nick Swisher but he’s gone, and their aren’t any other elite OFers that are available in FA or rumored on the market. He was both older and more expensive than Upton though. I think you are over-reacting to the inconsistency. He’s very young and he had a legitimate injury. It’s not unlikely that one or more of our three OF prospects have a 2.5 win season(s), I wouldn’t part with them lightly, but none of them are going to be in the big leagues in 2013 and probably not 2014 for that matter and I don’t view any of them as being a 6 win player. I think this is a unique situation where Upton provides both more present value, and more upside.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I think you are choosing to ignore the inconsistency by ascribing speculative reasons to it. Whatever the excuse, I don’t know if there’s a comparably inconsistent player in all of MLB. At the very least it’s a big red flag.

                  If he was hurt in both 2010 and 2012… isn’t that a red flag in and of itself?

                  I don’t project any of those prospects as a 6 win player (or many prospects at all… Bryce Harper when he was a prospect, maybe… those sorts of consensus #1 picks or bigtime IFAs who fly through the minors). I also don’t think Upton is. That’s his upside, but I can’t see not discounting it at least somewhat for inconsistency. Assuming he’s just going to keep repeating his career year going forward is just not something I’d do. He has the potential to, sure, or even get better. He has the potential not too as well, though.

                  I would be fine with acquiring Upton for a reasonable price, but as the price rises it adds to what is already a fairly large opportunity cost. Both in terms of prospects and money. It’s one or more holes you now might not be able to fill as effectively at a minimum contract (Seattle package was 2 top prospects at premium positions and then theoretically 10 cost-controlled reliever years), and then it’s one pretty big FA you can’t sign going forward. Plus you have to actually re-sign or lose Upton himself in a few years. So, sure he provides more upside, but at a much higher cost.

                  I’m not arguing against Upton here, just pointing out his warts to what seems like a chorus of Upton lovers. I would compare it to Granderson, both in terms of what you’re getting (Upton is younger, but controlled one fewer seasons and at a less premium position) and what you’d likely to giving. Not that the outcome will be the exact same, but that it will be a deal where reasonable people can disagree. (Sure there are chances it could be totally stilted in either direction, but most likely case.)

                  • Preston says:

                    I don’t have an explanation for his 2010, and I’m not speculating about 2012. He had a legitimate thumb issue. It sapped his power. Not many players have their career year at age 23. In fact most players aren’t in the big leagues. He’s a special player and I would definitely trade more than the Granderson package to get him.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      It’s speculation that his thumb injury led him to basically repeat his 2010 season in 2012. Could have just been whatever it was in 2010, too. So, yes you are speculating. I don’t think I’m overstating the inconsistency. Guy has been an average starter 2 of the past 3 seasons.

                      Successful players don’t have career years at 23. Unsuccessful ones do have career years early and then fade out. It was actually a career year for his closest B-R comps:

                      Ruben Sierra was the most comparable player at 23 according to B-R. That was his career year. He had one more comparable season, and that was it. Andruw was #2, and he only matched the same wRC+ once in a full season again. Conigliaro got hurt, but that was his career year. #4 was Canseco, also his career year.

                      Not sure that the Ms offer was much more than the Granderson deal. AJax was a three time top 100 BA prospect, two time top 50. IPK was a year removed from top 50. Coke had a lot of control like Furbush.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Your wording was pretty desperate. Going into far flung theories about how he might influence Cano’s salary or replace Cano, and saying that they should give up a “chunk”… whatever that means. It came across as desperate.

            No. I am not assuming that at all. What you said was “the chances that any of those OF prospects are ever even as good as he was last year aren’t very high.” If you want to say things and then pretend like you didn’t, have fun arguing with yourself.

            Was he hurt and unhappy in 2010, too? Is he going to be hurt and unhappy every other season going forward, too?

            Saying you’d trade for someone without offering any specifics about what you would give up is the essence of why I find you annoying.

            Thinking that you need to replace one player directly with another is another example of why I find you annoying. You use these irrational arguments all the time as if they mean something. You can use that money in a variety of ways. It doesn’t have to be on one free agent who directly replaces Cano. Overpaying too much for Cano can be a far worse outcome than losing him and re-investing that money. Think A-Rod.

            • blake says:

              Ted buddy….I really don’t care what you think.

