OK, so earlier today we heard that Ken Rosenthal had softened his stance on his guarantee that the Rays will trade BJ Upton this week. But if this report by Nick Cafardo is accurate, Upton’s days in a Rays uniform are indeed dwindling…

The Nationals are considering offering the moon for him. There are a few factors. Some of the Nationals people feel Upton could use a change of scenery where his talents would be maximized. Also, he grew up with Ryan Zimmerman, and the feeling is Zimmerman would be a good influence on Upton, a good guy whose effort is inconsistent. The Rays have never felt that Upton would blossom in Tampa.

This is not the first time we have heard

the “change of scenery” line in connection with the Nationals and their interest in Upton. And they have to know that it will cost a lot of Upton is their guy.

But the more we hear their name linger, the more it appears that the Nats will be willing to pay the steep price.

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33 Comments

  1. Rytor says:

    "The Rays have never felt that Upton would blossom in Tampa."

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say after the 2007 season, the Rays thought Upton could blossom.

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  2. Sarah says:

    It's funny, I was reading something on Upton at MLB trade rumors and looked at the comments below, which were all filled with fans of other teams -- Braves, Giants, Nats -- hoping their teams were in the running for Upton and all using that "change of scenery" line. Look, there could be something to that -- Pat Burrell is exhibit A, and the Rays have benefited from acquiring players who blossomed with them after failing elsewhere (see Pena, Carlos; Kotchmann, Casey) -- although the Rays of course don't make expensive trades on the "change of scenery" theory.

    I hope the Nats give us a boatload of prospects and that BJ goes at prospers there.

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    • Mark E says:

      "Change of scenery" = hard ass manager. THAT's what BJ needs. The flowery, everyone's a winner, "I loved their effort in tonight's loss" does not motivate BJ - it lulls him to lethargy. He has talent - it hasn't been nurtured, via his mind.

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  3. Joe D. says:

    I usually don't buy the whole "change of scenery thing, but with Upton I do. I actually thing Delmon Young and BJ were pretty close, and BJ had the steepest decline in his production when Delmon got traded. BJ is also at his best when he seems to be having fun, like the end of last year... Just a hunch, that BJ can flourish in a different environment is true...

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  4. werD says:

    that quote seems like a smoke screen/ set up by a redsox writer. and what does "pay the moon" for BJ Upton entail? two A ball players, and a middle reliever?

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  5. Stephen says:

    The moon=Bryce Harper, right? Do it. Lol

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  6. Jordi says:

    BJ will do better in Washington just on the fact that he will not be facing the AL East as often. I'd think at least a 10-20 point bump in batting, maybe a few more homers, etc.

    He'll never be an all-star, but he should do more than underachieve in Washington.

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    • SeanDubbs says:

      Atlanta and Philly both have better pitching staffs than New York and Boston. I don't see a move to the NL East making his offensive numbers any better.

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  7. brianknowsbest says:

    what does the moon consist of, strasburg and harper would obviousily be off the table, jordan zimmerman is the next best guy, but I mean we already have a 6 man rotation with the best pitching prospect in baseball. what else do they have?

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  8. Mark E says:

    BJ for Wilson Ramos... straight up

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    • ALLEN says:

      Mark, you've got to be kidding. Wilson Ramos doesn't hit homeruns, doesn't have speed and he's hitting only .258 at AAA.

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  9. Michael says:

    So the Nationals got rid of Nyjer Morgan so they could trade for another skinny fast guy with a bad attitude?

    They are welcome to him.

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    • Sarah says:

      BJ is really no Nyjer. BJ just spends too much time arguing over called strikes. His teammates seem to like him just fine and I can't think of any "incidents" involving him. If he's got a problem (at least according to his detractors) it's that he's too detached. I think it's unfair to give him the label "bad attitude."

      Nyjer on the other hand seems like a hothead and a flake.

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  10. Joe says:

    Who is untouchable from the Nats?

    Strasburgh, Harper, Zimmerman and probably Espinosa

    With that said, the moon would probably include Storen but who else would the Nats give up? Because, he may be good and young but Storen is not how I would define "giving up the moon"

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  11. Rob says:

    Until Upton fixes the hitch in his swing he will be a .240/18/70 batter. I remember pointing out the little foot pivot thing he does at the beginning of the 09 season thinking I never noticed him doing that before. It has to be one of the worst I have ever seen - it really slows down his bat. I also believe it causes him to take so many third-called strikes because he is up there guessing pitches because he knows he can't catch up to them.

    Here is a typical Upton AB:
    Pitch 1 - Fastball down the middle, no swing, strike one.
    Pitch 2 - Slider low and outside, swing, strike two.
    Pitch 3 - Slider even lower and more outside, no swing, ball 1
    Pitch 4 - Fastball high and inside, swing, foul ball or pop up
    Pitch 5 (if he didn't pop up on the previous pitch) - fastball on the inside or outside corner, no swing, strike 3.

    If I am a pitching coach, I tell my guy, listen, whatever you do, don't throw Upton a curveball inside. That is the pitch he catches up to and hits hard.

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    • Sarah says:

      And don't forget, after pitch 5, the shake of the head and the glare of the umpire. you've got to imagine that most umps, by now, enjoy punching him out. Perhaps the "chance of scenery" would simply mean getting him to the NL and a new group of umpires.

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    • Hal says:

      You are so right on with this. BJ used to be super quick; too quick. Somewhere along the line he (or some coach) added that hitch as a way to slow his swing down (or at least the timing of the swing). Whether its the shoulder injuries or something else, he no longer has that explosive quickness and that hitch makes it impossible for him to hit a quality fastball. Until he does something about that he will remain exactly who he is now.

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      • Alex says:

        Um Bj has had that stupid step and turn in his swing forever. He had it during the 08 season and probably even before it.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjFJgHwO0N0&feature=related

        There's a video from 08 if you don't believe me

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    • KillaTapes says:

      I have to point out that BJ swings at the first pitch more often than just about any other Major Leaguer.

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  12. Sublime says:

    Funny thing is for a guy that was seen(by many) "as a bum" and "get him outta here he sucks", We sure want alot back in return for him! LOL!

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  13. Don says:

    We have been giving the "MOON" to Upton all season, from left center & right center everytime we can get him to turn around..

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  14. OK then, I want Werth.

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    • Alex says:

      I hope that's a joke. If they were to take Werth in some magic fantasy world the Nats would have to pay at least $125 million of his $126 million contract

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  15. Daredevil says:

    I hope they target Morse, the Nationals great young first baseman. Or maybe their all-star set-up man Tyler Clippard. They have another excellent young set-up man, Mattheus.

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  16. Ken Heller says:

    We'll see how smart the "boy genius" is in the next 72 hours. Time to dump some spare parts (Upton, Sean, Reed, Jaso, Davis, Keith, Joel, JP, and get some spare parts in return. Desmond and Ramos would be a killer deal.

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