Another week has gone by and the Arizona Diamondbacks still have outfielder Justin Upton on the hot stove. What may be holding up any deal is Arizona’s asking price.
The 25-year-old has again been linked to a trade with numerous teams. The Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves are all vying for his services, according a report from Fox Sports.
Upton, a top five-tool player, is scheduled to make $38.5 million over the next three years, making him one of the best bargains in the majors. That fact alone has made him desirable to plenty of teams.
San Diego was the rumored spot for Upton last summer, but a deal has yet to be consummated, while Texas and Seattle are still in the hunt for offense.
The report states the Rangers are willing to talk, but have taken shortstop Elvis Andrus and infielder Jurickson Profar off the table. Texas has a package of third baseman Mike Olt and a top pitching prospect waiting for Arizona.
Seattle unfortunately is not one of Upton’s desired destinations, and he holds much of the power with his no-trade clause. Baltimore was also a rumored destination, but Arizona was asking for many too many young pitching prospects.
The Braves were originally interested to pair Upton with his brother B.J., and power hitter Jason Heyward, giving them one of the best young outfields in the league, but they refused to part with shortstop Andrelton Simmons, according to AOL Sporting News.
These rumors have gone on for so long that the Diamondbacks may have put themselves in a position to just take the best available offer. Upton is assuredly very talented, but has underperformed in two of his last three seasons.
Upton hasn’t hit .300 since 2009, and his OPS dropped by 11 points last season, along with his slugging and RBI numbers making a dramatic slide. If this trend continues, his value on the trade market will drop.