As we get closer to July, the trade rumors involving BJ Upton are starting to heat up and his days in a Rays uniform might be winding down. It also means that we are getting closer to the (permanent) return of Desmond Jennings.

Bill Ladson is reporting that the Nationals are still looking for a center fielder and Upton is “one of their targets.” Ladson adds that Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo believes that a “change of scenery” would be good for Upton’s career.

Back in April we learned that the Nationals were scouting Upton as a possibility to fill their need in center field but that they were not in a hurry to make a deal.

Michael Bourn of the Astros was also on the Nationals’ wish list, but talks between the two teams never went anywhere.

At the same time, we also heard that the Nationals may be willing to “overpay to get what they want.” The Rays may not be targeting specific players in return for Upton, but boy do they love teams that are willing to overpay.

Meanwhile, Jennings, who hit his ninth home run yesterday, continues to wait. He is waiting for his arbitration clock to tick down to a manageable date. And he is waiting for the clock on Upton’s time with the Rays to expire.

We know the arbitration clock will expire around the All-Star break. We wouldn’t be surprised if Upton was traded around the same time.



  1. Edward says:

    I still say keep Upton. If Jennings comes up and sucks, this whole team will be in trouble.

  2. Don says:

    OH please…”this team will be at least 10% better without a “dead bat” playing CF…I’ll bet Jennings can hit .230 and is as fast as bj, and hopefully smarter!

  3. Buddhaboy says:

    BJ’s has been playing on borrowed time for the past couple seasons. I will throw a mini party the day he is gone. I cant stand looking at his mug, and questioning every strike thrown….He stands and looks at the ball when he hits it. he plays the game the wrong way. Baseball greats are rolling over in their grave every time he takes a perfect called 3rd strike right down the middle and questions the ump as if it werent a strike. Dude is lazy, skinny, and will always have that wonderful tag of “potential” associated with him. Cant stand him. i cant really.

  4. Sarah says:

    I’ve been willing to give Upton the benefit of the doubt for a while, but at this point I realize he is exactly what we see: a .240 hitter with occasional hot streaks that make us long for more; someone with great defensive range and a strong if not always accurate arm; and a fast runner with sometimes questionable base running instincts. Maybe in another setting he can be more than this

    His baseball card should be a picture of him giving an ump the hairy eyeball after getting called out on strikes, because that’s such a common pose for him. Any time he actually fouls off a few pitches with two strikes on him I consider that a “great at bat” whatever the outcome!

  5. werD says:

    one thing is for certain, BJ will need to switch leagues if he ever hopes to get a close pitch called a ball again.

    • Dcoggins3 says:

      that won’t help him either, the umpires are MLB umpires, not AL or NL anymore….it’s time for a change, let’s trade BJ and get what we can and see if Desmond Jennings is ready for the show….

  6. Ro says:

    I tuned in to the Diamondbacks game the other night and every time Justin Upton was up, I couldn’t help thinking, the better brother. Maybe the NL will help BJ.

    I’m totally up for this trade and getting Jennings up. Do it. I roll my eyes every time there are 2 on, 2 out, and BJ in the batter’s box. Inning over.

  7. Des from Durham says:

    For $2M bucks (a big maybe on that), the Rays are willing to chuck an entire season of contention to postpone my clock? I don’t understand it.

    Why not let me start in LF, see if I can stabalize the lead off position and hit at the MLB level, then trade Upton. By dumping Upton salary at the end of 2011, you make up the $ you might have to pay me in Super 2.

    There is cheap. And then there is Rays cheap. Penny-wise, pound foolish my grandma used to say.

    • KillaTapes says:

      AND, there may not even be Super 2 after this season! I’m on your side dude!

    • phil says:

      Hey Des – You are smart too……See if jennings can hit at this level and if he can….. trade Upton ..bring up Guyer (replace Fuld) to play left …Chrinos to catch in place of Shoppach …offense improves! No Sonny in the rotation going forward!!!!!!!!!