              The essence of why I find you annoying is that you’ll pick arguments just to pick them….if you want to have a discussion about something then fine…I’m up for that anytime in a point- counterpoint way…..but if you can’t do that without attacking and being nasty then please just ignore my posts and I’ll do the same with you.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Is pointing out that you said something and then turned around and pretended that you didn’t attacking or nasty in your opinion? Am I picking an argument with you at all, let alone just to pick it?

                If you want to say things and then act like you didn’t, then it will be impossible for us to have a discussion. Do you really not see the problem with that?

                • Blake says:

                  You really don’t make sense a lot and tend to talk in circles….picking nits to prove some hyperbolic point…..so yes it would be tough for us to have conversations and I’m just fine with that….actually lets don’t ok.

  27. As many have mentioned, I don’t think you have to trade Granderson to make Upton work…unless you want to use some of the prospects you receive for him.

    That being said, if you didn’t trade him, how would you shuffle Grandy/Gardner/Ichiro/Upton?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Rotate them in the DH slot. Ichiro becomes more a 4th outfielder. DH Grandy. I’d love to have that problem.

      • blake says:

        Id love to have that problem as well…..but I think perhaps the value you could get for Granderson or Gardner in a trade could be more than trying to keep them all and figure out playing time for them……it might not….just depends. The Braves would probably love to have either one…..so would the Phillies.

      • jjyank says:

        Yeah, this. I’m not letting a near-40 year old Ichiro stop me from playing Upton. Granderson in LF, Gardner in CF, Upton in RF, Ichiro gets the roll he accepted when we traded for him last July. He’s expensive as shit for such a roll, but it is what it is at this point. And like R-Tils said, you will have enough days where Granderson or Upton will DH that Ichiro can start.

    • Preston says:

      Tell Ichiro that we had our fingers crossed.

  28. Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob) says:

    If trading grandy can get us upton then bye bye grandy!

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Trading Granderson isn’t necessary to get Upton. This was just Morosi fantasy in which those prospects go with more prospects to get Upton.

      I’d find it pretty silly to acquire a potential impact guy while trading away an already impact guy.

      • blake says:

        Granderson and Upton aren’t apples to apples though….one is 6 years years young and is controlled cheaply 2 additional years….one still has upside while the other will likely only decline further.

        Now if you traded Granderson and a bunch of prospects just to make the swap of he and Upton then that’s counterproductive…..but if you traded for upton then used Granderson to get other stuff you need then that could be a net gain.

  29. The Moral Majority is Neither says:

    The Red Sox cleared all kinds of salary and are stuck signing guys like Victorino and maybe Napoli because free agency has gotten tougher. A trade for a guy like Upton is a good move if they are confident he’ll hit his prime and not hurt too much by Yankee Stadium.

    If they view Austin as a RFer then could see him going in the deal. Would be ok with Austin, Williams, Nova.


    • Ted Nelson says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to say that the Red Sox were stuck with those guys. They could have made plays for whoever they wanted. They were looking for undervalued guys on relatively short-term deals who did not have draft pick compensation tied to them. It was a strategic decision. And I don’t necessarily think it was a bad one. Creates a decent, reasonably priced based they hope to build on. Should keep them at least somewhat respectable the next few years while rebuilding. And going big on Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Bourn, Greinke, etc. is not necessarily any better return for your investment. None of those guys have gotten deals that I see as particularly out of line with FA the last few years. Certainly the long and medium term trends are inflation in FA prices. I think people are overstating the short-term change, though, as they do just about every year.

      • CS Yankee says:

        The BoSox signings are disgraceful to their fans but inline with their historic “we are doomed victims to the man and baseball gods” views.

        • Austin Aunelowitzky says:

          I read a nice quote from a scout in Baseball America “the red sox spent a lot of money for mediocrity”. I agree and ouch,

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I disagree. I think it was a solid strategy.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            And by the way, that comment made me stop considering you a respectable poster. What a load.

            • CS Yankee says:


              My comment didn’t attack you(rs) in the least , it stated my belief that they have done their fans a big disservice.

              Acquiring an OFer that hasn’t been decent in a few years and claiming they signed a C for 1B, but are still likely not to have him after they unloaded 4-5 stars and fan favorites in less than a season. They also commit to a decent SS for a year? They don’t seem to have a direction or plan and seem destined to battle out Baltimore for the basement.

              So, you write me off because I reply to your comment in a way you don’t agree with…WTF? I have been here since 2008, and commented since 2009 and one sentence will define your thoughts of me? …really?

