Would the Rays non-tender BJ Upton? In short, um, no. But that is exactly what some “rival executives” think the Rays might do if Upton is still with the Rays this off-season, according to Buster Olney.

…some rival executives think that Upton will be a borderline non-tender candidate this winter, given his hitting trend line. Upton’s year-by-year batting average: .300, .273, .241, .237, .223 (current).

In short, Upton is once again arbitration-eligible this winter, and will command a 2012 salary of $6-8 million. The Rays could “non-tender” Upton, which just means they would release Upton rather than pay the salary, making Upton a free agent a year early.

This idea is also borderline idiotic.

The thinking behind

these “rival executives” is that the Rays wouldn’t be able to trade Upton.

Even if the Rays can’t get top-dollar for Upton, they should be able to get something. And even if that is just some low-level prospects (he will command more than that), that is more than nothing, which is what these “rival executives” think the Rays will be willing to accept.

Hey, we love Buster Olney, but c’mon, this doesn’t even make sense.



  1. Derek says:

    The Nats have had scouts watching him all year. Seriously though, Andrew convinced the Pads to give us Ramos and Russell, yet he will non-tender Upton???

    • Daredevil says:

      Actually, Russell and Ramos did not show much promise if you look at their numbers in the bigs the past few years, as well as their minor league stats. They have been mediocre all year, and are downright unreliable. Their spring training stats from this year were terrible, and I remember thinking how did they make the opening roster? Probably just to save face because we had gotten them for Bartlett in the trade. Actually Brandon Gomes looks like he will be the only good player out of the 4 we got in that trade, unless the 4th still in the minors pans out.

      • Derek says:

        Adam Russell, with the above average ground ball rate, the low home run rate, and the solid K numbers during his minor league career? I think that he is the definition of promise, as he hasnt delivered on it yet. Ill take my chances that before 2016, their free agent year, Ramos and Russell will add positive value to the team. Hell, they should do it next year. While the Pads are stuck with an overpaid SS who they signed to a two year deal, and are probably trying to get rid of already.

        It wasn’t about saving face. Russell was out of options, and Ramos was the only lefty..

        • Daredevil says:

          Ramos is not a lefty specialist. In fact, this year lefties hit him slightly better than righties. And what good is it to keep a lefty on the roster if he isn’t any good? Besides, to start the year, the Rays went with Jake McGee and Ramos out of the gate, not just Ramos as you indicated. Please be more aware of the circumstances when you comment. As for Russell, he had spent parts of 3 years with pro teams, and had been mediocre. That, combined with his awful spring training, should have indicated he was at best a borderline pro reliever. We should have sent him to the minors, and if in exposing him to waivers another team took him, so what. We have a lot of other pitchers coming that will be better, including one that came with him in the Bartlett trade, Brandon Gomes. We should have never sent Gomes back down, and we should call him back up right now. We need our best 25 in action if we are to have a chance at the playoffs.

        • Daredevil says:

          I’m not saying we shouldn’t have traded Bartlett. Another point: what good does it do the Rays right now if Russell and Ramos become good next year? They are ruining the Rays chances this year of making the playoffs. They belong in the minors now, and if we lose them in exposing them to waivers, so be it. We can’t risk this year for potential that probably won’t be realized anyway.

  2. Sledge says:

    Call me crazy, but it sounds like perhaps the “rival executives” are using Buster to negotiate Andrew’s price down. Clearly the idea is idiotic, but I can see a rival exec that is interested in BJ using Buster as a mouthpiece to try to plant the seed that it is a mainstream belief of GMs.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      This is EXACTLY what is going on. But it is so absurd to think it will work. They are better off saying “yeah, team’s would take a shot on Upton, but nobody will give up much.” that would scare Friedman more.

      • Sledge says:

        Agreed. Seems to me the schedule makers did us a favor. With all these games against RedSox and Yanks heading into the trading deadline, Friedman gets a real clear look at what our playoff chances are to decide whether to sell BJ.

  3. Don says:

    We have 5-8 outfielders as good as Upton..his max Value is NOW when someone needs an outfielder for 2nd half playoff run

    • Daredevil says:

      I agree that we have plenty of good outfielders either already up here, or ready in AAA (Guyer and Jennings). All of them except Joyce play CF. Upton could be traded to fill some holes such as shortstop, relief pitching, or catcher, since Friedman refuses to call up the more than ready and excellent Jose Lobaton. Upton has way too much downside to his game: he is not making the plays in CF that he used to make, especially throwing (almost never on target, overthrows cut-off), he is thrown out on the bases a lot (pick-offs, at home due to lack of hustle, etc.), strikes out too much, is a terrible clutch-hitter (RISP) – with the bases loaded he is 1 for his last 17. His game has some merit, but with all his negatives, and the fact that we can’t afford him long-term anyway and young guys that would be paid small salaries are ready, I say trade Upton now. We can still make the playoffs without him.

      • Derek says:

        Jennings and maybe Guyer are the only two players that I want to ever step foot in center. Fuld can keep his terrible routes/jumps in left. Lobaton is a defensive catcher. He is now in AAA for the third time, of course he is hitting. I’d rather not toss Lobaton out there, as he probably only knows one of our pitchers, and he has never hit outside of this year.

        • Daredevil says:

          I agree that that if Upton is traded, they need to choose between Guyer and Jennings. I’d choose Guyer at this point due to his better average, and he has a propensity for rising to the occasion (remember he homered in his first big league at bat). Guyer also has a very strong and accurate arm, having 12 assists in only 71 games. I think either right now would only be a slight dropoff from BJ when considering overall game. Fuld also looks like he can’t hit well enough to be a regular, so I’m with you there. As for Lobaton: he hit .400 in spring training this year. While I’m sure some of those AB’s were against minor leaguers, it tells me that, combined with these 3 months in Durham, he has improved quite a bit at the plate. He is a switch-hitter, which comes in handy as relievers come in later in games. He is especially strong against lefties, hitting .404, which is the role the awful Shoppach plays. Lobaton has been in our past 2 spring trainings, and was also a call-up at the end of last year for 3 weeks, when I’m sure he caught our pitchers a lot in the bullpen. And like you indicated, he knows Hellickson quite well from the minors. Besides, when Jaso was summoned last year when Shoppach was hurt for 2 months, did our starters falter? No, they did just fine with a catcher they hardly knew.

    • Scot says:

      Don > We have 5-8 outfielders as good as Upton..

      Reality > no.

  4. Sarah says:

    And no doubt they would trade him, if the right offer came along.

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