    • Derek says:

      There are fans, and then there are fans who only go to games when their team is winning. Once this team gets more fans who just want to see their team play, then situations like this can be avoided.

      Why are you so stuck on this two million??? It’s about service time. After six years of service time a player becomes a free agent. If he came up today, this year would could as year one of his time, but if he comes up after the deadline, next year counts as his year one. It has nothing to do with two million dollars, and everything to do with keeping Jennings on the team while he is at the peak of his career.

      • Derek says:

        would count*

      • Derek says:

        While my idea is correct, the way I said it happens may be wrong.

        Jennings has 33 days of service time, and according to MLB 172 days of service time adds up to one year of service. Let’s say that Jennings shows up to play tonight in LA and he remains up until the last game of the regular season. That would give him 150 days of service time. That’s less than a year.. buttttttttt. What happens if we make the playoffs? Everyday that our season stays alive, so does his clock. The playoffs is what makes this so tricky. There are 183 days of service time during the regular season this year, so let’s use that number for the 2012 season. If we don’t make the playoffs, and Jennings were to play for us tonight, he would end the year with 150 days. Then he comes back next season and breaks camp with the team. The whole year is added to his service time, 150+183=333 days.. Now, remember 172 is the magic number for a year of time.. 172+172=344. They way I see it is, if we remain in the playoffs for more than ten days over the next two years, then Jennings will have 2 years of service time under his belt, but if we wait, then he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season, instead of the 2016 season. Which pretty much means we get him for his best seasons, just like we did Crawford, the difference being, we don’t have to sign Jennings to an extension.

        • Derek says:

          So, if you want to talk about how much this saves the Rays, I’ll say it saves them 13 million, as that’s what Crawford makes this year, and Crawford is the same age as Jennings will be in 2016. For reference again, Crawford makes 19.5 million next year.

          But yes, this is alllll about two million dollars.

          • Des from Durham says:

            Cork said the delay was about $2M (the cost of the Super 2 differential). A few weeks back in this space. I’m going with him. AAA hotels aren’t as nice as the Ritz Carltons in the show. I want to get called up.

            Put another way, is there any other franchise in the majors given this MLB team, the needs it has, the needs I could fill if given the chance (lead-off, LF, dumping Upton long-term), that would potetnially sabotage today to perhaps mitigate an arb year 3 years from now? Are there any other examples? I don’t think there are any.

          • Derek says:

            First off, he isn’t a game changer. This team won’t be going to the playoffs because of Jennings.

            If you want examples, just look at every front office that cares about it’s future.

            Brett Lawrie ( a third base prospect for the Blue Jays) was hitting .354/.415/.677 as a 21 year old in AAA. Look at Jennings’ line and tell me who is the game changer. Yet, the Jays kept him down, as to avoid super two.

            Anthony Rizzo. ( The first base prospect who the Red Sox traded for A-gon over the winter) is hitting .365/.444/.715 in AAA. Look at Jennings’ line and tell me who the game changer is. Yet Rizzo sits in AAA, they say it’s because of defense, I think.. lol at that one.

            I may be wrong about the rules of service time, but I can promise you that every team that cares about it’s future waits to call up it’s top prospects. Even if those prospects are better than Jennings, a lot better.

    • A> J> says:

      Tell it like it is.

      A. J.

  8. phil says:

    Hey cork – no mention of the draft tonight ….we need analysis tomorow for the first 10 picks!

  9. Chris says:

    beyond the debating on D Jennings…

    What could the Rays expect in reurn for BJ? Is it an all prospect deal? A major league ready player or member of a parent club in return?

    Thoughts welcome.

  10. Ken Heller says:

    The next two weeks will tell us a lot about our post season prospects. If we begin playing well again I say dangle BJ for Ramos and the relief RHP the Nats have that K’s many. Package a prospect or two to even things out and send Sonny to Durham, or any team willing to take him. Also think Guyer deserves another look, use the DL as always to determine his future value. Fuld’s flood of offense has come to a screeching halt.

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