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Never said you attacked me. I said your comment was a load of babble.

                “Acquiring an OFer that hasn’t been decent in a few years”

                Who are you referring to? Perhaps if you knew something about the players they signed…

                Victorino has more fWAR than Justin Upton over a 1, 2, and 3 year horizon. Matches him exactly over 4. Matched BJ Upton’s 2012 fWAR and topped him in 2011.

                Gomes was worth 2 fWAR in 2012 and 1.5 in 2011. Not a stud, but making $5 million per for two years and should be a great fit for Fenway.

                “claiming they signed a C for 1B”

                They haven’t actually signed him, but Napoli is a career 128 wRC+ hitter who has played 1000 innings at 1B in his career at a bit below average level.

                “they unloaded 4-5 stars and fan favorites in less than a season.”

                Is Crawford either a star or fan favorite? Is Beckett a star anymore? Youkilis?

                Should they keep fan favorites even if it hurts their chances on the field?

                “They also commit to a decent SS for a year?”

                I don’t see how this is a bad thing in any way… you say he’s decent, and they signed him. If the Yankees signed a decent player, that would upset you?

                They also signed that Dempster guy. Not a bad P.

                “They don’t seem to have a direction or plan and seem destined to battle out Baltimore for the basement.”

                While I do think chances are they finish 4th or 5th, they pretty clearly have a direction and a plan. They are rebuilding. Their plan is to try to put some undervalued pieces together and fill in the holes moving forward, probably hoping to do so through their farm (which is pretty well respected). Probably some other trades and FAs as well. They signed guys to short-term deals, presumably for flexibility as well as to not embarrass themselves short-term while putting some pieces in place to contend as soon as possible.

                Where exactly were they going with the team they had entering last year?

                That you claim they have no plan and made patently false claims about the players they did sign is why I can’t respect your comments at this point.

                • CS Yankee says:

                  They went cheap and old whereas they had one of the best 1B in the game that they traded away major assets to acquire…gone. That they didn’t give CC much of a chance…Tito jerking him through the lineup, and his injuries, they signed him for 7 years and gave him away. Beckett, to me, was either lights out or lite up. They dumped commitments without getting a marque player during or after. Who will buy a Drew, Dempster or Victorino jersey?

                  The point is Boston has gone back to their days of yesteryear, always getting the second or third best and go thru the motions…the wrong Giambi, he wrong DiMaggio, letting a couple mil keep them from Arod, etc.

                  They always sell out their stadium, have money coming out their ears and have gone frugal. Where is that bridge? Remember that Theo said just before the Lackey signing (whom most thought as an overpayment). They have decided to pocket the coin and go through the motions.

                  Nap wasn’t offered at seasons end, Dumpster had little to no other options, the Braves paid almost twice for the lesser Upton. These Sox are no threat, they have the firepower to be one every year but are now rebuilding? You list a 1-2 fWAR player in your stance…please.

                  I’ve liked the majority of your comments but your bashing makes you one of the biggest jerks (at times) on this site. Go get some meds, chill out and share your thoughts in a positive manner.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    This is exactly why I said that I have lost respect for your comments. Most of this in incoherent. You have no idea who their major FA signings even are based on your comments. Stop trying to turn things around on me.

                    • CS Yankee says:

                      Ted, the victim?

                      You must be a closet BoSox fan. Stop and come out of the closet and admit it.

                      You pounce on others comments and don’t respect different views. Just reading his thread you call out and start shit with just about everyone. You never agree with anyone or admit that if can be looked at a different way, let alone that your wrong. Hopefully you outgrow this and can one day be a decent person versus the Sheldon role you current contribute to society.

                      I’ve even seen that people on NoMass make fun of you, Sheldon.

                    • Reuben Sierra's Chains says:

                      People on Lohud continue to make fun of you as well.

                      Dude your a damn tool.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      CS Yankee – Why not discuss the issue at hand? Oh, right… because you didn’t even know what positions the guys the Red Sox tried to sign played or how they had played in recent years. Makes sense to avoid a real conversation and try to make this about me.

                      RSC – What value do you add? You are a low-level troll. No one makes run of you because no one even knows you exist. Have you ever made one insightful comment on this site?

  30. Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob) says:

    If this is 100% true and they are down with trading for him but just don’t want to take the money, then I might troll soon.

  31. YanksFanInBeantown says:

    I want The Justin Upton!! Honestly, Cash should just give up whatever it takes to get him here.

