On the surface it would look like the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays are in the same spot as they were back in July. That is, the Nationals want BJ Upton, but are firm in what they are willing to give up. And the Rays are willing to give up Upton, but they are firm in what they want for him (shortstop Ian Desmond).

But Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wonders if the game has changed a little since since July. And maybe now, both sides may be willing to loosen their stances a little. Speaking with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo seemed to suggest that is what is happening…

“What would be different from previous conversations would be whether there was a change in their scenario or a change in our scenario,” Rizzo said. “Injuries sometimes can cause that. A breakout season from a prospect at that position, now it becomes a position of depth. Those are the kind of things that would change the landscape of the trade discussions from the end of the season until now.”

Kilgore goes on to note that the Nationals are now high on another young shortstop (Stephen Lombardozzi), and the Rays are obviously happy with the way Desmond Jennings played in the second-half. And even though the demands from both sides are the same, the grips of each team may have loosened.

Unfortunately for the Rays, the Nationals may be the only team bidding on Upton, as interest in the Rays center fielder has been described as “mild.”



  1. pete says:

    If this trade happened then i would PUKE. We have 2 Shortstop prospects just around the corner and this trade would be the epitome of stupid.

    • Alex says:

      Why? BJ is a free agent after this year. If the Rays don’t want him long term or if BJ thinks he’s going to get big money why not try and get something for him. Desmond isn’t a free agent until 2016. He would give us a good ss option with speed.

      • pete says:

        Why? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out 2012 is a year where the Rays are set up to win the whole damn thing. BJ Upton in a contract year is honestly something i would like to see. Upton hasn’t even had a great offensive year and consistently is a 4 WAR player. Desmond hasn’t sniffed that sort of production yet and is coming off an awful 2011. We have a top 5 Shortstop prospect less then 2 years away , who many believe will be a all star and another Shortstop prospect in Tim Beckham who i believe could give us the same production at SS as Ian Desmond tomorrow. If we are out of it at the trade deadline , then lets move Upton but until we are out of contention in 2012 . I’d rather hold onto a guy who is at least a 20/20 guy and maybe 30/30 then trade for a guy who looked anemic at the plate and plays piss poor defense before the 2012 season gets under way.

  2. Dave says:

    The way I see it is they need to stand firm and get alot in return for Shields or any starter if they go that route and they need to get what they can for BJ and get rid of him once and for all.
    He does not want to be here and he does not produce except for about 2 months out of every season. For every RBI or stolen base he kills that many rallies swinging at a low and outside pitch or standing there staring at a fastball down the middle.

    • pete says:

      Upton is a 4 WAR player. We should just trade him for what we can get? Seriously do some research about Center Fielders and offensive production for lets say the last 40 years and then tell me how horrible he is. Unless you know him , then you have no idea whether or not he wants to play here or not. Dave … go try and hit major league pitching … or just go stand in the box and then realize that what you see from the stands or on TV makes it look really damn easy. Hardest thing to do in sports is hitting a major league fastball. If we want to win in 2012 James Shields and BJ Upton better break camp with the Rays.

  3. Robert says:

    As a season ticket holder I’m sick & tired of BJ UPTON,how about Carlos Beltran in left field & DH.There seems not to be much interest in him so give him a one year contract for 5-7 million,when healthy he is as good as any outfielder in baseball.

    • steve says:

      I don’t understand why so many people just want to get rid of Upton. The Rays NEED OFFENSE and they shouldn’t just be trading away one of their most productive bats. I think he finally figured his swing out in September and lets not forget that he isn’t much older than Desmond. Most players go through the growing pains in Durham and Charlotte but BJ had to do it in the show. The Rays are in position with a few minor tweaks to have a great 2012 and BJ needs to be a part of it. The management has to see that this team core isn’t going to be around forever and they should make their move now by adding talent not getting rid of one of their best players.

      • pete says:

        Obviously i agree with you from my previous posts , but here is why. Upton has been frustrating to all fans but it’s the casual fans that call for his head. He teases us with stretches of greatness and then falls back to earth but what people who still judge a player by his batting average don’t understand is that even though his slash line doesn’t look so pretty , he is still very productive. Offensive center fielders don’t really grow on trees and if people would dig deeper then they would realize having BJ Upton around for 1 more year is whats best for this team. If we projected out to be a .500 club next year then yeah we should move him , but right now i see this team as a 92-96 win team in 2012.

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