It is looking more and more like the Diamondbacks will trade Justin Upton. And according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Rays are one of the teams actively trying to acquire BJ’s brother…
Strong feeling here Justin Upton will be dealt. Rangers a frontrunner. Watch Rays…wanted to move quickly…Rangers, Rays were strongest early players for Upton.
Clearly Upton is a talented player that would immediately upgrade the Rays’ offense if he is healthy. This past season he battle a hand injury that limited him to just 17 home runs. He still hit .280, but his wOBA was down from .385 in 2011 when he hit 31 home runs, to .341 this past season.
Of course, from the Rays point of view, the bigger issue is the contract. Upton is still owed $38.5 million over the next three season. However, his 2013 salary of $9.75 is probably something the Rays can work with. It is the $14.25 million in 2014 and the $14.5 million in 2015 that are worrisome.
That contract would be a lot easier to handle if the Diamondbacks were willing to pay $5 million in each of the final two years. Of course, if Arizona is going to throw in cash, they will want better players in return. And it will also bring more bidders to the table.
As it is, the Red Sox are one team that is expected to get involved, even though they may be on Upton’s no-trade list.