In the latest offseason rumors, the Arizona Diamondbacks are again sorting through offers for outfielder Justin Upton.
According to a report by FOX Sports, the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and Atlanta Braves have all shown interest, with the Mariners engaging in talks with Arizona throughout the offseason.
Seattle was linked to several top free agents, like Josh Hamilton, but failed to make a splash. The Mariners reportedly also showed interest in outfielder Michael Bourn, who stole 42 bases and scored 96 runs for Atlanta last season. Either Bourn or Upton could boost a Seattle club that was 27th in runs scored and 30th in on-base percentage last season.
Upton could help the Rangers patch up a depleted lineup that lost Hamilton, traded Michael Young to Philadelphia, and let Mike Napoli walk to Boston.
Atlanta gives Upton a chance to team up with his brother B.J. The report also says the Braves reached out to Arizona, but felt the Diamondbacks weren’t very keen to let Upton go.
The 25-year-old has been rumored to be on the move many times, and has three years and more than $38 million remaining on his contract. Upton is scheduled to make $9.7 million next season, and more than $14 million in the two subsequent years, which could scare the newly frugal Yankees away.
Though New York does have an aging outfield, and have also been linked to Bourn, Upton could be a very good fit.
The two-time All-Star broke out in 2009 with 26 home runs and 86 RBIs to go along with 20 stolen bases and a .300 average. He improved his power in 2011 with 31 home runs, and cut down on his strikeouts for a .898 OPS.
Upton’s numbers dipped last year, but he suffered from a thumb injury early in the season. His package of speed, youth, and power is tempting to many teams, so a trade might be one of the more intriguing moves this offseason.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.