    That’s all I have to say

  32. The Doctor (formerly known as G formerly known as Matt Smith formerly known as David Tennant formerly known as etc) says:

    Can’t absorb $8.3M AAV… Well that might partly be because they gave just $1.5M less to Ichiro. Evidently it wasn’t worth being a serious contender. I’ve definitely been as much of a FO apologist as anyone but this is just absurd. The greed has just gotten stupid. They could easily afford to add him even now, but even if we were to believe that they couldn’t, it all results from a completely unreasonable signing of an over the hill player who had a hot few months. I will always be thankful for Ichiro’s great few months here, but I like many others feel that he’s about to seriously soil his Yankee legacy.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Because all media reports are to be taken seriously! No gamesmanship goes on in MLB, and no reporter ever speculates based on far from complete information!

  33. Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob) says:

    Guesses on how long until George is mentioned in this thread? If he has not been already.

  34. Robinson Tilapia says:

    John Morosi also reported that the world would end unless everyone on earth became a Pirates fan.

    *watches Pirates blog traffic skyrocket*

  35. Dan says:

    Eventhough I think this is bullshit becuase they want pitching and we have none above A ball dumping all our prospects for a guy who hasn’t lived up to the hype is a bad idea. He has the tools to be great just like his brother but the numbers are not their. He is a fantasy player nothing more, not worth giving up Sanchez, Williams and Austin for.

  36. Kosmo says:

    Seattle asks for a negotiating window to extend Granderson, Seattle then sends 2 prospects to D-Backs, NY sends 2 prospects to D-Backs, Yanks get Upton.

    • blake says:

      Could work….but it just depends on which prospects we are talking about sending to Arizona…..

      • Vern Sneaker says:

        Exactly. Not Sanchez, too hard to find catchers with his potential. Williams or Heathcott, might as well, Upton’s only 25 so u have to ask will either prospect be better at Upton’s young age? Hard to tell and the ceiling question is very speculative. Would also have to add others, and I wouldn’t go much further than a “B” prospect and Nova or Phelps.

      • Vern Sneaker says:

        Exactly. Not Sanchez, too hard to find catchers with his potential. Williams or Heathcott, might as well, Upton’s only 25 so u have to ask will either prospect be better at Upton’s young age? Hard to tell and the ceiling question is very speculative. Would also have to add others, and I wouldn’t go much further than a “B” prospect and Nova or Phelps. My guess is Upton’s not going to be a Yank.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        A “chunk” apparently.

  37. Craig says:

    Upton is 8.5 AAV. You do it if you can move Grandly to the Mariners and repackage for Upton. You then still get Morse and your payroll is similar and you have improved the offense.

    • blake says:

      yea but you’ve lost a lot of prospects in the process to make all that happen…..

      • G says:

        How? If the Yankees allowed an extension window, they could get a similar haul to what the Mariners offered for Upton. Flip those plus whichever of our own prospects it would take to make it even with the M’s offer to Arizona for Upton and then use the aforementioned Logan+Warren+CoJo (?) package to get Morse.

        We lose a lefty reliever, pitching depth, a fringy 2B prospect who’s blocked, and maybe one of our top 5 prospects in the process. No big prospects in there. The big hit is losing Grandy, but you have to think Morse and Upton combined are better to have than Grandy alone. Then you’re set for 2014 and 15 with Upton out there. It essentially pays for an upgrade to the current roster and future security, and all it costs is a year of Grandy, a few fringy guys, and one of our top prospects in the end.

        • jjyank says:

          I don’t disagree with what you’re saying necessarily, but if they got Upton and Morse, where would they play? Getting Upton already essentially makes Ichiro the 4th outfielder, Tex is at first, and the DH slot won’t be open on a daily basis for Morse. I think it’s probably a one or the other thing. I prefer Upton, but Morse wouldn’t cost nearly as much to acquire.

          • blake says:

            In this scenario Granderson was traded to Seattle so I’d guess Upton would be in LF, Gardner in CF, and Ichiro and Morse would platoon in RF with Morse DHing most days.

            Sounds great….but the cost would be high…..the Yanks would have to make Seattle and the Dbacks happy….and also trade players to the Nats too.

            • jjyank says:

              Is Upton and Morse better than Granderson and Upton, or Granderson and Morse though? Seems like a lot of legwork for something I’m not sure is a real upgrade. I’d rather keep Granderson and deal for one of them.

