Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com is reporting that the Rangers may no longer be a serious bidder for Justin Upton. And if that is true, the Rays may now be the front-runner to trade for the Diamondbacks outfielder.
Rosenthal notes that the Rays matchup well as a trade partner, as the Diamondbacks are looking for a top of the rotation starting pitcher and a shortstop. The Rays could offer either James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson as well as shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee.
However, according to an anonymous executive (Andrew Friedman?), the Diamondbacks would have to offer more than just Upton if they want both a starting pitcher and Lee.
And while there has been a lot of speculation that the Rays would prefer to move Hellickson, Upton’s pricetag ($9.75M, $14.25M, $14.5M the next 3 years) might be easier to swallow if they move Shields.