        • blake says:

          you’re unlikely to get a similar return from the Mariners for Granderson that the offered for Upton…..you have to satisfy the Dbacks…..and Seattle isn’t trading Walker and Franklin in a deal where they aren’t getting Upton.

          A 3 way between those teams could happen I guess…..but I can’t see it happening without the Yanks parting with a lot of talent.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Agreed there. Granderson is significantly older and will be getting something close to market value starting in 2014. He might also be an ok hitting LF at this point, based on 2012. Not really comparable to Upton as a trade chip.

  38. Now Batting says:

    I didn’t read a single thing in that article indicating are willing to meet the asking price in prospects. There’s only conjecture about why they haven’t.

  39. Chip says:

    If we could trade Granderson to Seattle and get say Zunino, Franklin and Victor Sanchez and then turn around and give the Diamondbacks Franklin, Adams, Montgomery and Phelps or Nova. Hell, I’d give them both Phelps and Nova if that’s what it took. The Yankees would come out of the deal with their catcher of the future, right fielder of the future and a wild card in Sanchez. Diamondbacks would get their second baseman of the future which they obviously wanted, a possible third baseman in Adams, a future closer and two cost controlled starters while Seattle would get the power outfielder they want. Maybe we send one of Phelps or Nova to Seattle instead but I think everybody could wind up happy here.

    And yeah, my trade proposal sucks

  40. BigLoving says:

    Grandy to DH?

  41. RetroRob says:

    Once again, I find myself not believing one of these reports from the media. Upton’s AAV is $8.3M, or thereabouts. He’s young, heading into his prime, and his luxury tax impact is minimal. He is exactly the type of players the Yankees should want. So I don’t believe it as reported.

  42. Moose14 says:

    No need to trade Granderson…..Towers wanted Walker and Franklin, where is the Walker in the Yankee system? Nova, Phelps, Banuelos, Pineda? Adams might be the Franklin, and they already have a surplus of out fielders, they don’t need Heathcott, or Williams or Austin. The problem should be do they want anybody from the system for Upton, not the imaginary budget

  43. GT Yankee says:

    I wonder if all of this is smoke just to potentially drive up the price for a potential J. Upton deal to the Sox. I would think his numbers would take a huge jump up with aid of the green monster. If he bounced back his numbers there would be scary.

    Then the other question is, if the Marlins do end up dumping Stanton isn’t it worthwhile to wait and blow the farm system on him instead? I would think he is a bit more of a sure thing (no down year) and without the possible attitude questions that have been brought up with Upton.

  44. Moose14 says:

    Who wants Granderson, he’s a rental?

  45. Alkaline says:

    I’m not sure why some people take this as gospel and assume this is exactly what the FO is trying to do and at the same time others take the bashing of the former a little too far, IMO.

    This is a blog; the purpose is to promote discussion…right? This is fun off season speculation to me so there’s no need to get worked up about it.

  46. TheManchine says:

    Grandy for Olt.

  47. mustang says:

    This story has bullshit written all over it.

    Moving on.

  48. Pistol Pete says:

    This report says absolutely nothing. It doesn’t mention the players the Yanks have to give in prospects but suffice to say the Yanks prospects are fair at best and if he can be traded for without trading Granderson or Cano and the only hang up is money then that is total bullshit. His contract is very reasonable for the type of player he is. He’s exactly what the Yanks need and the money is reasonable and the Yanks have average prospects, what am I missing? There is no way it’s about his contract, no way.

  49. Wayne says:

    I do not want to give up Rafael depaula ,José Ramírez, nik turley, hayden sharp, brady lail, gabe encinas, , tyler austin,Gary Sánchez for justin upton. I would give up zach nuding, ty hensley, Jordán cote, rookie davis, tim flight,bryan mitchell, masón williams, nick goody, Austin auné, Brett marshall , and mikey o’brien for upton !

  50. Wayne says:

    Plus give up slade heathcott , i forgot him!

  51. Mr RSU says:

    Well. Now I would sign up for that in a second… It’s mostly lateral in ’13 but Upton > Grandy in most minds, Gardner gets to play CF.

    Fleece Jack Z while hes desperate, build for beyond 2013 w/ Upton + Prospects

    What’s not to like?

    • Mr RSU says:

      I think.. I’d swap some our top prospects for Seattle’s just to get Upton, it hurts but you do what you gotta do to land a stud like this.

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